Philly evens series behind Primeau's goal, assist

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Keith Primeau isn't thinking about missing
the World Cup of Hockey. He's doing his best to get the
Philadelphia Flyers into the Stanley Cup finals.

Primeau scored a short-handed goal and set up another score,
leading the Flyers past the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 Saturday to tie
the Eastern Conference finals at two games apiece.

Left off Canada's roster announced Saturday for the World Cup,
Primeau has been perhaps the NHL's best player in the playoffs,
scoring seven goals and adding four assists in 15 games.

"I didn't know until after the game," Primeau said of the
omission. "I wasn't expecting to be nominated. I'm fine with it."

Mark Recchi and John LeClair also scored for the Flyers, who
improved to 7-1 at home this postseason.

Fredrik Modin and Vincent Lecavalier had goals for the
Lightning, who lost for the first time in six road playoff games.

Game 5 is Tuesday in Tampa.

"At the end of the day, it's a loss and that's that,"
Lightning defenseman Darryl Sydor said. "We have to regroup for
Game 5 at home. The next game is just huge."

Playing in front of a sellout crowd of 19,872 that was decked in
orange T-shirts reading, "Orange Crush," the Flyers scored two
goals in a span of 1½ minutes to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Robert Esche, coming off a poor outing in which he allowed two
soft goals, stopped 28 shots, helping the Flyers overcome seven
power plays for the Lightning.

Lecavalier scored a power-play goal with 32.9 seconds left, but
Primeau blocked a pass and helped the Flyers control the puck the
final 30 seconds.

"He's really taken charge of a lot of games," LeClair said of
Primeau. "He was the difference out there every time he was on the

Primeau, the Flyers' captain, scored three goals to lead
Philadelphia to a 7-2 victory over Toronto in Game 5 of that series, and he has been
a dominant physical force throughout the postseason.

"There are certain stages of a critical playoff series when a
captain has to step up, and he stepped up again," Flyers coach Ken
Hitchcock said.

Just 33 seconds after Vladimir Malakhov went to the penalty box
for crosschecking, Primeau gave the Flyers a 3-1 lead midway
through the second period. Catching the puck in the Flyers' zone
after Dave Andreychuk turned it over, Primeau put it down, broke in
with Simon Gagne, forced defenseman Dan Boyle to slide toward Gagne
and wristed a shot past Nikolai Khabibulin and just under the

"The defenseman took a step toward Gags, and I had no choice but
to shoot it," Primeau said.

Recchi had made it 2-1 with 1:40 left in the first period,
deflecting a slap shot by Mattias Timander off Khabibulin's glove
and into the net.

Soon after the Flyers killed off consecutive penalties, LeClair
tied it at 1 with his second goal in three games. Primeau set it up
by picking up a loose puck along the left boards, skating in and
dropping a perfect pass for LeClair, who one-timed it past

Modin opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period. Less than a minute after Gagne received a double-minor for high-sticking, Modin put in a rebound off a slap shot by Pavel Kubina.

"We did the things we wanted to do, but we just didn't get the
goals at the right time," Andreychuk said.

Game notes
The Flyers lost D Joni Pitkanen and F Jeremy Roenick to
"upper-body injuries," but Hitchcock said both are expected to
play in Game 5. Pitkanen was playing for Marcus Ragnarsson, who is
out for the rest of the playoffs after breaking his left index
finger in Game 3. ... LeClair didn't score in Philadelphia's first
12 playoff games, before getting the first goal in a 6-2 victory in
Game 2. ... Tampa Bay has killed 19 of 20 penalties on the road.
The Lightning are 6-for-24 on the power play away from home. ...
Philadelphia is 13-4 in series that were tied after four games. ...
The Flyers didn't score on four power-play chances, and are
1-for-20 with the man-advantage in the series after going 7-for-34
in the first two rounds.