Flyers' Phenomenal Finish
Primeau scored the Flyers' second goal with 2:59 remaining in the first period. Lightning defenseman Darryl Sydor, deep in the Tampa end, attempted to backhand the puck out of the zone. But his feeble pass was picked off by Flyers' defenseman Vladimir Malakhov, who quickly zipped the puck to a lurking Primeau. He fired it into the net for a 2-1 lead.
It's too bad for the Flyers that Primeau can't stop shots, too. Esche had been one of the Flyers' best players all postseason. He wasn't Thursday.
Not a minute into the second period, Lecavalier, skating 4-on-4, scored his second goal of the game to tie it at 2, ripping a low wrist shot past Esche, who didn't see the shot until it was too late.
After physically dominating the visitors, as well as out-shooting them 11-6 in the first period, the Flyers didn't register their first shot of the second until 9:09 remained, with Tampa ahead 14 shots to 12.
The Flyers' third shot of the period, taken by Sami Kapanen, resulted in a goal that put them ahead 3-2. Another Lightning turnover put the puck on the stick of Alexei Zhamnov, who fed it to his cutting teammate. Kapanen slapped the puck from the top of the circle through Khabibulin's pads at 12:42.
That Flyers' lead didn't last either. Less than three minutes later, Tampa's Ruslan Fedotenko, in the slot, roofed a pass from Tampa Captain Dave Andreychuk past Esche to make the score 3-3 at 15-15.
Fedotenko scored on the power play less than two minutes later, going top shelf after getting a pass from Andreychuk, who was set up behind the goal. It gave the Lightning a 4-3 edge entering the third period.
"I think we were playing not to lose," Lightning Coach John Tortorella said. " We ended up on our heels. . . . We have to look at it as an opportunity. You don't get many chances to play a Game 7. We missed an opportunity tonight, but we are looking forward to Game 7."
© 2004 The Washington Post Company