Monday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning completed their comeback from a 3-2 series deficit to the Calgary Flames after five games of their Stanley Cup Finals matchup, claiming Game Seven by the score of 2-1 after forcing the deciding game with a 3-2 double-overtime win in Game Six. It was the only time in the series that a team won two games in a row.
Ruslan Fedotenko, injured earlier in the series but back on the ice, scored both goals for the Lightning, giving Tampa Bay an early lead and putting pressure on the Flames to make risky plays.
Fedotenko opened the game’s scoring on the power play 13:31 into the game. Fredrik Modin fought for the puck along the boards and sent it out to Brad Richards – the eventually Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP – at the right point. Richards fired a shot that was stopped by Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff but Fedotenko picked up the rebound and put it into the net for his 11th goal of the playoffs.
Tampa Bay went up by two with 5:22 remaining in the second when Fedotenko took a beautiful pass from Vincent Lecavalier and fired a shot over Kiprusoff’s glove.
Calgary cut the lead in half on a power play at 9:21 of the third. With Nolan Pratt in the penalty box on a strange interference call, Craig Conroy sent a shot through a screen and past the glove of Lightning netminder Nikolai Khabibulin.
Both teams had their chances as the Flames turned up the pressure in the game’s final minutes.
Tampa essentially clinched the game when Andrew Ference high-sticked Martin St. Louis and was called for charging at 18:59 of the period. Tampa Bay captain Dave Andreychuk went to the box for tripping with 23 seconds left in the NHL’s season but Calgary’s momentum was already gone and the Flames failed to force overtime.
Richards, who led the NHL in the postseason with 26 points and set a new NHL postseason record with seven game-winning goals, was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy following the game.