Saprykin scores first goal in 18 games

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Thanks to Jarome Iginla's stamina and Oleg Saprykin's second effort, the Calgary Flames are one victory away

from a Stanley Cup their coach insists nobody outside of Canada

wants them to win.

Oleg Saprykin #19 of the Calgary Flames celebrates his game winning goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 3, 2004 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.
Oleg Saprykin #19 of the Calgary Flames celebrates his game winning goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning in game five of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals on June 3, 2004 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.

Saprykin scored his first goal in 18 games off a rebound of

Iginla's shot 14:40 into overtime, giving the underdog Flames a 3-2

victory over Tampa Bay in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals Thursday


Calgary, a long shot just to make the playoffs, leads the

best-of-seven series 3-2 and can win its first Cup since 1989 -- and

Canada's first since Montreal in 1993 -- at home Saturday night.

Only one team in 33 years has blown a 3-2 finals lead, the 2001 New Jersey Devils against Ray Bourque's Colorado Avalanche.

"We're all excited, it's one win away, but we know how

desperate they are going to be," Iginla said. "We plan on being

pretty desperate, too, seeing that we're 60 minutes away to all of

our dreams."

With players from both teams badly fatigued after a lengthy

sequence in which neither team could make a line change, Iginla

threw the puck on net and Saprykin, firmly planted in front, put in

the rebound along the right side of the net.

"The guys worked so hard and every guy deserved it," said

Saprykin, who hadn't scored since Game 6 of the first round against


Iginla stayed on the ice despite losing his helmet while nearly

scoring just before Saprykin did.

"I didn't know where the puck was, (Marcus) Nilson kept it

alive and made a great pass to me. He was going to shoot but he saw

me," Iginla said. "Oleg was banging away in there right in front

and he deserved the goal."

The goal came just as the Lightning were trying to make that

badly needed line change.

"The goal was a bit of a mistake," Chris Dingman said. "We

didn't have all of our guys out there. It's unfortunate to lose a

game that way. It's pretty disheartening."

The Flames excelled again in a Game 5 -- they are 4-0 in the

pivotal games, all on the road -- by rallying around Sutter's

stinging remarks Wednesday insinuating top NHL executives don't

want a small-market, blue-collar Canadian team to win the Cup.

Sutter's blistering comments, made in reaction to Flames forward Ville Nieminen's one-game suspension for ramming Vincent Lecavalier

into the glass in Game 4, drew a sharp rebuke from NHL commissioner

Gary Bettman.

But the us-vs.-them mentality apparently motivated the Flames,

who outworked the Lightning while outshooting them 25-12 in the

first two periods and 36-28 overall. The Lightning stayed in the

game -- the first to feature the up-and-down play expected before

the series started -- only because of a goal in the final minute of

the first period (Martin St. Louis) and the first minute of the

third (Fredrik Modin on a power play).

"You're not going to win a Game 5 playing the first 40 minutes

like we did, when a team wins all the battles, is a quicker team

... it comes back to grab you," Lightning coach John Tortorella

said. "Now we have to go to their building and grab one and force

Game 7."

The Flames are 10-3 on the road, tying the 1995 and 2000 Devils

for the most road victories in playoff history, and 5-1 in

overtime. The Lightning have alternated winning and losing for 12

consecutive games, tying a record set by the 1988 Devils, and are

2-2 in overtime.

"It's too bad we can't put it together for two games in a

row," the Lightning's Jassen Cullimore said. "It's heartbreaking

when you lose a game in overtime."

Calgary took a 2-1 lead late in the second when Iginla stole a

St. Louis pass and beat Nikolai Khabibulin from the right circle

with a shot off the far post. It was Iginla's 13th playoff goal,

nine in games following a loss, and third of the finals.

Before that, Calgary's Martin Gelinas deflected Toni Lydman's

shot from the left point on a power play 2:13 in and St. Louis

answered in the final minute of the first, the first time the

series has been tied except when it was 0-0.

St. Louis nearly gave Tampa Bay the lead again with just under 2

minutes left in the third, but Miikka Kiprusoff, who stopped 26 of

28 shots in his fifth straight overtime victory, reached behind

with his glove to push the puck away barely an inch from the goal


Still, asked if the Lightning would be home Monday for Game 7,

Tortorella said, "Yes we will."

Lightning captain Dave Andreychuk agreed, saying, "This team

has a lot of character and we are going to bounce back."

Game notes
Lydman had missed 20 games with an injury. ... Calgary is

8-1 following a loss. ... The Lightning scratched LW Cory Stillman,

who has only one goal in 11 games. ... Lightning RW Ruslan

Fedotenko and D Pavel Kubina returned after sitting out Game 4 with

injuries. ... Dingman's assist on St. Louis' goal was his first in

the playoffs since June 2, 2001, with Colorado against New Jersey.

... Khabibulin made 33 saves. ... Iginla, Brad Richards of Tampa

Bay and St. Louis are tied for the scoring lead with 22 points. ...

Calgary is 13-1 when scoring first. The winning team has scored

first in every game in the finals.