It's our game

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 3:46 PM ET


 They ended up losing the war but the Flames may have won the battle.

 Calgary dropped Game 4 but the 1-0 game was played on their terms.

 Forcing the offensively gifted Tampa Bay Lightning to play tight-checking, close-to-the-vest hockey can only benefit the Flames, who have played that style all year.

 The Lightning boasted the league's third-best offence during the regular season, while Calgary was third-best defensively.

 So, although they came out on the short end on the scoreboard, the 1-0 result reveals the Flames are playing the type of game they need to be successful.

 "We're coming off our best game of the series," said head coach Darryl Sutter.

 "We're looking forward to Game 5.

 "As a group, we were frustrated after the game because we played so well and didn't get the result."

 The two teams have combined for just 14 goals over the first four games. Neither club has scored more than four goals in any game.

 Not getting into a shootout and preventing the Lightning from freewheeling suggests the Flames are dictating the style of play.

 After taking a day to digest the loss, sniper Jarome Iginla said his club just needs to continue playing well defensively and the offence will take care of itself.

 "(The loss) is easier to take today because we're moving on," Iginla said.

 "It was frustrating yesterday because we had chances.

 "We played all right but there's more in our room."

 Chuck Kobasew was also upbeat. The 1-0 loss could have easily been a 2-1 win if the Flames had been on target with a couple of shots.

 "We try to play the low-scoring games all the time," Kobasew said.

 "Obviously, we didn't score any goals (Monday) night, which is disappointing.

 "But we have to draw from that. We had a lot of chances, we just have to hit the net."

 Winger Martin Gelinas gave the Lightning kudos for protecting their precious one-goal lead for 57 minutes.

 It was, he said, the kind of defensive effort the Flames have been turning in during the post-season.

 "You have to give them credit," Gelinas said. "They didn't give up any goals and played an excellent game.

 "They're a skilled team and they're good defensively. We knew that right from the start.

 "They got the 1-0 lead and chipped the puck out. They played our type of hockey and did it well."

 Whether they can keep doing it will determine if the Stanley Cup heads south to Florida.

 POWERPLAY WOES: There are times Darryl Sutter wishes he could decline, take the loss of down and move on.

 Alas, this is hockey, not football, and penalties can't be declined.

 "Thank our lucky stars, they only gave us two (powerplays)," Sutter joked about Game 4.

 The Flames powerplay could have been better in these playoffs but it showed signs of life Monday.

 Calgary is 4-for-17 (23.5%) in the series, up from their post-season average of 12.8%

 "We were really good on (the two opportunities) but didn't score," Sutter said.

 "In games prior to that, we scored on broken plays."


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