Stars in right frame of mind

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:42 PM ET

 Win one. Lose one.

 That's been the playoff pattern for the Tampa Bay Lightning ever since it disposed of the Montreal Canadiens in four straight games during Round 2 of these NHL playoffs.

So after Tuesday's Game 2 win by a 4-1 score over the Calgary Flames, the Lightning is due for loss tonight at the Saddledome.

 Right?

 "It's tough to win two in a row," said Martin St. Louis during yesterday's press conference at a city hotel.

 "Obviously, we're all after the same thing and Calgary's going to come back very hungry (tonight) for a win.

 "They are going to play very desperate and I think that's what elevates a team's game. For some reason, sometimes it's tough to duplicate that -- tough to do it night-in and night-out. But I think it's the team that does it more consistently that has a better chance of winning."

 The Lightning did it with near-perfect consistency in the opening two playoff rounds. The team's only loss in Round 1 came in a Game 2 shutout to the New York Islanders.

 Then came the sweep of the Canadiens.

 Against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference final series, the Lightning won Games 1, 3, 5 and 7.

 And, of course, against the Flames here in the Stanley Cup final, the Bolts lost Game 1 but rebounded to win Game 2.

 But the way they won Game 2 may have given the club the kind of momentum it failed to gain against the Flyers.

 The team's backbone -- its young, offensive stars -- doused the Flames by scoring all four goals. First, Ruslan Fedotenko. Then Brad Richards. And finally, Dan Boyle and St. Louis. All the while, Vincent Lecavalier was putting on a hockey clinic.

 That show of offence has put the Lightning's top players in a scoring frame of mind early in this series, which could spell danger for the Flames.

 "Offensive players want to score goals," said Lightning coach John Tortorella.

 "They like scoring goals. I think as an athlete, you need to feel good about yourself. Offensive people feel good about themselves when they score goals, no matter how many times a coach is saying, 'You are playing well away from the puck and doing all the little things.'

 "All the series and everything we talk about as a group here, it's all a mindset. I think if you get the athletes in the proper mindset for offensive people, that's the mindset they need to be in."


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