TAMPA -- Four times the Calgary Flames sent their powerplay onto the ice in the first period.
Four times they failed to come back with a goal while a second-period opportunity also proved fruitless, hardly mustering any scoring chances. Although Ville Nieminen finally found the net with the man-advantage late in the game, the unit's ineffectiveness cost the Flames a chance to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Stanley Cup final.
"We could break it down and look at our powerplay (in the first period). There were a lot of chances," admitted Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who logged the most powerplay ice time with more than nine minutes yet only recorded two shots on goal all night.
"But all the way around -- on the PK, five-on-five -- they beat us tonight. They won more battles, had the bigger hits and that's the way it was. They beat us at our game, we know that. They took the play to us."
The Flames powerplay wound up with one goal in seven chances while the club was outshot 31-19.
"Special teams are a big key in the playoffs. If you can get a goal on the powerplay, it gives you a boost and gives you momentum," suggested Flames centre Stephane Yelle, who won 11 of 21 faceoffs in the contest but failed to produce a shot on goal.
Defenceman Robyn Regehr agreed the Flames' sorry powerplay was a letdown but the teamed failed to play the punishing defensive style that has become it's trademark during these playoffs.
"We had chances but we didn't nearly play well enough in our own zone," shrugged the blueliner.
In all, 22 minor penalties were called in addition to four fighting majors and six game misconducts, the result of a couple of altercations near the end of the game.
"Obviously there was a (officiating) summit yesterday or sometime in the last 36 hours in South Florida on something, so just ride with it, I guess," suggested Flames head coach Darryl Sutter.
Powerplay leaves 'em hanging
DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun
, Last Updated: 2:12 PM ET