Team too eager to return home

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 2:12 PM ET


 TAMPA -- The way Ville Nieminen saw it, the Calgary Flames left Tampa long before their plane lifted off the tarmac late last night.

 Possibly as early as the puck drop. Certainly no later than early in the third period.

 "We were already in the plane going back to Calgary with a 2-0 lead," the unique-thinking winger said while assessing Game 2.

 The Flames didn't earn the commanding lead they had last series when they opened with a pair of victories in San Jose but heading home with one win apiece is certainly no cause for alarm.

 Even if the loss is a one-sided 4-1 shellacking they received last night.

 "We're excited to get home," said the always even-keeled Stephane Yelle. "We'll take (today) to re-focus and look at what we have to work on and go from there."

 Make no mistake about the power of a supporting crowd. The 22,222 frenzied fans that witnessed Tampa's even-up performance played a part in the Lightning attack that put the pucks in the net early in the third period to put the game out of reach.

 Tomorrow night's contest at the Saddledome is the chance for Calgary's Sea of Red to do the same. The 19,289 red-clad gang who'll jam the 'Dome to the rafters is the kind of tonic the Flames need after their Game 2 performance.

 "It doesn't feel good today but it's 1-1 and the playoffs are focused on the next game," said Jarome Iginla. "It's about the third game. Going up 2-1 is very big."

 It's time for the Flames faithful to play their part.


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