Lightning Draw First Blood

May 8, 2004

2004 Playoffs

The Tampa Bay Lightning took an early lead in the Eastern Conference finals by beating the Philadelphia Flyers 3-1 in the opening game of the series.

"I think, overall, if you ask a lot of guys, I don't think they felt as good as they thought they might," Tampa Bay's Brad Richards said. "But at the same time, as the game went on, I think our game kind of calmed down and we played a little bit better."

"It's pretty early for a must win, but we have to win road games and you don't want to get late in the series and have to win a road game," Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said. "You want to try to win them as early as you can and if we can win Game Two, then we can come back in our building in a pretty good frame of mind."

Game 2 is Monday night in Tampa.

"I thought our guys handled themselves very well in getting themselves settled," Lightning coach John Tortorella said.

"One thing we try to focus on as a team is stay levelheaded, not to get too emotionally high or low," Philadelphia's Jeremy Roenick said. "We thought we had a really good first period. We had some quality chances, and they weathered the storm pretty well."

"I'm definitely not discouraged," Philadelphia goaltender Robert Esche said. "We didn't come in here by no stretch of the imagination assuming it would go four games, and I don't think they did either."

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