On this day 20 years ago, the Calgary Flames won Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against Tampa Bay

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Nestler
16 days ago
It may have been the Edmonton Oilers securing their spot in the 2024 Stanley Cup Final on Sunday. But today, June 3, 2024, it is a piece of 20-year-old Calgary Flames history that is remembered. 
On this day in 2004, the Flames entered Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
After being swept by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round in 1996, followed by seven consecutive missed playoffs, the Flames finally made the postseason as the sixth seed in 2004. Calgary powered through the top three seeds in the playoffs, upsetting the Vancouver Canucks in seven games, knocking off the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings in six and getting past the San Jose Sharks in six to reach its first Stanley Cup Final since 1989.  
In the Final, the Flames and Lightning traded blows, splitting the first four games and bringing a pivotal Game 5 to Tampa Bay. 
Game 5 started perfectly for Calgary, with Martin Gelinas putting the Flames up 1-0 with a power play goal on a deflection in front just 2:13 into the first period. 
After Martin St. Louis tied the game late in the first, it was Hockey Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla who pushed Calgary back ahead going into the third. But the Bolts would not go away, and Fredrik Modin evened things up 2-2 only 37 seconds in the final frame. 
But really, all of that was just to set up the magical moment of an overtime winner in the Stanley Cup Final. And it was 23-year-old Oleg Saprykin who provided it. 
After a bucketless Iginla hammered a slap shot off the pad of goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin from the right circle, Saprykin took two or three whacks before jamming the rebound over the goal line from the blue paint. It was his first goal since Game 6 of the first round and gave Calgary a 3-2 series lead with a chance to win the Stanley Cup at home in Game 6.
Unfortunately for the Flames, the Lightning found a way to win Game 6 on the road in double overtime and clinched the Cup with a 2-1 win in Game 7 a couple of days later. 
Since 2004, the Flames have not advanced past the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. 
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