for this game

Prospal scores twice to lift Lightning

Oct 7, 2007 - 4:16 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Vaclav Prospal works hard in front of the net. On Saturday, he was rewarded.

Prospal and Brad Richards had two goals apiece and Vincent Lecavalier also scored as the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Atlanta Thrashers, 5-2, on Saturday in a battle of Southeast Division foes.

Martin St. Louis and defenseman Filip Kuba each recorded two assists for the Lightning, who have allowed just three goals in their two games.

"I think it was a pretty complete game," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said. "I thought we did a much better job in the battles and played a strong defense. The special teams were good. The power play scored a couple of big goals at key times, so it was a night where everyone contributed."

"We know it's a game of mistakes," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "Tonight, we made a couple of big ones. Against a team like that, especially with Lecavalier, Prospal, Richards and St. Louis on the ice, they'll suddenly make you pay."

Prospal, who scored 14 goals last season after registering 25 in the 2005-06 campaign, put the Lightning on the board with 3:40 remaining in the first period.

Lecavalier fed Prospal, who was camped in front of goaltender Johan Hedberg. Prospal scored from the low slot to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.

"I just didn't want to go through what I went through last year," Prospal said. "I mean, everybody struggles, but it's always easy when you get to a point in the season where you have something to look back to. Last year, I didn't have anything to look back to, so it's always great when we can get off to a good start."

Marian Hossa leveled the game just 58 seconds into the second period. At center ice, Hossa picked the pocket of Tampa Bay defenseman Paul Ranger, skated in uncontested and beat netminder Johan Holmqvist high to the glove side to forge a 1-1 tie.

"Hossa had one chance and he scored on it," said Holmqvist, who otherwise stymied the Thrashers. "You can't let Hossa and (Ilya) Kovalchuk get too many chances, so we did a pretty good job at that. It is a good start to the season and we can get a couple of days' practice to get even better."

Prospal answered by scoring his third goal of the season on a power play.

Stationed in front of the net, Prospal redirected Martin St. Louis' blast from just inside the blue line. The puck hit the inside of the crossbar before landing in the net at 14:38 of the second period.

The goal seemed to strike up the Lightning as Richards tallied on a shorthanded breakaway just 71 seconds later for a 3-1 lead with 4:11 remaining in the session.

"I wanted to do more last year," Richards said. "I wanted my line to do more, too. You guys talk about it more than us. (General manager Jay Feaster) addressed that. Vinny Prospal didn't play on that line a lot last year. He's coming in with a clean slate and he has a lot of confidence. He's had some great years and we know he can play."

Lecavalier, who led the NHL with 52 goals last season, scored five minutes into the third and Richards added a late power-play goal to ice the game.

Vyacheslav Kozlov scored Atlanta's other tally, besting Holmqvist with a slap shot.

"We've got to find our game," said Atlanta's Eric Perrin, a boyhood friend and ex-teammate of St. Louis. "Right now, we're on our heels and we're holding back."

Holmqvist made 13 saves for Tampa Bay, while Hedberg turned aside 29 shots for Atlanta.

"We're looking at the schedule and we want to be 3-0 going on the road," Richards said. "We've got to make this place a harder place for them to play in. It's a good start. I think our line picked it up a bit tonight and played a lot better. Right now, we're getting a full four lines out there and they're doing things right."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 1 1 2
    TAMPA BAY 1 2 2 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, PAUL RANGER)
    3:40
    2ND PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 1 (UNASSISTED) 0:57
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 3 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, FILIP KUBA) 14:38
    TAM - (SH) BRAD RICHARDS 1 (UNASSISTED) 15:49


    Oct 6 10:03 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    TAMPA BAY 5
    3RD PRD: TAM - (PP) BRAD RICHARDS 2 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, FILIP KUBA)
    15:11

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 6 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 2
    TAMPA BAY 4
    3RD PRD: ATL - (PP) VYACHESLAV KOZLOV 1 (TOBIAS ENSTROM, TODD WHITE)
    8:58

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 6 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TAMPA BAY 4
    3RD PRD: TAM - VINCENT LECAVALIER 3 (UNASSISTED) 5:22

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 6 9:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 1 1
    TAMPA BAY 1 2 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, PAUL RANGER)
    3:40
    2ND PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 1 (UNASSISTED) 0:57
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 3 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, FILIP KUBA) 14:38
    TAM - (SH) BRAD RICHARDS 1 (UNASS

    Oct 6 9:05 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TAMPA BAY 3
    2ND PRD: TAM - (SH) BRAD RICHARDS 1 (UNASSISTED) 15:49

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 6 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TAMPA BAY 2
    2ND PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 3 (MARTIN ST. LOUIS, FILIP KUBA) 14:38

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 6 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    2ND PRD: ATL - MARIAN HOSSA 1 (UNASSISTED) 0:57

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 6 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATLANTA 0 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, PAUL RANGER)
    3:40
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ATL 4 4
    TAM 12 12
    GOALIES: ATL - JOHAN HEDB

    Oct 6 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    ATLANTA 0
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 2 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, PAUL RANGER) 3:40

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 6 7:46 PM
  • 5
    roots
    pclifton86 Added 5 roots

    Thrashers vs. LightningOct 5 12:19 PM