for this game

Prospal's two goals lift Lightning past Canadiens

Feb 13, 2008 - 4:59 AM
TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- Not even a meeting with the Eastern Conference's worst team could get the Montreal Canadiens back on track.

Vaclav Prospal scored two goals, including the game-winner midway through the third period, as the Tampa Bay Lightning handed the Canadiens their third consecutive loss Tuesday night with a 3-2 victory.

All-Star Vincent Lecavalier recorded two assists and Karri Ramo made 19 saves for the Lightning, who are 3-0-1 in their last four contests.

"They're all big," Tampa Bay right wing Martin St. Louis said. "Looking where we are in the standings, all these games are big. Our playoffs have started a little while back now, and we're playing like it."

Prospal gave Tampa Bay a 3-2 edge with 8:09 remaining in the third. The 32-year-old Czech took a pass from Lecavalier in the slot and unleashed a wrist shot past goaltender Cristobal Huet for his 25th goal of the season.

"There were a number of people tonight," Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella said of team's performance. "Everybody right on through the lineup contributed, especially the second period, where I thought we took over the game."

Prospal also had tied the contest at 2-2 with 41 seconds left in the opening session.

Ramo maintained the one-goal advantage with 14 seconds remaining in the contest by making his best save of the night. He went post-to-post to stop Canadiens captain Saku Koivu's one-timer, preserving the win.

"I just wanted to make sure I'm not giving anything for the shooters for a cheap goal," Ramo said.

Huet turned aside 33 shots for Montreal.

"Obviously, we didn't help him offensively," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "But we can talk every night or for a long time, but until the end of the season, goaltending is going to be really important, and both of our goalies are going to have to be excellent."

Christopher Higgins opened the scoring just 50 seconds into the contest, when he took an outlet pass from All-Star defenseman Andrei Markov for a breakaway and beat Ramo.

Tampa Bay evened the game on Michel Ouellet's seventh goal of the season. Jan Hlavac's shot trickled past Huet, and Ouellet stuffed the puck in at 5:15 of the first period.

The Canadiens regained the lead on a power play at 9:48 of the first as Tomas Plekanec one-timed a shot from the slot between the pads of Ramo.

"We're not going to worry (about the recent struggles)," Higgins said. "When we play the right way, we're going to win. We just haven't been skating the last three games, and it shows."

Montreal right wing Tom Kostopoulos, who was arrested along with defenseman Ryan O'Byrne outside a South Tampa nightclub early Monday morning, was scratched from the lineup. However, O'Byrne - accused of stealing a woman's purse - played.

"There were no distractions at all," Higgins said. "We just didn't play well. I don't think that was on anybody's mind at all, to be honest.

"I think it's a bigger situation in the media than what it is around the team. We take it seriously, but hockey is the only thing on our minds right now."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 0 2
    TAMPA BAY 2 0 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 17 (ANDREI MARKOV) 0:52
    TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 7 (JAN HLAVAC, CHRIS GRATTON) 5:15
    MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 21 (MARK STREIT) 9:48
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 24 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 19:19

    Feb 12 9:19 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    TAMPA BAY 3
    3RD PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 25 (VINCENT LECAVALIER) 11:51

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 12 9:04 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 12 9:01 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 0 2
    TAMPA BAY 2 0 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 17 (ANDREI MARKOV) 0:52
    TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 7 (JAN HLAVAC, CHRIS GRATTON) 5:15
    MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 21 (MARK STREIT) 9:48
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 24 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.

    Feb 12 8:31 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 2 2
    TAMPA BAY 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 17 (ANDREI MARKOV) 0:52
    TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 7 (JAN HLAVAC, CHRIS GRATTON) 5:15
    MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 21 (MARK STREIT) 9:48
    TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 24 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.

    Feb 12 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    TAMPA BAY 2
    1ST PRD: TAM - VACLAV PROSPAL 24 (VINCENT LECAVALIER, MARTIN ST.
    LOUIS) 19:19

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 12 7:42 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 2
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) TOMAS PLEKANEC 21 (MARK STREIT) 9:48 (TWO-MAN
    ADVANTAGE)

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 12 7:24 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TAMPA BAY 1
    1ST PRD: TAM - MICHEL OUELLET 7 (JAN HLAVAC, CHRIS GRATTON) 5:15

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 12 7:17 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    TAMPA BAY 0
    1ST PRD: MON - CHRIS HIGGINS 17 (ANDREI MARKOV) 0:52

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 12 7:11 PM
  • 10
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 10 11:02 PM
  • 5
    roots
    UltimateSensfan Added 5 roots

    Canadiens vs. LightningFeb 5 4:14 PM