Atlanta at Tampa Bay

Lightning 5, Thrashers 2


TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella is not surprised by Vinny Prospal's early-season success.

Prospal and Brad Richards had two goals each to lead the Lightning to a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

Prospal scored his second of goal of the game, and third this season, when he redirected Martin St. Louis' shot to give Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead during a power play with 5:22 left in the second period.

"I expect a huge year out of Vinny Prospal," Tortorella said. "You can just sense it."

Prospal struggled last season, scoring just 14 goals in 82 games.

"I just didn't want to go through what I went through last year," Prospal said. "Everybody struggles, but it's always easier when you get to the point in the season when you have something to look back to. Last year, from the beginning, I didn't really have anything to look back to. For the team, for me personally, it's always great when we get off to a good start like this."

Richards scored a short-handed goal later in the second and added a power-play goal in the third.

Vincent Lecavalier also scored for Tampa Bay, which has opened the season 2-0 for just the third team in team history. Johan Holmqvist made 13 saves.

"I know it's early in the season, but I really liked how all four lines are really playing with a lot of tempo," Richards said. "I haven't seen that in a while here."

The defending Southeast Division champion Thrashers got goals from Marian Hossa and Slava Kozlov, while Johan Hedberg stopped 29 shots. Atlanta has started the season by losing two straight, getting outscored 8-3.

"It's not the game that we wanted," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "They took control of the game right from the start. It's not the start we want, but there's still plenty of hockey to be played."

Richards' short-handed breakaway goal made it 3-1 with 4:11 left in the second. Tampa Bay outshot the Thrashers 24-9 though two periods.

Lecavalier, who led the NHL with 52 goals last season, extended the Lightning's advantage to 4-1 on his third goal of the season at 5:22 of the third. Kozlov's power-play goal with 11:02 left cut Atlanta's deficit to 4-2.

Richards gave Tampa Bay a three-goal cushion with his man-advantage goal with 4:49 left.

Prospal put the Lightning ahead 1-0 from the low slot off a pass from Lecavalier at 3:40 of the first. Lecavalier had six shots, including three good scoring chances during the final four minutes of the period.

Hossa tied it at 1-all just 57 seconds into the second. He stole the puck from Tampa Bay defenseman Paul Ranger and scored on a breakaway.

"Right now we're getting outworked," Hossa said. "It's going to take a little time to adjust, we've got lots of new guys and we're trying to find the chemistry on the lines."


Prospal has 13 goals and 42 points in 37 games against Atlanta. ... Hossa has scored 20 goals and 45 points in 41 games against Tampa Bay.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Atlanta (0-2-0)0112
Tampa Bay  (2-0-0) «1135
Three Stars
V. Prospal

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
B. Richards

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
V. Lecavalier

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
03:40Vaclav Prospal (2), Tip-In. Assist: Vincent Lecavalier, Paul Ranger
57.0Marian Hossa (1), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
14:38Power Play - Vaclav Prospal (3), Tip-In. Assist: Martin St. Louis, Filip Kuba
15:49Short - Brad Richards (1), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
05:22Vincent Lecavalier (3), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
08:58Power Play - Slava Kozlov (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Tobias Enstrom, Todd White
15:11Power Play - Brad Richards (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Martin St. Louis, Filip Kuba
Penalty Summary
01:29Perrin, 2 min, Tripping
05:36Havelid, 2 min, Holding
14:09Prospal, 2 min, Hooking
13:29Enstrom, 2 min, Holding
15:15Ranger, 2 min, Hooking
06:33White, 2 min, Hooking
08:01O'Brien, 2 min, Hooking
14:42Little, 2 min, Tripping
19:36Sterling, 2 min, Hooking
Tampa Bay13111034
Johan Hedberg60:00295
Johan Holmqvist59:57132
Game Information
Attendance - 19220
Referees - Wes McCauley, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Michel Cormier, Steve Miller
Other Games
NYR 0 Final
Ott 2
Buf 2 Final
Bos 3 Final
Pho 1
Dal 1 Final
Nash 5
Van 4 Final
Cal 3
Car 0 Final
Wash 2
Colu 2 Final
Min 3
StL 5 Final
LA 3
Det 3 Final
Chi 4
NJ 4 Final
Fla 1
Phi 3 Final
Edm 5
Mon 3 Final
Tor 4
Ana 4 Final
Pitt 5