Prospal lifts Bolts in shootout win


Published: Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Vaclav Prospal scored on the final play of a shootout Saturday night to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning past the Carolina Hurricanes 6-5.

Prospal and Martin St. Louis each had a goal and two assists to lead the Lightning, who twice erased two-goal deficits and scored late in the third to force overtime. Vincent Lecavalier, Paul Ranger and Filip Kuba also scored goals for Tampa Bay.

Eric Staal and Andrew Ladd each scored two goals for the Hurricanes, who suffered their second straight home loss heading into the All-Star break. Ray Whitney added a goal and Scott Walker finished with three assists.

Prospal finally ended a back-and-forth game with the eighth shot in the shootout, beating Cam Ward to the upper left side. That came after Marc Denis denied Whitney, Staal, Rod Brind'Amour and Justin Williams.

The Hurricanes looked poised to win when Ladd redirected Walker's shot past Denis as he jostled with Doug Janik at the top of the crease for a 5-4 lead midway through the third period. But Kuba buried a shot past Ward while skating in on the left side with less than three minutes left to force the extra period.

The Hurricanes got off to a quick start, getting a pair of first-period goals from Staal off assists from Walker for a 2-1 lead. Whitney increased that to 3-1 with a goal in the first minute of the second period, a score that proved to be just the start of a wild 20 minutes in which the teams combined for five goals.

Ranger and St. Louis scored to erase a 4-2 deficit and tie it heading into the final period.

PANTHERS 4, CAPITALS 1

Martin Gelinas scored twice, and Ville Peltonen added a goal and an assist to give visiting Florida a victory over Washington.

Florida snapped a two-game losing streak overall and a five-game slide on the road in the teams' last game before the All-Star game. Washington, limited by several recent injuries on defense, has lost four of its last five.

Olie Kolzig stopped 38 shots and Dainius Zubrus scored the game's first goal for Washington, but the Panthers took charge after that.

PREDATORS 6, BLACKHAWKS 3

David Legwand scored three goals and assisted on another and host Nashville extended Chicago's losing streak to nine.

The hat trick was Legwand's first. Martin Erat, Jean-Pierre Dumont and Kimmo Timonen also scored for Nashville.

Martin Havlat, Craig MacDonald and Duncan Keith scored for Chicago.

The first period was a flurry of scoring. Nashville started it off when Legwand shot the puck across the goal mouth from the left side and Erat put it in off Nikolai Khabibulin's left pad at 7:14.

Twenty seconds later, Dumont gave Nashville a 2-0 lead when he beat Khabibulin to the glove side.

Chicago answered with a pair of goals.

Havlat scored on the power play at 9:37 when he took a wrist shot from low in the right circle.

Nine seconds later the game was tied when Mason wandered away from the net to make a pass. MacDonald got control of the puck above the right circle and fired a one-timer into an open net.

PENGUINS 8, MAPLE LEAFS 2

Mark Recchi scored three consecutive power-play goals and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists to lead host Pittsburgh past Toronto.

Evgeni Malkin had five assists, Sergei Gonchar had three assists and Jarkko Ruutu scored on a penalty shot goal for the Penguins, who were 5-for-9 on the power play. Pittsburgh also got goals from Jordan Staal, Michel Ouellet and Ryan Malone.

Recchi, who also added an assist, recorded the seventh hat trick of his career in a span of 16:57, starting late in the first period. His most recent was March 4 against Carolina, where he was traded five days later before re-signing with Pittsburgh as a free agent in the offseason.

Toronto got power-play goals from Jeff O'Neill in the first period and Brendan Bell in the third.

SABRES 4, CANUCKS 3 (SO)

Ales Kotalik scored the decisive shootout goal that rallied host Buffalo over Vancouver.

Chris Drury tied the score with 39.1 seconds left in the third period. Jason Pominville and Paul Gaustad also scored in regulation for the Sabres. Ryan Miller stopped 25 shots and allowed only one goal on four shootout attempts in helping Buffalo defeat one of the NHL's hottest teams.

Markus Naslund, Taylor Pyatt and Jan Bulis scored for the Canucks, who lost for only the second time in 12 games and had a six-game road win streak snapped.

SENATORS 3, BRUINS 0

Dany Heatley scored his team-leading 29th and 30th goals, and Ray Emery stopped 18 shots for his fourth shutout to lead visiting Ottawa, which has won five straight road games and six of seven overall.

Chris Phillips also scored for Ottawa. Heatley's second goal was a short-handed, empty-netter.

The Bruins matched their lowest shot total this season in being shutout for just the second time. Hannu Toivonen stopped 36 shots, but couldn't win consecutive starts for the first time this season.

DEVILS 4, FLYERS 3

Brian Gionta scored the tying goal with 20.8 seconds remaining in regulation and had the only goal in the shootout to lead host New Jersey to a win over Philadelphia.

Gionta, first up for the Devils in the shootout, whipped the puck past Antero Niittymaki to cap New Jersey's comeback.

Simon Gagne, first for the Flyers in the shootout, fired wide and Martin Brodeur made saves on Peter Forsberg and Mike Richards.

Scott Gomez and Jamie Langenbrunner also scored for the Devils in regulation. New Jersey has won 10 of its last 13 and entered the All-Star break with a 13-point lead atop the Atlantic Division.

Ryan Potulny, Kyle Calder and Gagne scored for the Flyers, losers of eight straight.

THRASHERS 3, RANGERS 1

Niclas Havelid scored his second goal of the season 4:09 into the third period to snap a tie and lift visiting Atlanta past New York.

The defenseman, who hadn't netted a goal in 10 games, took the puck at the right point — after Steve Rucchin won an offensive zone faceoff — skated all the way down to the right post and flicked a short backhander that pinballed off goalie Henrik Lundqvist and found its way between his pads.

That was enough to give the Southeast Division-leading Thrashers their third win in four games and send them into the All-Star break well on the way to their first playoff berth in seven NHL seasons.

Marian Hossa scored his NHL-leading 30th goal, and Ilya Kovalchuk also scored for Atlanta.

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