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NEW YORK (AP) - Vaclav Prospal gave John Grahame all the help he needed.
Prospal jammed the puck past Henrik Lundqvist at 3:47 of overtime, and Grahame made 36 saves for his second shutout of the season in the Tampa Bay Lightning's 1-0 victory over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
``It's huge,'' Grahame said. ``It was just a great team effort. The guys got it done at the end. We just kept grinding and battling and I was able to make some saves.''
After New York dominated play in the second and third periods and most of overtime, Prospal controlled the puck behind the net, skated to the edge of the crease and hammered away until he finally beat Lundqvist.
``I tried to make the wraparound. Fortunately for me, he moved his pad and I was able to put it in,'' Prospal said. ``Both goalies really played well. We just came up with the big goal with the game on the line.''
Lundqvist made 19 saves in New York's sixth loss in its last eight games. The Rangers, opening a five-game homestand, are 1-5 in overtime this season.
``He came out and shot it two or three times, and finally got it over me. It was a bad goal,'' the Swedish Olympic goalie said. ``I felt I was sliding away and he kept firing on me. ... It was a tough loss for us.''
New York outshot Tampa Bay 23-8 in the final 40 minutes of regulation.
``The reason that we won is that guy sitting over there,'' Prospal said, pointing at Grahame - one of the U.S. Olympic goalies. ``He kept us in the game.''
Prospal's 17th goal gave the defending Stanley Cup champion Lightning their second victory in two nights at the start of a four-game trip. On Monday night, Martin St. Louis had a late short-handed goal in a 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders.
``We haven't been scoring much. We've needed good goaltending,'' Prospal said.
New York squandered three good scoring chances in overtime.
First, NHL scoring leader Jaromir Jagr broke through the middle and fired a wrist shot that Grahame easily gloved. Moments later, Rangers defenseman Fedor Tyutin fired a low slap shot from the high slot that went just wide. Then Michael Nylander failed to get a shot off after he was caught from behind on a partial breakaway.
``We had a couple of great opportunities to finish the game, but we didn't,'' Lundqvist said. ``I think we played a good game. Even in overtime, we kept going real strong. It's a tough goal to give up.''
Grahame made his best save with 4:25 left in the third period, stopping Ville Nieminen on a high-speed rush. Tampa Bay's Dan Boyle was penalized for hooking Nieminen on the play, but the Rangers failed to generate any opportunities on the power play.
The Rangers had a series of scoring chances midway through the third period, but Grahame had little trouble keeping the game scoreless. He stopped Ryan Hollweg on a close-range attempt off a rebound, and made a save on Jason Ward off another scramble. Grahame also made a pad save on Hollweg with 6:30 left.
Early in the third period, Jagr had some room on a rush down the right wing, but Grahame cut the angle and easily stopped a wrist shot.
Nylander had a great chance to open the scoring with 7:50 left in the second, but missed an open net from the edge of the crease with Grahame out of position.
St. Louis had the best opportunity in the first period, breaking in on Lundqvist on a partial breakaway. Rangers defenseman Tom Poti was called for hooking St. Louis on the play, and Lundqvist had little trouble stopping St. Louis' shot.
Notes: Jagr was honored Tuesday as the NHL offensive player of the month for December. ... On Monday, the Rangers called up defenseman Thomas Pock from Hartford and reassigned defenseman Maxim Kondratiev to the AHL affiliate. The 24-year-old Pock has six goals and 17 assists in 31 games for the Wolf Pack this season. ... The Lightning recalled forwards Jim Campbell and Norm Milley from Springfield of the AHL on Monday.
|Vinny Prospal (17) Wrap-around - ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 TBL
|Jaromir Jagr Cross checking against Darryl Sydor|
|Dave Andreychuk Tripping against Michal Rozsival|
|Tom Poti Hooking against Martin St. Louis|
|Jaromir Jagr Hooking against Nolan Pratt|
|Vincent Lecavalier Interference against Dominic Moore|
|Pavel Kubina Tripping against Martin Straka|
|Jim Campbell Holding against Ryan Hollweg|
|Cory Sarich Hooking against Jaromir Jagr|
|Fedor Tyutin Interference against Martin St. Louis|
|Dan Boyle Hooking against Ville Nieminen|