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Atlanta
Thrashers
34-40-8
Tampa Bay
Lightning
31-42-9

15 SOG
34 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
ATL
TBL
game recap

Lightning 5, Thrashers 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Lightning 5, Thrashers 2
Atlanta Thrashers 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 5

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -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 night.

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 4 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."

Notes: 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.

scoring summary
1st Period
03:40
TBL
Vinny Prospal (2) ASST: Vincent Lecavalier (1), Paul Ranger (2)
1 - 0 TBL
2nd Period
00:57
ATL
Marian Hossa (1) ASST: NONE
1 - 1 Tie
14:38
TBL
PPG - Vinny Prospal (3) ASST: Martin St. Louis (4), Filip Kuba (2)
2 - 1 TBL
15:49
TBL
SHG - Brad Richards (1) ASST: NONE
3 - 1 TBL
3rd Period
05:22
TBL
Vincent Lecavalier (3) ASST: NONE
4 - 1 TBL
08:58
ATL
PPG - Vyacheslav Kozlov (1) ASST: Tobias Enstrom (1), Todd White (1)
4 - 2 TBL
15:11
TBL
PPG - Brad Richards (2) ASST: Martin St. Louis (5), Filip Kuba (3)
5 - 2 TBL
penalty summary
1st Period
01:29
ATL
Eric Perrin  Tripping against  Brad Richards
05:36
ATL
Niclas Havelid  Holding against  Jan Hlavac
14:09
TBL
Vinny Prospal  Hooking against  Vyacheslav Kozlov
2nd Period
13:29
ATL
Tobias Enstrom  Holding against  Brad Richards
15:15
TBL
Paul Ranger  Hooking against  Marian Hossa
3rd Period
06:31
TBL
Jan Hlavac  Hooking against  Ken Klee
06:33
ATL
Todd White  Hooking against  Brad Richards
08:01
TBL
Shane O'Brien  Hooking against  Bryan Little
14:42
ATL
Bryan Little  Tripping against  Michel Ouellet
19:36
ATL
Brett Sterling  Hooking against  Nick Tarnasky
goalie stats
Johan Hedberg
SA: 34TOI: 60:00
Saves: 29EV: 26 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 4
SV%: .853SH: 1 - 2
Johan Holmqvist
SA: 15TOI: 59:57
Saves: 13EV: 11 - 12
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .867SH: 0 - 0