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Prospal, Richards score two goals each as Tampa Bay beats Atlanta 5-2

NHL.com @NHL

TAMPA, Fla. - Vinny Prospal and Brad Richards had two goals each to lead the Tampa Bay 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. 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.

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

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 one just 57 seconds into the second. He stole the puck from Tampa Bay defenceman Paul Ranger and scored on a breakaway.

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.

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