NASHVILLE, Tenn. – All Vaclav Prospal needed was 58 seconds to seal the Tampa Bay Lightning’s sixth consecutive road victory. Traveling to play the Nashville Predators for their lone match-up of the season, Tampa Bay posted a 2-1 overtime win on Thursday night.
Vaclav Prospal tries to beat Dan Ellis in the second period. Prospal would score in overtime for the win. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)
Brad Richards added two points (one goal, one assist) as the Lightning rallied from a one-goal deficit to extend their season-high road winning streak. Johan Holmqvist stopped 18 in the game en route to his 19th win of the season.
Although Alexander Radulov opened the scoring at 12:37 of the first period, Nashville was unable to extend their three-game winning streak. After Jason Arnott backhanded a pass off the left side boards to Radulov in the slot, the Predators winger skated to the left faceoff circle. Putting a shot to the left glove-side against Holmqvist, Radulov posted his team-leading 21st goal of the season.
Keeping the Lightning within one, Holmqvist held off an attempt by Marek Zidlicky late in the period. Sliding to the left edge of his crease, the Tampa Bay netminder made a pad save when Radek Bonk found Zidlicky open for a shot at the right faceoff circle.
Midway through the second period the Lightning looked to tie the game at one when Craig MacDonald and Chris Gratton paired up for a chances against Nashville goalie Dan Ellis. After forcing a turnover at the blueline, MacDonald skated into the zone before leaving a drop pass for Gratton. The Lightning center fired a hard shot from the right faceoff circle, but Ellis made a glove save on the play.
Minutes later Richards posted his 17th goal of the season to tie the game at one.
Brad Richards (19) pokes a rebound past Predators defenseman Greg Zanon (5) and goalie Dan Ellis (39) for the second-period equalizer. (AP Photo/Frederick Breedon)
As the Lightning attacked the Predators looking for their first goal of the night, a quick sequence got the club on the board. After Vincent Lecavalier fired a shot on goal from the right point, Martin St. Louis tipped the attempt in front of Ellis. The Nashville goalie made the initial save, but Richards jumped on the rebound to slide the puck under Ellis’ out-stretched right leg.
The score gave Richards his fourth goal and seventh point in seven games, including his second multi-point effort.
With his assist on the play, St. Louis pulled within one helper of league-leaders Pavel Datsyuk and Joe Thornton. St. Louis has 46 assists through 55 games.
A little past the midpoint of the final frame, Holmqvist made a pad save on a slapshot by Arnott to keep the game tied. Arnott, the Predators leading scorer, leads his club with 48 points (18 goals, 30 assists) through 53 games.
As the play turned up the ice, Martin St. Louis skated hard down the left wing for a partial breakaway. St. Louis cut to the front of the net on the play, but was unable to control the puck as he tried to deke Ellis.
Skating with odd-man opportunities late in the game Lecavalier tested Ellis with a pair of strong shots. Early in a power play Prospal fed a pass through the crease to Lecavalier at the left of Ellis, but the shot went wide on the play. Minutes later the teams skated four-on-four, and Ellis denied Lecavalier with a glove save.
With the game tied at one the teams skated into overtime and Prospal scored his 23rd goal of the season to give Tampa Bay the win.
After keeping the puck in the offensive zone, Prospal skated to the goalmouth as Dan Boyle gained control of the puck in the slot. Boyle made a pass back to Richards for a slapshot from the right faceoff circle. Ellis made the initial save on the play, but Prospal put the rebound into the open side of the net for the score.
With the goal, Prospal pulled within two goals of his career high of 25 in a season.
Both teams were held scoreless with the man-advantage as Tampa Bay out-shot Nashville, 25-19, in the contest.
Holmqvist recorded his fifth consecutive road victory in what was his first career match-up against the Predators. During his streak Holmqvist has allowed eight goals, including back-to-back shutouts.
The Lightning improved to 7-3-2 all-time against the Predators.
Tampa Bay closes out their three-game road trip on Saturday, February 9 (7:00p.m., Sun Sports, 620 WDAE) with a match-up against the Atlanta Thrashers.
1 - 0 NSH
Martin St. Louis
1 - 1 Tie