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Prospal scores in OT, Lightning top Predators 2-1 for sixth straight road win

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The NHL's worst road team is suddenly looking like the league's best.

Vaclav Prospal scored at 58 seconds of overtime to give the Tampa Bay Lightning a 2-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. The win was Tampa's sixth straight road victory after starting off the season 3-14-3 away from the St. Pete Times Forum.

They will aim to complete a sweep of their three-game road trip Saturday in Atlanta.

On the game-winner, Brad Richards fired a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle that was stopped by Nashville goaltender Dan Ellis. Prospal was standing just to the right of Ellis, and sent the rebound between the goaltender's pads for his 23rd goal of the season.

"We turned the puck over, got it back, and got a shot on the net," Prospal said. "We were able to get the rebound because we were hungrier than they were, and we were luckier than they were."

"It hit my chest and went down," Ellis said of Richards' shot. "It was a fluttering type of shot that I needed to control, and (Prospal) was able to pounce on it before I was."

Alexander Radulov broke a scoreless tie at 12:37 of the first period, scoring his 21st goal with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that sailed over the glove of Tampa Bay goaltender Johan Holmqvist.

Radulov and linemates Jason Arnott and J.P. Dumont have combined to score seven of Nashville's past 13 goals.

Tampa's top line of Richards, Vincent Lecavalier, and Martin St. Louis evened the score at 13:09 of the second period.

St. Louis' deflection of a Lecavalier pass was stopped by Ellis, but the rebound ended up to the left of the net. Richards skated in and poked the puck past a diving Ellis.

"We are still in it, there is a lot of hockey left," Richards said. "We have to get it in our heads that we haven't accomplished anything yet. The road has been good. We have to put some more together."

The Predators were 0-for-2 on the power play. They have scored just one power-play goal in their past six games, going 1-for-21 over the stretch.

"I didn't think we brought our best effort tonight, but I don't want to take anything away from Tampa Bay," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "They had a lot of urgency in their game and they found a way to take it into overtime."

Tampa Bay entered the game with the sixth-best power play in the NHL, but was 0-for-1 in the game. Tampa spent just 49 seconds on its one power play before it was negated by a Dan Boyle hooking penalty that broke up a potential short-handed breakaway by Nashville's Martin Gelinas.

"We know where we are at," Lightning coach John Tortorella said. "We've won a couple of road games here, and with our division the way it is, it gives us a chance to stay in the hunt."

Notes: Nashville centre Vernon Fiddler appeared in his 200th career NHL game, all with the Predators. ... Tampa Bay was playing its first road game in Nashville since Feb. 5, 2004 ... Nashville forward Martin Erat left the game in the second period with an upper-body injury that Trotz said was a twisted back and not believed to be serious.


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