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NHL roundup

Lightning's Prospal tries to prove a point

Tampa Bay's Michel Ouellet slips the puck past Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet. Tampa Bay's Michel Ouellet slips the puck past Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet. (Steve Nesius/Associated Press)
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Associated Press / February 13, 2008

Vinny Prospal had an eventful night.

Prospal scored twice, including the go-ahead goal midway through the third, leading the host Tampa Bay Lightning past the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2, last night.

The Tampa Bay center, who has been unhappy about being dropped recently from the top line, also expressed his happiness at making an unnamed person look bad during a postgame TV interview.

Prospal then spent about 25 minutes, still in full gear, in Lightning coach John Tortorella's office. Prospal declined to address the matter with reporters.

"Let's just talk about the game," said Prospal, who returned to the top line in the second. "A great two points for us. I'm just happy to be part of tonight."

Tortorella also didn't talk about his meeting with Prospal.

"I'm not here to be the happy man, make everybody happy," Tortorella said. "I make calls as far as the game is concerned. Athletes that are mad can be good athletes. He played well, very well."

Prospal made it 3-2 at 11:51 of the third off a pass from Vincent Lecavalier, who stole the puck behind Montreal's net. The goal was Prospal's 25th of the season.

Michel Ouellet also scored, and Lecavalier had two assists for the Lightning, who have won four of six.

Christopher Higgins and Tomas Plekanec scored for Montreal, which has lost three in a row. The Canadiens were outshot, 36-21.

Canadiens defenseman Ryan O'Byrne was in the lineup, while right wing Tom Kostopoulos didn't play a day after the pair were arrested outside a Tampa nightclub. Police said O'Byrne, a 23-year-old rookie, was accused of stealing a woman's purse. Kostopoulos, 29, was charged with resisting an officer.

Sabres 5, Senators 1 - Thomas Vanek scored three times for his first career hat trick, leading Buffalo at Ottawa.

Vanek opened the scoring in the second and added two goals in the third, including his 20th of the season on a five-on-three with 3:58 remaining for his first three-goal game.

Ryan Miller made 25 saves for Buffalo, which is 7-0-2 since Jan. 21, when a 6-2 loss in Phoenix dropped them to 20-21-6.

Islanders 4, Flyers 3 - Trent Hunter scored a goal and set up two others for host New York, which broke a pair of skids with a win over Philadelphia.

New York hadn't won at home in seven games (0-5-2), since beating New Jersey Dec. 29. The Islanders also didn't have a victory anywhere since a 6-3 win at Carolina Jan. 22, also a span of seven games (0-6-1).

Flames 4, Sharks 3 - Dion Phaneuf scored the tying goal during a two-man advantage with 49.8 seconds left in regulation, and Jarome Iginla got the overtime winner with 24.9 seconds to play.

San Jose outshot Calgary, 43-18, but goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made 40 saves to steal what would have been former teammate Evgeni Nabokov's NHL-best 32d victory.

Blues 4, Kings 2 - Low-scoring defenseman Jay McKee got the go-ahead goal midway through the third period to lift host St. Louis over Los Angeles.

Martin Rucinsky and Jay McClement also had a goal and an assist for the Blues, who ended a four-game losing streak and won for only the third time in 14 games.

Predators 4, Red Wings 2 - Alexander Radulov scored two goals to help host Nashville hand Detroit its fourth straight loss.

Martin Erat and J.P. Dumont also scored for the Predators. Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk scored for Detroit.

Oilers 4, Wild 2 - Kyle Brodziak scored twice and Mathieu Garon made 38 saves as host Edmonton continued its playoff push.

Fernando Pisani and Jarret Stoll also scored for Edmonton, which has won three of its last four.

Ducks 2, Avalanche 1 - At Denver, Sammy Pahlsson rammed in a rebound with 4:21 remaining in the third, Teemu Selanne added his first goal of the season, and Anaheim won its fifth straight.

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