Prospal relishing playoff opportunity

NEW YORK -- So much for New York Rangers forward Vinny Prospal not having anything left in the tank.

Prospal’s coach, John Tortorella , even admitted he’d “written off” the 36-year-old veteran after Prospal underwent knee surgery. But Prospal worked hard to rehab, eventually came back and helped his team in a big way in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Prospal scored with 11:59 left in the third period, giving the Rangers a 2-1 lead on Sunday afternoon. They went on to win, 3-2, and moved within a game of the Washington Capitals in their best-of-seven playoff series.

“I’m pretty sure if you asked any player, everybody’s happy when you score,” said Prospal, who notched his first playoff goal since Apr. 16, 2007. “I’m very fortunate that I can keep playing hockey and be playing in the playoffs with these guys, and scoring such a goal in the third period was a great feeling, because like I said, we haven’t done enough offensively.

“The players that are supposed to be scoring, we haven’t done enough in the first two games.

“I don’t think we controlled it really well during the second game in Washington. We were able to do it today. We were able to get the lead for the third time and they had no answer for that.”