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Erne, Adam

NHL Game Night: 3-3-17 Lightning at Penguins

Reasonable Lightning road effort falls apart in the end.

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Peter Budaj allowed 4 goals on 34 shots for the loss in his Lightning debut. He was very good, and probably deserved a better fate than he got on this night.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
6:18 TB Erne (1), Namestnikov, Paquette)
8:39 PIT Malkin (27), (Kessel, Schultz)(PP)
16:49 PIT Malkin (28), (Kessel, Cole)

Third Period
1:10 TB Kucherov (28), (Drouin, Hedman)(PP)
2:38 PIT Streit (6), (Crosby, Malkin)
16:37 PIT Schultz (10), (Crosby, Streit)(PP)
19:00 PIT Kuhnhackl (4), (Bonino)(EN)

Tampa Bay played pretty well up until they got the Erne goal in the Second Period. They showed they could hang with the defending champs, but took their foot off the gas once they got a lead and eventually found themselves down heading into the final frame. Kucherov got the game even on the power play early in the Third Period, but the team again sagged after scoring the goal and Pittsburgh quickly regained the lead. Drouin set up Kucherov for point blank chances on two different sequences in the middle of the period, but he couldn't capitalize and that ultimately was the game. The game was a lot closer and better played than the score indicated. Unfortunately, the Lightning's standings position means moral victories are worth less than nothing. Only points matter right now.

Greg McKegg was -1 with 2 shots and 2 hits in 8:25. He was also 60% on 5 draws.

Jake Dotchin was -1 with 1 shot, 3 hits, and 2 blocked shots in 18:56.

Gabriel Dumont had 4 hits in 7:59.

Adam Erne had his first NHL goal and point and was +1 with 2 shots, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 13:35. His like on Paquette/Namestnikov/Erne faded in the Third Period, but they looked pretty strong for much of the first two periods and may merit keeping an eye on over the next few games. They were quite good.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 3-1-17 Hurricanes at Lightning

Lightning weather awful performance to pull out a win.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 3 goals on 31 shots for the victory. Another performance where he held the team in the game with his performance in the First Period. All three goals came on deflections, so altogether another quality start.

First Period
7:58 TB Hedman (11), (Kucherov, Palat)(PP)
11:51 CAR Hanifin (3), (Lindholm, Aho)
14:54 CAR Ryan (9), (Hanifin, Rask)(PP)

Second Period
NO SCORING

Third Period
10:51 TB Johnson (18), (Dotchin, Palat)
15:18 TB Kucherov (27), (Johnson, Garrison)
17:23 CAR McClement (5), (Slavin, Lindholm)(SH)

Overtime
0:46 TB Hedman (12), (Kucherov, Johnson)

Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, and Tyler Johnson were the game's three stars.

Garbage performance by the Lightning and they got away with it. They came out flat as a pancake again after more trade drama with the departure of Valtteri Filppula earlier in the day. As bad as those 4 shots on goal were in the First Period, they actually managed only 3 in the Third Period. Just a really mentally soft, really emotionally bankrupt effort that they stole 2 points out of.

So, how high is the hill now? Well, the Lightning have pulled within 30 points of magic number 96. The math's actually simple at this hour with 20 games left to go: get 30 of a remaining 40 possible points. Playing .750 remains a pretty tough ask, but they've been playing at that clip for the past couple of weeks, and if Stamkos can return in mid to late March... look, it's nice to dream.

New addition Greg McKegg had 1 hit and 1 blocked shot in 8:14.

Jake Dotchin had a helper and was +1 with 1 shot and 1 hit in 20:07. The key goal to knot the game at 2-2 came on a Dotchin bomb from the point that deflected down and in off Tyler Johnson's skate. Big goal from a big shot. Dotchin's strong as an ox and it shows in his slapper.

Gabriel Dumont had 1 hit in 8:32.

Adam Erne had 4 hits in 15:12. 4 shots attempted on goal, but couldn't get any on frame.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 2-27-17 Senators at Lightning

New look Lightning survive sleepy start to annihilate Ottawa.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy began life as the presumptive number one goaltender in Tampa Bay with a 39/40 command performance for the win that included some pure Vasilarceniy in the First Period to allow his team to keep contact and eventually secure the win. That's about all you could ask for from Andrei in his first night as "the man."

First Period
6:26 OTT Turris (22), (Karlsson, Hoffman)(PP)

Second Period
1:39 TB Point (9), (unassisted)
5:37 TB Kucherov (24), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)
10:26 TB Kucherov (25), (Drouin, Johnson)(PP)
19:46 TB Kucherov (26), (Hedman, Drouin)(PP)

Third Period
10:57 TB Coburn (3), (Kucherov, Johnson)

Nikita Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, and Jonathan Drouin were the game's three stars. Kucherov had the natural hat trick and a four point night overall and appears to be fully back to unstoppable form after a very pedestrian middle part of his campaign. When Kucherov is Kucherov, the Lightning are awfully hard to beat.

The Lightning, probably reeling from the trades of veterans Ben Bishop and Brian Boyle, frankly looked lost in the First Period tonight. It took Vasilevskiy stepping up in that opening frame just to give the team a chance because honestly an ordinary goaltending performance would've left them run out of their own barn. A good forecheck on an early shift in the Second Period led to an awful turnover into the slot that led to a Brayden Point quick release goal, and from that point on the Lightning looked like a giant weight had been lifted off of them. Here's the thing about when veterans move out of your locker room: sometimes the vacuum actually gives oxygen to your younger players to step up and take bigger leadership roles. Point and Drouin, in particular, had great body language in that Second Period and you hope they seize the opportunity now to fill the void and imprint their identity on the Lightning now moving forward.

There's still a long way to go to the deadline on Wednesday and a few veteran contracts the Lightning would probably not mind getting out from under if they could, so there could be more changes in the offing. But for now, so far so good. Standings-wise, Tampa Bay needs 32 of a possible 42 remaining points to get to 96 for the season, which would be a colossal task. We're probably still in diagnostic mode the rest of the campaign, but if the Lightning can make this interesting down the stretch it only bodes well for the future. One pretty nice thing about tonight's game is it got the Lightning to dead even in goal differential this year. It'd be nice to be on the plus side at the end of the year, and that seems do-able.

Jake Dotchin had 2 hits in 16:56. I think you saw his minutes logically trimmed back against a quicker Eastern Conference team. Makes sense.

Gabriel Dumont had 2 penalty minutes and 2 hits in 5:50. Got 5 minutes worth for the price of 2 in that fight with Wideman. Wideman slashed Dumont's stick out of his hand and was promptly fed a sneaky upercut after the two dropped the gloves before Dumont ragdolled Wideman the rest of the bout. Pound for pound, Dumont showed me something there.

Adam Erne had 2 penalty minutes, 3 shots, and 1 hit in 13:33. He looks really comfortable at the NHL level already, and I hope he stays in Tampa Bay the rest of the way to see if he can keep developing and stick in Tampa Bay for good heading into next year. With Boyle gone, he brings an element of size and strength down low the team will need.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-24-17 Crunch at Americans

Crunch score a pair of goals in the final 1:11 to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

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Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 4 goals on 23 shots. Blew a Third Period lead giving up 2 goals. Got the goal support with 2 goals thereafter to get it back. Clean living.

First Period
11:05 RCH Austin (2), (Nelson, Kennedy)
19:11 SYR Peca (7), (Comrie, Taormina)(PP)

Second Period
6:44 RCH Schneider (19), (O'Reilly, Fedun)(PP)
7:11 SYR Vermin (12), (Ward)
17:16 SYR Lynch (2), (Halmo, Vermin)

Third Period
1:27 RCH Fasching (5), (Burgdoerfer, Grant)
12:49 RCH Fasching (6), (Mullen, Grant)
18:49 SYR Erne (14), (Peca, Comrie)(PP)
19:54 SYR Gourde (19), (Condra, Peca)

Yanni Gourde and Joel Vermin were the game's first and third stars.

Adam Erne got the late equalizer on the power play. Since returning from injury he has a stylish 6 goals and 9 points in 7 games.

Syracuse is tied atop the North Division with Albany at 64 points with 2 games in hand on the Devils. Toronto lurks 2 points back with the Crunch holding a single game in hand on the Marlies.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Day: 2-19-17 Crunch at IceCaps

Crunch avenge last night's embarrassment.

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Adam Wilcox allowed 3 goals on 30 shots for the victory.

First Period
5:33 SYR Thomas (2), (Vermin, Koekkoek)
8:51 SYR Erne (12), (Comrie, Taormina)(PP)
11:42 SYR Darcy (3), (Brodeur)

Second Period
9:54 STJ Terry (19), (Friberg, Johnston)(PP)

Third Period
0:54 SYR Erne (13), (Condra, Taormina)(PP)
5:27 STJ Hudon (18), (Terry, Johnston)(PP)
5:47 STJ Terry (20), (Scherbak, Redmond)(PP)
11:28 SYR Halmo (14), (Gourde, Vermin)

Adam Erne and Yanni Gourde were the game's second and third stars. In 5 games since returning from injury, Erne has 5 goals and 7 points. He's making a play to get another callup to Tampa Bay before the end of the year.

A wise old hockey man once told me how incredibly difficult it is to beat a team on back-to-back days if you humiliate them in the first game. Pride kicks in. That's about what happened today.

Syracuse moved 1 point back of Albany for the top spot in the North Division with 2 games in hand on the Devils.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

Crunch's Erne Doesn't Miss a Beat in Return From Injury


By Jeremy Houghtaling

Adam Erne looks like he hasn’t missed a beat.

The Syracuse Crunch forward missed a little more than a month with a lower body injury, but was able to return to the lineup last weekend. Erne recorded three points in a 5-2 win over Rochester Saturday, and added a goal in Sunday’s 3-2 victory in Utica.

Erne is focused on consistency as he pushes for a spot in the NHL.

“It’s just a matter of getting back in a game and getting used to the speed and whatnot,” Erne said of his return. “Luckily, it didn’t take too long. Now it’s just a matter of doing it night in and night out.”

AHL Game Night: 2-12-17 Crunch at Comets

Crunch finds the antidote to rid themselves of UTI.

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Kristers Gudlevskis put on a show, turning aside 39 of 41 shots for the win, therby helping Syracuse overcome a 41-17 shot deficit.

First Period
6:54 SYR Erne (11), (Brodeur, Koekkoek)

Second Period
5:52 SYR Gourde (18), (Conacher)(SH)
10:12 UTI Rendulic (5), (Kunyk, Grenier)(PP)
13:25 SYR Vermin (11), (Peca)

Third Period
13:52 UTI Pedan (3), (Archibald)

Gudlevskis and Joel Vermin were the game's first and second stars.

Adam Erne now has goals in each of his two games since returning from injury. You can't help but wonder if his cup of coffee with the Lightning gave him an extra jolt of confidence that's showing up in his play. He's a first round caliber talent if he puts it all together.

Syracuse moves 1 point up on Albany for the top spot in the North Division with the win.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

AHL Game Night: 2-11-17 Americans at Crunch

Erne's return spurs crushing Crunch win.

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Kristers Gudlevskis allowed 2 goals on 27 shots for the victory.

First Period
2:28 SYR Gourde (17), (Taormina, Conacher)(PP)
3:34 SYR Darcy (2), (Letourneau-Leblond, Morin)
4:38 RCH Baptiste (19), (Schneider, Burgdoerfer)

Second Period
3:43 SYR Erne (9), (Koekkoek, Gourde)
14:54 RCH Austin (1), (Schneider, O'Reilly)

Third Period
4:09 SYR Conacher (10), (Peca, Erne)(PP)
19:36 SYR Erne (10), (Taormina)(PP)(EN)

Cory Conacher, Adam Erne, and Yanni Gourde were the game's three stars. Erne returned to the lineup in a Syracuse jersey for the first time since New Year's Eve and had 2 goals and a helper.

Syracuse still sits 1 point back of Albany for tops in the North Division with 2 games in hand on the Devils.

Box score from TheAHL.com.

NHL Game Night: 1-8-17 Lightning at Penguins

Better effort. Crushing result.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 6 goals on 40 shots for the loss. He actually played really well for the first 40 minutes of this contest, but a guy can only face so many breakaways, odd man rushes, and unmarked defenders with point blank chances. At this point, his confidence looks shot and the Lightning may be unnecessarily toying with the prospect of ruining a young player the hockey world had thought was incapable of being ruined.

First Period
NO SCORING

Second Period
2:19 TB Drouin (12), (Filppula, Hedman)
6:44 PIT Sheary (10), (Rust, Crosby)
11:14 PIT Fehr (5), (Cullen)

Third Period
2:33 PIT Kunitz (4), (Maatta, Bonino)
3:28 PIT Wilson (5), (unassisted)
5:40 TB Namestnikov (5), (Drouin, Stralman)(PP)
7:50 PIT Kessel (13), (Crosby, Sheary)
17:20 PIT Letang (3), (Schultz, Cullen)(PP)

For 40+ minutes tonight was a much more spirited effort than we've seen of late. Imperfect, but the effort level and urgency level was there. Vlad Namestnikov even had a wide open wraparound that looked like a sure goal that would've knotted the game at 2-2 early in the Third Period. He blew the chance and then the wheels came off with the Lightning playing their 3rd in 4 days. This is a team that's played as much hockey as any team in hockey over the last 2.5 years and one that has largely had the same group of guys for that run with very few changes by Steve Yzerman. That probably has contributed to their proneness to injury and it probably explains how mentally, emotionally, and spiritually drained they've looked over this death march through the middle part of the season. Should they not find a way to snap out of it soon, wholesale changes will need to be made in the offseason. Rebuilding? No. But likely a retooling of the defense and lower lines, along with a strategic move or two on the scoring lines to inject something fresh into a stale and struggling group of players that need... something.

Luke Witkowski was -2 with 1 shot, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 10:16.

Slater Koekkoek was -1 with 1 blocked shot in 11:10.

Matthew Peca had 1 shot, 1 hit, and 1 blocked shot in 9:08. He was also 55% on 11 draws. I thought he had a small rebound today after two subpar games in a row the last couple of times out.

Adam Erne had 2 shots, 2 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 11:19. His linemates need to get used to how crafty he is passing the puck out of the corners and in behind the attacking cage.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

NHL Game Day: 1-7-16 Lightning at Flyers

The Lightning's season is circling the drain.

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Andrei Vasilevskiy allowed 4 goals on 44 shots for the loss. He was markedly better today than his past couple of starts, but unfortunately he didn't get much support in front of him as the Lightning got outpossessed and outplayed at the skater positions.

First Period
5:34 TB Kucherov (16), (Namestnikov, Nesterov)

Second Period
1:11 PHI Konecny (6), (Voracek, MacDonald)
8:42 PHI Couturier (7), (Provorov, Voracek)
9:51 PHI Raffl (8), (Giroux, Schultz)
16:44 TB Killorn (13), (Nesterov, Drouin)
17:41 PHI Gudas (2), (Schenn)

Third Period
NO SCORING

The Lightning just got whipped today. They got outshot 44-26 and the score reflected it. They simply played a flat game, lost most every 50/50 puck, and their passing was awful in all three zones. There's no excuse for this team to play this flat, given that they should be fighting for the playoff lives at the moment. We're getting very near to a point of no return from which the Lightning simply won't have a realistic chance to get back into it in the standings. You'd think you'd see the urgency because of that. Nope. This team, after two and a half years of heavy lifting, just looks out of gas. There's consequences (big roster changes) that come with that if that happens to be the case.

Luke Witkowski was -1 with 2 penalty minutes, 1 shot, 3 hits, and 1 blocked shot in 13:29. I thought he played a really nice game this afternoon.

Matthew Peca was -2 in 13:07. He made a pretty horrendous turnover to Voracek at the end of the First Period that Vasilevskiy bailed him out of. Beyond that, it was his second straight subpar outing. He's probably not much longer for the NHL on this callup stint if this keeps up.

Adam Erne had 3 shots and 3 hits in 8:36. He played another nice game today. He had some big hits, stole the puck to create a scoring chance for a teammate in the offensive zone on another play, and drew a penalty getting hooked on a breakaway on another play. He was one of the few Lightning players who looked like he had energy today.

Box score and extended statistics from NHL.com.

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