Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Erne big in Lightning preseason win

ORLANDO — Prospect Adam Erne made a great impression on his Lightning teammates in his first NHL game. The left wing also might have made some enemies among the Blues.

Erne, 18, drafted 33rd overall in June, scored two goals and had the shootout clincher as Tampa Bay overcame a three-goal second-period deficit to earn a 4-3 win in its preseason opener Tuesday at the Amway Center.

But Erne's head shot that knocked Blues F Vladimir Sobotka out of the game early in the first period apparently won't be soon forgotten, especially if Erne plays Friday in St. Louis.

"It's an 18-year-old kid," Blues F Chris Stewart told reporters. "I don't know how it's going to look when one of our heavies goes out there and tries to attack him."

Erne apologized for the hit — which earned him a two-minute penalty and certainly will be reviewed by the league — saying it was "unintentional" and he caught Sobotka with his shoulder, not his elbow.

"I was facing one way, and I turned the other way, and he was just kind of right there," Erne said. "I wanted to hit him. I just didn't think I was going to hit his head. It was a total accident. It was my fault. I apologize."

There were no apologies about what came after. Erne scored power-play goals with 1:14 left in the second and 1:31 into the third to make the score 3-2. Tom Pyatt's wrist shot after a mad dash down the left wing 9:11 into the third tied the score. C Valtteri Filppula and Erne scored in a 2-0 shootout win; Kristers Gudlevskis made two saves.

"Good for him," coach Jon Cooper said of Erne. "He played with a ton of confidence." Especially on his second goal. Alone in front, he called for the puck from C Cedric Paquette, waited for G Brian Elliott to make a move and shot into the open space.

"I knew there was nobody behind me, so I had a little more time to think about what I wanted to do," Erne said. "I knew if I was going to beat (Elliott), I had to catch him the wrong way."

As for his hit on Sobotka, Erne said it was "not an ideal start," but he had to put it behind him.

"He was drafted high for a reason," Cooper said. "The fact that he has stick skills and sees the ice well, that's all well and good. But he has a little bite to him, and (not getting rattled by the hit) showed it. To come back and score and get the shootout winner is a tribute to him."

IKONEN OUT: LW Henri Ikonen left the game in the third on wobbly legs after a hit into the boards by D Jordan Leopold. He will be evaluated today. Cooper indicated he is likely okay and said the hit was not dirty. Ikonen lost an edge and was falling as he was hit.

GAME ACTION: G Cedrick Desjardin stopped 12 of 14 shots. Gudlevskis stopped 13 of 14. … Tampa Bay was being outshot 14-2 early in the second but ended trailing 28-27. … Filppula did not get a shot on goal but impressed nonetheless. "I don't think I had a grasp or near the respect for his skating and puck protection as I did when I watched him (Wednesday)," Cooper said. "He's a good hockey player."

Erne big in Lightning preseason win 09/18/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 19, 2013 1:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Rays journal: Alex Cobb brilliant, Alex Colome worrying in 10-inning victory (w/video)

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — RHP Alex Cobb couldn't have been much better for the Rays on Tuesday, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning while working eight solid. And Alex Colome couldn't have been much worse, blowing a two-run ninth-inning lead.

    Rays starter Alex Cobb carries a no-hitter into the seventh and pitches eight shutout innings in his best outing of the season.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    RHP Alex Cobb continues to look better and better, which could make the decision whether to trade him tougher. Cobb had a no-hitter through six and threw his biggest pitch with a 1-0 lead in the seventh, getting Josh Bell to roll into a double play.

  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. Rays at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Pittsburgh

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Pirates

    7:05, PNC Park, Pittsburgh

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)