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Lightning journal: Adam Erne recalled for another energy jolt

Adam Erne, getting bench congratulations after scoring in the preseason, says he has played with more confidence this season after spending time with the Lightning last season. {DIRK SHADD | Times]
Published Feb. 9, 2018
Updated Feb. 9, 2018

TAMPA — LW Adam Erne was recalled Thursday morning for the same reason C Matthew Peca was called up last month from AHL Syracuse: to add youthful energy to the Lightning.
He wasted little time making an impact. Erne scored one of three Lightning goals in the second period of a 5-2 win over the Canucks.

Erne, who appeared in 26 games last season for the Lightning, has 12 goals and 26 points this season in 41 games for the Crunch. He likely would have been called up last month if not for an injury.
"We're expecting to see him take another step," coach Jon Cooper said before the game. "Yanni Gourde did it last year and came in this year and took another step. Peca's taking another step. Now it's Adam Erne's turn."

Gourde is among the team's top scorers. His goal and assist Thursday gave him 20 goals and 20 assists this season. Peca has two goals and five points in eight games.
Erne said he has played with more confidence this season after spending time last year with the big club. That translated to "just hanging on to the puck a little longer, making better decisions, having heads-up plays knowing you have more time out there," he said.
Killer confidence
LW Alex Killorn was a bright spot on the recent road trip. His goal Monday against the Oilers was his third in three games, matching his goal total from his previous 22 games, including an 11-game drought.
What changed?
After he went without a shot in three of the first four games on the eight-game road trip, Killorn watched clips of his greatest goals. And what he found was that when he was at his best, he was scoring from around the hashmarks, using his 6-foot-1, 196-pound frame. All three of his final road-trip goals were near the crease or slot, including Monday's wrist shot.
"I wasn't really happy with my scoring and the way I was playing the last road trip," Killorn said. "So I just looked at where I had been scoring all my goals. That's where they came from. I just changed my game, being more of a power forward (again)."
Killorn also appears to have gotten a boost from his new linemates, Matthew Peca and Yanni Gourde, the trio becoming the team's top combination the past week.
Quote of the day
"I think a little home cooking is what we need to get our game back on track."
C Steven Stamkos, on this two-game home stand

Slap shots
D Dan Girardi returned to the lineup Thursday after missing the previous three games with a lower-body injury. C Cedric Paquette was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game. Defensemen Jake Dotchin and Slater Koekkoek were also scratched. … The Lightning's 21 days between home games was tied with the Canucks for the longest such stretch this season in the NHL. The Lightning had played 23 home games before Thursday night, the fewest by any team in the league.
Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.