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Adam Erne scores first career NHL goal and point

Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Adam Erne has scored his first career NHL goal and point against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Taken 33rd overall in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft from the Quebec Remparts of the QMJHL, it only took him seven games in the NHL to find the back of the net for the first goal of his career.

The play was started as the Lightning were starting a line change. The puck was cleared out of the defensive zone to Braydon Coburn in the neutral zone. Coburn dumped the puck into the corner and peeled off for the bench. Cedric Paquette already on the ice charged into the corner. Meanwhile, Vladislav Namestnikov and Erne were coming off the bench.

Paquette was challenged by two Penguins defenders. Despite being pinned against the boards, Paquette was able to put his stick to his right and pull the puck along the boards to his left. Seeing Namestnikov and Erne coming, he pitched it to Namestnikov. All alone in front of Matt Murray, Namestnikov made the easy pass over to Erne for him to slide it home. The goal put the Lightning up 1-0 in the second period.

During the second intermission, Erne had this to say about his goal on Fox Sports Sun.

Paul Kennedy: What do you take to this, Vlad Namestnikov, Cedric Paquette get the assists. You’re able to finish.

Erne: Yeah, obviously it was a really nice play by both of them. Almost a tap in for me there. Really good work by Ceddy and a nice look by Vlad there. Y’know, just happy to get it out of the way.

Projected since being drafted as a top six scoring power forward, it was great to see him finally come through for his first goal during his second call-up of the season. While Erne was assigned to Syracuse temporarily on Wednesday so he would be eligible for the AHL playoffs, it looks like he’ll be with the team for the rest of the year. That is also a sign that he is seriously being looked at as a permanent player for the Lightning to start next season. On the last year of his entry level contract, he’ll be a cheap forward option with a cap hit of just under $900,000.

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