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Erne returns as Lightning begin short homestand

By Roger Mooney
Published: February 8, 2018
F Adam Erne, shown during the preseason, was recalled this morning. DIRK SHADD | Times

F Adam Erne just wants to prove he belongs. The Lightning hope he brings the same energy that Matthew Peca has played with since he joined the team late last month.

The infusion of young players into the lineup could go a long way to getting the Lightning out of its funk.

Erne was recalled this morning and will play tonight as the Lightning (36-14-3) begin a quick, two-game homestand with a game against the Canucks (21-26-6).

D Dan Girardi participated in this morning's skate. He also practiced Wednesday, but coach Jon Cooper was hesitant to say after that practice that Girardi would return to the lineup after missing three games with a lower body injury.

Something to keep an eye on: C Brayden Point skated with C Steven Stamkos and RW Nikita Kucherov during part of Wednesday's practice. Stamkos and Kucherov had been joined by C Vladislav Namestnikov during the first part of practice.

Back to Erne. He had 12 goals and 26 points in 41 games with the Crunch. He might have been recalled earlier had he not been injured.

Peca, who came up in late January has two goals and three assists in seven games. Peca is playing hungry and desperate, which is normal for a young player who wants to stay with the big club.

The Lightning hope Erne brings the same energy if not the same results. Erne played in 26 games last season with the Lightning. He scored three goals.