ORLANDO, Fl. – Despite trailing the St. Louis Blues 3-0 through nearly two periods Wednesday, the Lightning battled back and prospect Adam Erne's second-round shootout goal secured a 4-3 shootout victory for Tampa Bay at the Amway Center in Orlando.
The Blues opened scoring eight minutes into the contest in what was a rather uneventful first period for the Bolts, who only managed two shots on net. St. Louis continued to build off of the Lightning's sluggish start at the beginning of the second frame and again later in the period for a 3-0 lead.
Tampa Bay's offense finally surfaced when Erne broke netminder Brian Elliott's shutout after nearly 40 minutes of play to end the second period. Erne and Tom Pyatt tallied additional unanswered goals in the final frame, setting the stage for Erne's third-round, game-winner in the skills competition.
The Lightning's line of Killorn-Filppula-Purcell created an early momentum, but ultimately the Blues found the back of the net first in the contest at 12:52 after St. Louis' Dmitrij Jaskin scored on a wraparound behind netminder Cedrick Desjardins. Desjardins was unable to come up with the puck as it slipped under his pad for the 1-0 score in favor of the Blues.
Despite three penalties spread out through the first period, including an illegal hit to the head by Erne, the Lightning managed to kill off all three power-play opportunities they faced. The Blues Vladimir Sobotka, who took the brunt of Erne's hit, would head to the locker room immediately after the whistle.
"It was a total accident," Erne said. "It was not intentional; I was just trying to hit him. It's not an ideal start, but it happens and you have to move on."
Jaskin didn't waste time connecting on another opportunity soon after with a wrister from the point up and over Desjardins at 1:52 of the second frame. As planned by the coaching staff, Kristers Gudlevskis took over with eight minutes left and played the remainder of the game.
Adding a third goal for St. Louis, Jaden Schwartz went top shelf on Gudlevskis with a wrister at 15:56, to go ahead 3-0. Erne and Tampa Bay then gained momentum before the second period's end.
"[The first goal] was just a great shot by Barberio," Erne said. "I had good positioning in front and I was able to tip it and it was a good shot. "
"Second one was a nice pass from [Cedric] Paquette, a little saucer pass," Erne continued. "I caught Elliott going the wrong way and had an empty night."
Pyatt skated up the left side of the offensive zone for the Bolts to score the game-tying goal. It was Brown's second assist, while Matt Carle got the secondary helper.
The Lightning and Blues headed to the overtime period that brought about one power-play opportunity for St. Louis, but Gudlevskis helped Tampa Bay killed off the penalty. In the shootout, Teddy Purcell would miss the initial shot, but Valtteri Filppula and Erne scored in the following two rounds, while the Blues were denied on their first two chances.
The Tampa Bay Lightning continue their four-game preseason stretch Thursday at Tampa Bay Times Forum in a 7:30 p.m. contest with the Nashville Predators. Tomorrow's squad will include a different picking of Bolts players from their 59-person training camp roster including, Steven Stamkos, Ryan Malone and Jonathan Drouin. Goaltenders slated to play are Desjardins and Riku Helenius.
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