Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie Curtis Lazar Makes Case for Joining Senators as Ottawa Loses to Islanders

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rookie Curtis Lazar Makes Case for Joining Senators as Ottawa Loses to Islanders

Article excerpt

Lazar makes case for joining Senators

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Rookie Curtis Lazar is not taking anything for granted as he tries to crack the regular-season roster of the Ottawa Senators.

The 19-year-old forward had his first taste of competitive NHL action as Ottawa fell 3-2 to the New York Islanders on Monday night, losing both games of a split-squad doubleheader in pre-season action.

"I felt good with my game out there," said Lazar. "Obviously there were some nerves to start, but I got confident pretty early in there. Hopefully I can build off today and get ready for the next one.

"It is a lot different than junior hockey."

Lazar, along with Clarke MacArthur, scored in regulation for the Senators.

Mikhail Grabovski and Josh Bailey replied for the Islanders, and Cal Clutterbuck scored the shootout winner for New York.

MacArthur opened the scoring 5:12 into the first period, scoring a power-play goal from the slot on a one-time wrist shot.

Lazar doubled Ottawa's lead on another power play with a quick wrap-around goal, catching Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak chasing the puck behind his net at the 12:54 mark of the first period.

"I was fortunate enough to get a lucky bounce there," Lazar said. "It was a gift, that's what it was. (David) Legwand sort of handcuffed Halak there and all I had to do was stuff it in. That is probably one of the easiest goals I've ever scored."

Despite some early pressure, Senators' goalie Craig Anderson was sharp, turning away all ten shots from the Islanders in the first period, including a breakaway by Grabovski early in the game.

New York's Grabovski took two penalties in the first period, one of which caused a goal. He said it is tough to jump right in to a competitive game after the off-season, but it is an opportunity to learn the system and get to know your teammates.

"It is always (hard to get back into it) after the summer," Grabovski said. …

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