Ottawa Senators Rookies Drop Tournament Opener Against Pittsburgh


It was a slow start and sloppy finish for the young Ottawa Senators rookies in their opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins rookies, and despite playing solid in between it wasn’t enough as the Pens skated away with a 4-3 win in the tournament’s first game.

Curtis Lazar had a shorthanded goal and linemate Matt Puempel also tallied as the first line made an impact, but Ottawa allowed 3 straight third period goals after taking a 3-1 lead.  Pittsburgh won the game with 18 seconds left on a goal from Jean-Sebastien Dea.

Andrew Hammond started in goal for Ottawa and was victimized early, as the Pens took the lead in the opening moments. He was solid after that stopping his next 24 shots before being replaced by Chris Dreidger near the midway point of the game with the score tied at 1 after Lazar’s first period shorty.

Darren Kramer, the Binghamton Senators’ tough guy, who had a spirited scrap with Patrick McGrath of the Pens shortly after the Pens took their 1-0 lead, scored to make it 2-1 Ottawa and then Puempel went far-post and in to put the Sens up 3-1 with 20 minutes to go.

Ottawa’s bid for a fourth straight win in this tournament (after sweeping all 3 games last year) was not to be as the Pens put 3 past Driedger in the third period to skate away with the victory, the winner coming on a power play.

The Senators top line was Lazar centering Puempel and Buddy Robinson.  Nick Paul, Alex Guptil both of whom were acquired in the Jason Spezza deal played on a line with Tobias Lindberg.  Shane Prince skated on the wing with Ryan Dzingel in the middle and Garrett Thompson while Jakub Culek centered the fourth line with Kramer and Vincent Dunn.

Fredrik Claessen wore the “C” and was on the top defensive pair with Travis Brown, the second pair was the announcer’s nightmare – Troy Rutkowski playing with Alex Lepkowski, and the third duo was Ben Harpur and Matt Murphy.

The Senators try to get into the win column with a 7:00 pm game against the Maple Leafs, who play Chicago later this evening.