January 22, 2014, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – Curtis Lazar’s first game at Rexall Place in over a month was one to remember.
The Edmonton Oil Kings centre, who hadn’t played at Rexall Place since December 8 while competing for Canada at the World Juniors, scored a natural hat trick over three periods and added an assist as the Oil Kings (32-13-0-1) downed the Regina Pats (24-20-3-2) 5-2 Wednesday night.
“I love playing at Rexall. It’s an NHL rink, and it’s one of those nights where it was going in for me,” said Lazar, who was honoured prior to the game alongside Oil Kings captain Griffin Reinhart for their contributions to Team Canada.
The Pats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead on goals by Carter Hansen and Morgan Klimchuk, but from there the line of Lazar, Edgars Kulda and Brett Pollock took over.
“I think we have a great chemistry, me, Polly and Curtis,” Kulda said. “We can read … each other, and we have our chances to score.”
Lazar sniped the top corner in the final minute of the first period to cut the lead in half, then tied it up just 1:48 into the second period on a beautiful backwards pass from Kulda.
Lazar was at it again in the third, scoring the go-ahead goal off a rebound just as a power-play expired, and setting up Kulda, who finished with a goal and three assists, on a goal-mouth scramble.
Cody Corbett iced it with a short-handed, empty-net goal in the dying minutes and finished with a goal and an assist. In addition to Lazar and Kulda’s four-point nights, Pollock chipped in with a pair of assists.
“It comes with confidence,” Lazar said. “I’ve been giving Edgars a hard time in practice lately. He really wanted a big game for our line, and it proved: he made some great passes to me and made my job pretty easy.”
Lazar now has an eight-game point streak and has scored in every game since he returned from the World Juniors. Kulda ran his point streak to seven and has goals in eight of his last nine games, while Corbett now has points in six straight.
Tristan Jarry made 20 saves to pick up the win for the Oil Kings, while Daniel Wapple stopped 29 shots in a losing effort for the Pats.
The win keeps Edmonton two points back of Calgary for first place in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand. The two teams will battle for that top spot in a home-and-home series this weekend beginning Saturday night in Edmonton.