Francis Lessard: goal scoring hero

 

ATLANTA — Returning to Philips Arena Thursday brought back fond memories for Ottawa Senators heavyweight Francis Lessard.
It is home to his greatest NHL goal — er, only NHL goal.
“I got a pass in front of the net and put it top cheese,” Lessard said, with a loud laugh when asked to describe the moment. “No, it was an all right goal. I was pretty open in front of the net. It was a good feeling.”
Lessard was never in the NHL to score goals, as his 292 penalty minutes in 97 games shows, but he remembers with fondness being named the first star in that contest, way back on Nov. 16, 2003.
“we played with (Ilya) Kovalchuk and (Dany) Heatley, two young players, and it was fun to be around those guys.”
Now, he finds himself surrounded by another young crew of Senators players trying to make their mark in the big leagues. With Matt Carkner out of the lineup due to a lower body injury, Lessard has become a big brother of sorts. He had no points and 24 penalty minutes in six games before Tuesday’s contest against the Atlanta Thrashers.
As unlikely as it is that Lessard, now 31, would be getting another chance to play in the NHL, he’s relishing every second.
“It is fun every night,” said Lessard, who was recalled from Binghamton of the AHL on Feb. 18. “It has been a long time, it has been five years. I’ve waited a long time to get back in the NHL. I love the game, you know, you still have to believe, because I’m here right now. You never know what’s going to happen.”

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