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Dion Phaneuf could be the missing piece for Senators

Defenceman Dion Phaneuf was traded last week from Toronto to Ottawa. Rick Osentoski/USA TODAY Sports

Senators forward Curtis Lazar spent time this summer training with Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier, so when Bernier made a save on Lazar during Saturday’s game, the two shared a quick laugh.

Lazar’s smile disappeared when he felt a sharp pain in the midsection.

The pain was courtesy of, now former, Maple Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf who took exception to Lazar laughing near his goalie.

“He came up and stuck me right in the midsection,” Lazar said when we chatted Wednesday.

Lazar looked up at Phaneuf a little puzzled.

“What are you laughing at?” Phaneuf said, sticking up for his goalie.

“I know him, relax,” Lazar shot back.

The moment stuck with Lazar. He realized that Phaneuf assumed he was laughing at Bernier, that he immediately jumped to his defense, that this is exactly the kind of guy you want on your side during an intense hockey game.