Locke gets NHL shot vs. Isles

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:48 PM ET

LONG ISLAND — The instructions given Binghamton Senators coach Kurt Kleinendorst on Tuesday were this: Tell Corey Locke to go out and win that night’s game, and he’d get his call up to the NHL.

Locke responded with a two-goal, two assist performance in a 5-2 win over the Portland Pirates, right after which he and goalie Robin Lehner drove one hour to meet the Senators in Boston.

Both Locke, the AHL’s leading scorer with 55 points in 38 games, and Lehner, Ottawa’s most-anticipated prospect, will be in the lineup Thursday when the Senators try to end their losing streak against the Islanders.

“We talked in the morning and he said, you’re under consideration, be patient, have a night,” the 26-year-old Locke said of his conversation with Kleinendorst

“We wanted those (two) points really bad.”

Locke, who played for Brian Kilrea’s 67’s, was groomed to do what he’s told.

“I had a coach in junior who was pretty demanding,” he said. “If he gets under your skin you want to prove a point to him and you want to show him that you can respond to what he wants.”

For his fifth NHL game (three with the Rangers, one with the Canadiens) in seven years of pro hockey, Locke will start on a line with Ryan Shannon and Nick Foligno. He’ll also see time on the power play.

“We just need him to play hard, play smart, be creative,” said coach Cory Clouston. “(The line) had a little chemistry right off the bat. There’s some speed there, and an element of skill as well.”

Assistant GM Tim Murray had other instructions: Score four goals and you can play Friday against the Calgary Flames in Ottawa as well, he joked with Locke.

“I just want to come in and do my part,” said Locke. “I don’t want to overplay. I just want to play my game, try to help out as best I can.”

Asked if he kicked it into another gear knowing the Senators were looking at making another callup this week, Locke replied: “Obviously, it’s in the back of your mind. But you always want to play well. You always want to play well at the time of callups, when guys going down. But you always want to be ready. It just happened that I was ready this time.”


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