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New Islander Jean-Gabriel Pageau happy for a homecoming in Ottawa

Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau acknowledges Senators fans as

Islanders center Jean-Gabriel Pageau acknowledges Senators fans as his plays against his former team in the first period at Ottawa on Thursday. Credit: AP/Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA, Ontario — Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who was born in Canada’s capital city and grew up in neighboring Gatineau, Quebec, will forever be an Ottawan.

He certainly was treated like a favorite son in his first return to the Canadian Tire Centre since the Senators traded him to the Islanders on Feb. 24.

Pageau logged 18:43 and was a minus-1 with three shots in the Islanders’ 4-3 loss on Thursday night.

He was given a nice ovation when he was announced as a starter and the fans chanted their “Pageau, Pageau” song off the opening faceoff.

He then received a standing ovation during a video tribute at 6:14 of the first period, with Pageau waving to the crowd as he skated a small circle in front of the Islanders’ bench. His teammates pushed him to leave the bench.

“It’s a great mark of respect from my teammates,” Pageau said. “The appreciation from all the fans, my teammates and my ex-teammates on the bench was touching. What was going through my mind was trying to stay focused on the game. I can thank everyone now and I can turn the page and focus on the rest of the season.”

Notes & quotes: Coach Barry Trotz said Cal Clutterbuck did not play in the third period because of an unspecified injury . . . Defenseman Thomas Hickey was brought up from Bridgeport on emergency recall with Johnny Boychuk requiring 90 stitches in his left eyelid after being cut by Artturi Lehkonen’s skate blade in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the Canadiens . . . Tom Kuhnhackl (unspecified) did not participate in the morning skate and was listed as day-to-day . . . Ross Johnston, Leo Komarov and Andrew Ladd were the healthy scratches, along with Hickey.

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