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At the Rink blog

Hemsky debuts with Senators; Knight up for Flames

Wednesday, 03.05.2014 / 5:25 PM

By Aaron Vickers - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Hemsky debuts with Senators; Knight up for Flames

CALGARY -- Two new faces will be featured as the Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators get set to meet at Scotiabank Saddledome following Wednesday's NHL Trade Deadline.

Ales Hemsky is expected to make his Senators debut while Corban Knight, summoned by the Flames from the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League, will play in his first career NHL game. Hemsky, acquired from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for a third-round and fifth-round draft pick, scored two goals and was named the first star Tuesday in a 3-2 win against the Senators.

Jason Spezza, who could center the 30-year-old against the Flames, was pleased to hear about the addition and what it means for the direction of his team as they try to chase down a third consecutive playoff appearance.

"You're never sure who's going to play with who, but if he does, he's a guy that has excellent individual skills and passes the puck really well and he skates well and has good hockey sense," Spezza said. "You obviously hope that he fits in well with our group.

"We know as the games tick by we can't afford to lose hockey games and it's encouraging to see [general manager] Bryan [Murray] trying to add somebody to help us get that push towards the playoffs. We're right in the thick of things right now."

Hemsky has spent all of his 11 seasons in the NHL with the Oilers. He has nine goals and 26 points in 55 games for Edmonton this season and 142 goals and 477 points in 652 career games.

Knight, a native of High River, Alberta, is set to begin his NHL journey.

"Ever since I got the call yesterday a lot of memories have been going through my head and my family, they're all going be here tonight so it's going to be pretty special," he said. "I'm definitely looking forward to it."

In his first pro season, the 23-year-old has 14 goals and 37 points in 53 games.

Knight and Max Reinhart were recalled due to a rash of injuries the Flames sustained in the past five days. They lost Kevin Westgarth against the Oilers on Saturday, while David Jones suffered an upper-body injury after crashing hard into the end boards in a game against the Minnesota Wild on Monday. TJ Galiardi was also injured in an off-ice training session Tuesday.

Matt Stajan is also away from the team, citing personal reasons, and with Lee Stempniak traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, Knight and Reinhart are each expected to suit up against the Senators.

"Corban and Max have been real good in [Abbotsford], Reinhart is our leading scorer and Corban is a first-year pro and he's shown good progress since the start of the season so we felt that it's a great investment," coach Bob Hartley said. "On Reinhart's part, obviously he's been here before, but for Corban it's all new, so it's his first NHL game here in Calgary and I'm sure it's going to be very special for him."

With Stempniak dealt, the Flames have also recalled Ben Hanowski from Abbotsford.

Joey MacDonald, recalled after the Flames sent goaltender Reto Berra to the Colorado Avalanche in Calgary's other trade Wednesday, is expected to serve as backup to Joni Ortio.

Here are the projected lineups between the Senators and Flames:

SENATORS

Milan MichalekJason SpezzaAles Hemsky

Clarke MacArthurKyle TurrisErik Condra

Mike HoffmanMika ZibanejadBobby Ryan

Colin GreeningZack SmithChris Neil

Marc MethotErik Karlsson

Chris PhillipsCody Ceci

Patrick WierciochEric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Jared Cowen, Matt Kassian

Injured: Mark Stone (arm)

FLAMES

Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Joe Colborne

Jiri Hudler - Sean Monahan - Ben Hanowski

Paul Byron - Markus Granlund - Lance Bouma

Max Reinhart - Corban Knight - Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Chris Butler

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Joni Ortio

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Matt Stajan (personal)

Injured: Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain), Karri Ramo (lower body), Kevin Westgarth (upper body), David Jones (upper body), TJ Galiardi (upper body)

Quote of the Day

It was the look in his eyes. Hockey is the most important thing in his life. He wants to be a hockey player, and nothing's going to stop him from being a hockey player.

— Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin on forward Alex Galchenyuk's potential