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Puempel making his pre-season debut

by Chris Lund / Ottawa Senators

Sens 2011 first round pick Matt Puempel will get his first taste of exhibition action tonight when Ottawa takes on the Habs in Montreal. Puempel, as some will recall, was largely limited at this year's rookie tournament after a strong finish to his 2012-13 season in Kitchener and Binghamton as a result of back spasms. He's all clear to play now, however, and will look to make things happen in the Bell Centre.

Here's what Matt had to say...

On his excitement for an opportunity tonight:

Yeah, absolutely, I've heard great things about the atmosphere in the rink and to be able to play in an NHL exhibition game, you know, I'm definitely looking forward to it. Growing up you always dream of times like this and it's a step in the process.

On playing again:

I'm looking forward to it. In the rookie tournament I had a little bit of a back spasm so I didn't really get to play there. To be back in the lineup and play is pretty exciting and I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun.

On if he's leaning on anyone in particular:

I think the schedule — I don't really know where to go or anything like that. I'm definitely looking forward to it, just asking guys here or there that have been there and been in my position have been a great help so it's an exciting time and they're all helpful. It's been good.

On playing in Binghamton as a learning experience:

It's good, I think the AHL is pretty underrated. It's a pretty competitive league down there with a lot of good players that have played in it and play in it. To play there and to play under Luke (Richardson) and (Steve) Stirling it helped me a lot. I enjoyed my time there, it was fun.

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