Wednesday, March 05, 2014
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Hemsky scores two as Oilers top Sens

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[March 05, 2014]  EDMONTON, Alberta  Tuesday's game was expected to be the last as a member of the Edmonton Oilers for veteran right winger Ales Hemsky, who is in the final year of his contract.

If that was the case, he went out in a blaze of glory.

Hemsky scored two goals against the Ottawa Senators to pace Edmonton to a 3-2 victory at Rexall Place.

"It was fun," said the 30-year-old, who left the game as the first star, with the fans chanting his name. "I don't know what will happen, but I had a great time here, the people treated me really well. I met a lot of great people and I really appreciate what they've done for me."

He said it was a great way to say goodbye.

"It's definitely nice," he said. "It's sad if it comes to the end, but it is what it is. It's business. I guess we'll see (Wednesday) what happens.

"I try not to listen (to the rumors), but it's hard when you've played here for so long. I just tried to play my game, not think about it. Just enjoy it. It was fun."

Hemsky began his final act by drawing an Ottawa penalty at 12:55 of the opening period and going end to end score on the ensuing power play. He added his second goal into the low corner to make it 2-1 Edmonton 8:58 into the second period.


Oilers right winger Jordan Eberle made sure Hemsky's efforts were not for nothing, scoring his 20th of the season 4:26 into the third period to make it 3-1.

"He's a guy I've looked up to since I've been here," said Eberle. "To see him go off that way, if he does get traded, with two goals... and it's great that the fans gave him a salute. He doesn't get enough credit for what he's done for this city. For him to come out and put up a performance like that, it's awesome."

The Oilers improved to 21-34-8.

Meanwhile, the Senators (27-24-11) might have just gone from trade deadline buyers to sellers in a span of 60 minutes.

They are four points and four teams out of the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and absolutely needed to take two points off the worst team in the West.

"It's a very disappointing loss," said Senators center and captain Jason Spezza. "We missed a good opportunity to make up some points. We saw that Detroit loss and not being able to win this game is frustrating."

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The Senators were riding an emotional high after beating Vancouver in front of 52,000 fans Sunday in the NHL's Stadium Series, but they could not get it done against one of the worst teams in the league.

They opened the scoring on Spezza's goal 5:22 into the first period and provided some late drama when defenseman Erik Karlsson scored with three minutes left. But it wasn't enough.

"I don't think we were good enough in the first and second period," said Spezza. "We weren't doing a good enough job of getting zone time in their end, we weren't there long enough and force them to play defense.

"We got the first one and then we were a little bit flat through the first period. You have to give them credit too, they defended well. But I still think we needed to find a better way to stay in that game."

The Senators had other chances, but Oilers netminder Ben Scrivens, in his first start since signing a two-year deal, made a handful of spectacular saves to quell any thoughts of an Ottawa comeback. He made 34 stops overall.

"I thought we had opportunities to shoot the puck more and overpassed," said Senators coach Paul MacLean. "I thought we over-passed on a lot of occasions and one ended up in the third goal against. We just didn't do enough to get the puck to the net and be hard enough at the net."

NOTES: The Oilers placed D Corey Potter on waivers, a day after D Philip Larsen cleared waivers. D Anton Belov is out with a torn oblique muscle, so Edmonton went from nine defensemen to six in a matter of 48 hours. ... With G Ilya Bryzgalov dealt to Minnesota and newly acquired G Viktor Fasth unable to make it to Edmonton in time for Tuesday's game against Ottawa, the Oilers dressed University of Alberta G Kurtis Mucha and crossed their fingers nothing would happen to starter Ben Scrivens. ... Ottawa GM Bryan Murray denied that C Jason Spezza is being shopped around, but didn't say unequivocally that their captain wouldn't be traded. ... The Senators and veteran D Chris Phillips are said to be close on a new deal. They want to get him wrapped up before the trade deadline because he is eligible for unrestricted free agency in the summer. ... The Sens also placed LW Cory Conacher on waivers.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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