Sens start Danish rookie

Shean Donovan is out of the lineup after injuring himself during the Sens skills competition over...

Shean Donovan is out of the lineup after injuring himself during the Sens skills competition over the weekend. (Sun Media/Blair Gable)

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 2:59 PM ET

With the Senators' sick bay filling up, callup centre Peter Regin will make his NHL debut tonight, becoming the fifth Danish player to make it to the big time.

Regin, recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League, will play on a line with Nick Foligno and Mike Fisher when the Senators host the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m.).

The Senators will be without winger Chris Neil tonight (flu), winger Shean Donovan (lower body injury suffered in the skills competition when he crashed into the boards) and defenceman Anton Volchenkov (upper body).

Centre Jason Spezza, who left practice yesterday when his back tightened up, is expected to play, as is defenceman Jason Smith (lower body).

D Christoph Schubert will move up front on a line with Jarkko Ruutu and Dean McAmmond, while Brendan Bell, a healthy scratch for three games, will go back on the blue line.

The 22-year-old Regin, 6-ft.-2 and 195 pounds, has eight goals and 12 assists in 29 games with the B-Sens this year and missed 12 games at the beginning of the season with a concussion and a dislocated collar bone.

"The reports are he's a good two-way player with skill and speed, a real smart player," said Senators coach Craig Hartsburg this morning.

Regin, who was the Senators' second third-round pick, 87th overall, in 2004, called his parents in Denmark when he got the word he was being called up.

"They were excited for me," he said. "They're going to watch it on TV."

He will join Poul Popiel (Boston, 1965-66), Jannik Hansen (Vancouver, 2007-08), Frans Nielsen (New York Islanders, 2006-07) and Mikkel Boedeker (Phoenix, 2008-09) as Danes that have played in the NHL.

He said adapting to the North American game took some time and was slowed by his injuries.

"It was all new to me. I had a rough start, but it's been better lately," he said. "It's a physical league down there and I wasn't used to it."

The Senators will be looking to extend their string of three games with at least a point (2-0-1) and the key will likely be shutting down Caps star Alex Ovechkin, who took over the NHL goal-scoring lead yesterday with 31. Hartsburg said he will be using the line of Antoine Vermette-Chris Kelly-Jesse Winchester against Ovechkin with the defensive pairing of Filip Kuba and Alexandre Picard.


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