Cullen to centre Kovalev, Regin

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:08 PM ET

DETROIT -  New Senator Matt Cullen will centre Alex Kovalev and Peter Regin when he makes his debut with the team Saturday night against the Wings.

“We don’t want to completely overhaul our lines,” coach Cory Clouston said after the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. “We wanted to keep as much consistency as we can.

“We’re playing well. We don’t need to overhaul everything just because we bring one guy in.”

That means, in looking to win for the 14th time in 15 games, the Senators will start the game as such:

Chris Kelly-Mike Fisher-Daniel Alfredsson

Milan Michalek-Jason Spezza-Ryan Shannon

Regin-Cullen-Kovalev

Jarkko Ruutu-Jesse Winchester-Chris Neil.

Shannon moves from left to right wing with the demotion of Jonathan Cheechoo, who cleared waivers early Saturday and will play for the Binghamton Senators Sunday.

Clouston said that the injury to defenceman Chris Campoli appears to be with the MCL in his left knee. Campoli could miss up to six weeks.

Also making his debut on the Senators blue line will be Derek Smith, who will play with Matt Carkner. Brian Lee was also called up from Binghamton and will play with Filip Kuba, while the shutdown pairing of Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov remains intact.

Brian Elliott will make his 13th consecutive start in goal.

Flight delays meant Cullen didn’t get to Detroit until 3 a.m. Saturday.

“I finally got in, got a good sleep, and it was good to get on the ice and get to know the guys,” said Cullen, who should also see some time as a point man on the Ottawa power play. “Hopefully I can contribute, and play and fit in wherever they want me to.”

Jimmy Howard will get the start in goal for the Red Wings.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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