Leclaire, Donovan return for Sens

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:09 PM ET

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Two Senators will be in the starting lineup for the first time in more than six weeks when they play the Hurricanes Thursday night.

Pascal Leclaire, who hasn't started a game since Jan. 12, will be between the pipes while Shean Donovan will see his first action since Jan. 19.

Replacing Donovan as the healthy scratch will be Jesse Winchester.

Leclaire replaced Brian Elliott for the final 22 minutes of Tuesday's 4-1 loss to the New York Rangers.

"It was real good to get him in and give him some minutes," coach Cory Clouston said of Leclaire, who stopped all nine shots he faced. "It should give him a lot of confidence going into tonight."

While going with Donovan instead of Winchester, Clouston said: "I thought the last couple of games, Jesse hasn't played the way we need him to. But I also think we can get some energy from Shean. It's time for him to help us win a game."

Donovan will play right wing on a line with Chris Kelly and Jarkko Ruutu.

"I'm happy to get in there," he said. "It's a big game tonight, so I'm pretty excited."

Leclaire said it "should be fun" to get back between the pipes.

"Same old stuff," he said. "I feel good in practices so I don't know why I shouldn't feel good in games."


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