Sens rest A-Train, Cowen to make NHL debut

BRUCE GARRIOCH, Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 12:42 PM ET

TAMPA - Jared Cowen will make his NHL debut Thursday night.

With only two games left in the regular season, the Senators have decided to give the A-Train, Anton Volchenkov, a rest against the Tampa Bay Lightning which means the 19-year-old blueliner will play. The Senators didn’t decide to make the move until late Wednesday.

The club has the No. 5 spot in the Eastern Conference locked up and the coaching staff wants to make sure some players get a bit of a break before entering the postseason.

Cowen, who spent this season with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, joined the club Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale. The decision to put him in the lineup doesn’t hurt Cowen’s contract status. The club would only lose a year on his contract if he plays more than 10 games.

"He's just got to use size and strength and try to keep it simple," said coach Cory Clouston. "We just want him to play a solid defensive game."

The Senators will have winger Milan Michalek back, which means Ryan Shannon is going to be a healthy scratch. Goaltender Brian Elliott is going to make the start after giving way to Pascal Leclaire in Tuesday's win at Florida.

CARKNER FOR MASTERTON: D Matt Carkner is Ottawa’s candidate for the Masterton Trophy for perseverence and dedication to hockey. Carkner, 29, bounced around the minors before catching on full-time with the Senators. Voting is done by the local chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

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