OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen will make his season debut Tuesday when the team plays the Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Place.
Cowen underwent surgery in November to repair a torn labrum in his left hip after being injured in an American Hockey League game, and the thinking at the time was he would be lost for the remainder of the season.
It's a huge boost for an Ottawa team that is without Erik Karlsson (Achilles) on its blue line.
"It's a big day," Cowen said. "I've had this day in mind for a while. I picked it a long time ago because it's not a back-to-back and it's at home. I wanted to start at home. I worked really hard to get here. Sometimes rehab doesn't go the way you want it to. A lot of it has been luck. When I'm on the ice doing drills or skating, I don't think about my hip at all, and my doctor said that's the key. All systems are go."
Cowen played in all 82 games for the Senators as a rookie last season, posting five goals and 17 points. The 22-year-old was a first-round pick (No. 9) in the 2009 NHL Draft.
Here are the projected lineups for the Hurricanes and Senators:
Jiri Tlusty – Eric Staal – Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner – Jordan Staal – Chad LaRose
Patrick Dwyer – Riley Nash – Tuomo Ruutu
Nicolas Blanchard – Kevin Westgarth
Tim Gleason – Justin Faulk
Jay Harrison – Joe Corvo
Jamie McBain – Bobby Sanguinetti
Injured: Drayson Bowman, Joni Pitkanen, Tim Brent, Cam Ward, Tim Wallace
Milan Michalek – Kyle Turris – Daniel Alfredsson
Cory Conacher – Mika Zibanejad – Jakob Silfverberg
Guillaume Latendresse – Zack Smith – Chris Neil
Colin Greening –Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Erik Condra
Chris Phillips – Marc Methot
Jared Cowen – Eric Gryba
Patrick Wiercioch – Sergei Gonchar
Scratched: Andre Benoit, Mike Lundin, Peter Regin, Jim O'Brien
Injured: Mike Hoffman, Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson