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Regin 'excited' for Sens debut

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Centre Peter Regin, who has had a strong season with the Binghamton Senators, will make his NHL debut in Ottawa tonight against the Washington Capitals (Just Sports Photography).

Danish hockey is about to get its latest boost at Scotiabank Place.

An excited Peter Regin will be in the lineup tonight when the Ottawa Senators face off against the Washington Capitals (7:30 p.m., TSN, Team 1200). With a national television audience watching – not to mention his parents back home in Herning – Regin is set to become only the fifth player from Denmark to suit up for a National Hockey League game.

"I'm very excited," the 22-year-old centre said after the Senators' pre-game skate earlier today. "It's a good opportunity for me and I'm very proud to be here. Hopefully, we will have a good game tonight and get a win."

While hockey isn't the biggest sport in Denmark, Regin said his NHL debut should be "pretty big back home." Three other Danes are currently on league rosters: Mikkel Boedker (Phoenix Coyotes), Jannik Hansen (Vancouver Canucks) and Frans Nielsen (New York Islanders), one of Regin's childhood friends and former teammates.

Binghamton Senators head coach Cory Clouston delivered the news to Regin on Monday.

"Right away, I knew what was going to happen," said Regin. "(Clouston) told me 'you're going to Ottawa tonight and you're playing there tomorrow.' I was excited and I called my parents right away. They were very happy for me."

After an injury-plagued start to his season, Regin racked up 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 29 games with the B-Sens. He'll play on a line with Mike Fisher and Nick Foligno tonight.

"He's a pretty good playmaker," said Senators goaltender Brian Elliott, who'll make his fifth straight start tonight since being called up from Binghamton. "He can make some passes that you really don't think are there. He's been dynamite down in the AHL of late. We'll see what he can bring tonight."

Senators head coach Craig Hartsburg is anxious to get a look at the 6-foot-1 Regin, one of the last cuts from training camp in September.

"The reports (he has received) on him are that he's been a really good two-way player," Hartsburg said of Regin. "Good skills, good speed, real smart player. It'll be a good opportunity for him. Hopefully, he can use Fish's speed and they can play together and make some plays."

"He's a pretty good playmaker. He can make some passes that you really don't think are there. He's been dynamite down in the AHL of late. We'll see what he can bring tonight." - Brian Elliott
Added Fisher: "I think it'll be fun. (Regin) is a natural centre and I'm sure I'll take some faceoffs and things like that. I've played a little bit of wing and I'm comfortable playing wherever.

"I know Peter skates pretty well, too, and we can forecheck and make some plays. He's a guy who can handle the puck and skate well, so I'm looking forward to it."

It's the Senators' last game before this weekend's NHL all-star break and they'd like to keep riding the momentum of last week, when they collected five out of a possible six points in three games. Ottawa (15-21-7) stands 13th overall in the Eastern Conference, 13 points shy of a playoff position.

"We take the approach that the next game is the most important game of the season," said captain Daniel Alfredsson. "Playing Washington, which is playing well and has some of the best offensive talent in the league, is going to be a good challenge."

Around the boards

Rugged Senators forward Chris Neil has been waylaid by the flu and is unlikely to line up against the Caps. "He wasn't very good this morning or last night," said Hartsburg. "So he's pretty much out." ... Anton Volchenkov (upper body) remains sidelined along with forward Shean Donovan (lower body), but centre Jason Spezza and blueliner Jason Smith practised this morning and are good to go tonight ... Defenceman Brendan Bell returns to the lineup, with Christoph Schubert moving to the wing alongside Dean McAmmond and Jarkko Ruutu ... Fewer than 250 tickets remain for tonight's game.

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