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Regin itching to make return

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators centre Peter Regin can't wait to get back into game action after missing the last three of the team's contests with an upper-body injury (Ottawa Senators Hockey Club).

The waiting, as that old song goes, is the hardest part.

Just ask Senators centre Peter Regin, who's clearly eager to end his absence from the lineup on Thursday night, when Ottawa faces off against the Nashville Predators at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200).

An upper-body injury has kept the Danish rookie out of the last three games but he skated on a line with Nick Foligno and Chris Neil during the Senators' practice today, a new combination that head coach Cory Clouston suggested might possibly be part of the mix on Thursday.

Regin is just itching to get back into game action.

"I'm excited about being back now," said the 23-year-old native of Herning, Denmark. "It's always frustrating when you're out. You want to get back as soon as possible. I felt good before I got hurt so, hopefully, I'll come back and feel good again."

Until the injury, Regin had been a key contributor to the Senators lineup, notching two goals in his first four games. While Clouston likes the roster he's currently putting on the ice – the Senators have won back-to-back games over the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens by a combined 10-2 margin – he knows Regin's value to the team.

"(He's got) skill, creativity and talent," said Clouston. "He's a good player, a very good player, and he was playing very well up until the injury."

Foligno, for one, is looking forward to rejoining forces with Regin for the first time since the pre-season.

"(Regin) is a great talent, for sure," said Foligno. "He's a great skater and he thinks the game really well. He has that ability to make plays and it'll be fun to play with him."

Added Regin: "I've played with both guys before and I'm comfortable with them. It feels good out there in practice and I'm looking forward to it."

Spezza knows goals will come

Senators centre Jason Spezza is seven games into the current season and still looking for his first goal. But it's worth pointing out that he started out the 2007-08 season the same way and finished it with a career-high 34 goals.

"I'm excited about being back now. It's always frustrating when you're out. You want to get back as soon as possible. I felt good before I got hurt so, hopefully, I'll come back and feel good again." - Peter Regin
"I'm streaky that way," said Spezza, who added he found the back of the net only once in his first 15 games two years ago. "I'm not worried. We're winning. But I definitely want to contribute more offensively. I've given myself a lot of chances to score. You don't want to keep missing. You want to keep burying your chances."

Clouston points out that Spezza has contributed in plenty of other areas, most notably on the penalty kill, where he won a couple of key faceoffs in Saturday's victory in Montreal.

"It's easy to judge someone like that by offensive production but bottom line, he's helping the team win," said Clouston. "The thing we like about him is he's trying to expand his game. We've used him on the penalty kill, so his play is a lot better than his offensive production (indicates). It's only a matter of time before that picks up as well."

Around the boards

With five wins in their last six games, the Senators (5-2-0) have seized top spot in the Northeast Division and rank second in the Eastern Conference heading into tonight's play ... Clouston is hopeful that defenceman Filip Kuba (lower body) and forward Jesse Winchester (right knee) will rejoin the team for Tuesday's practice ... Fewer than 3,000 tickets remain for Thursday's game with the Predators. It's another Subway Savings Game, with all regular-priced tickets available at 20 per cent off.

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