After a season of getting decimated by injury, the Ottawa Senators are rounding into form.
That was the news out of the Canadian capital on Tuesday as defenseman Jared Cowen — who hasn’t played at all this season after undergoing torn labrum surgery — will make his season debut tonight against Carolina.
The 22-year-old was hurt on Oct. 19 while playing for AHL Binghamton. The shoulder injury was initially diagnosed as minor but, after missing seven straight games and showing no signs of improvement, the decision was made for him to go under the knife — a procedure that was supposed to end his season.
At the time, it was a huge blow for the Senators, who expected Cowen to play in the top four this season.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound rearguard played all 82 games last year — his rookie campaign — scoring 5G-12A-17PTS. He led all Sens defensemen in hits during the regular season, then upped the ante in a seven-game playoff loss to the Rangers, leading all skaters with 28 hits.
In late March, Cowen surprised many by returning to practice, fueling speculation he’d be able to play this year.
The Senators have now returned goalie Craig Anderson and last year’s leading scorer, Milan Michalek, from injury. Reigning Norris winner Erik Karlsson has resumed skating after suffering a lacerated Achilles, and forward Jason Spezza is on the mend from a back injury and could be ready for the playoffs.
Ottawa has seven games remaining in the regular season, including a make-up date for yesterday’s postponed contest against the Bruins, due to the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.