Florida Panthers

Cowen suspended three games for Jokinen headshot

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Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen has been suspended three games for a high hit on Florida’s Jussi Jokinen, Sens head coach Dave Cameron confirmed.

Here’s the hit in question, which occurred during Ottawa’s 4-1 win on Saturday:

The incident happened early in the second period, with Cowen receiving an interference minor. Jokinen appeared to be shook up initially but didn’t miss any time, finishing the game with 16:21 TOI.

Cowen, 24, did have a history with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety as a repeat offender. Back in December of 2013, he was suspended two games for an illegal check to the heat of Buffalo’s Zemgus Girgensons:

As a result of today’s suspension, Cowen will miss Ottawa’s next three games: Wednesday in Anaheim, Thursday in Los Angeles and Saturday in San Jose.

Video: Senators’ Cowen to have a hearing for high, late hit on Jokinen

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Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen is facing supplemental discipline for a late, high hit on Florida Panthers forward Jussi Jokinen in Saturday’s game.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced via Twitter that Cowen will have a hearing with the league on Monday.

The hit occurred early in the second period, as Jokinen had entered Ottawa territory. He passed the puck off and didn’t appear to be expecting contact, when Cowen caught him up high with the hit. Cowen was assessed a minor penalty for interference. Jokinen was hurt on the play but remained in the game.

Video: Panthers lose in Ottawa, fail to move ahead of Bruins in Wild Card race

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There it was, an opportunity for the Florida Panthers to move ahead of the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race.

A win would’ve done the job. The Panthers would’ve moved one point ahead of the Bruins, who have lost six in a row and will not have David Krejci in their lineup Sunday against Chicago. Instead, the Panthers lost 4-1 to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

The Panthers jumped out to the lead in the first period, but surrendered four unanswered goals.

It could’ve been worse for the Panthers. Forward Jussi Jokinen was on the receiving end of a high, late hit from Ottawa blue liner Jared Cowen in the second period. Jokinen remained down on the ice, but did stay in the game.

Cowen was handed a minor penalty for interference. He fought Shawn Thornton two seconds after stepping out of the box.

Goalie Nods: Hammond gets second straight start for Sens

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Hammond looks for a second straight win

Andrew Hammond will make his second career start tonight when the Ottawa Senators play host to the Florida Panthers. Hammond made 42 saves in a win over the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday night in his first career start. It was the 27-year-old’s second NHL appearance. He carries a 2.96 G.A.A. and a .916 save percentage into tonight’s action.

Roberto Luongo gets the nod for the Panthers.

Elsewhere…

Ducks at Oilers: John Gibson vs. Ben Scrivens

Hurricanes at Devils: Anton Khudobin vs. Keith Kinkaid

Blue Jackets at Canadiens: Curtis McElhinney vs. Carey Price

Jets at Maple Leafs: Michael Hutchinson vs. Jonathan Bernier

Penguins at Blues: Thomas Greiss vs. Brian Elliott

Red Wings at Stars: Jimmy Howard vs. Kari Lehtonen

Lightning at Coyotes: Ben Bishop vs. Mike Smith

Kings at Sharks: Jonathan Quick vs. Antti Niemi

Stars’ Hemsky to return vs. Red Wings

Ales Hemsky will return to the Dallas Stars lineup tonight after missing three games with a lower body injury.

Hemsky suffered the injury during the first period of the Stars’ 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers on Feb.13.

The 31-year-old underwent a procedure on the lower body injury last weekend.

“A good veteran guy that was going well for us,” said Lindy Ruff per The Dallas Morning News. “He was a big piece of our second power play, so I’m looking at Ales playing the way he did when he left the game for us.”

In 52 games this season Hemsky has nine goals and 23 points while averaging 13:38 in ice time.

“Lately it was way more better than in the start,” Hemsky said. “I was able to build some chemistry with a couple guys, played with them for a little while and it helps for sure. I was feeling pretty good about my game, so hopefully I can come back and keep going.”

With Hemsky returning, Brendan Ranford, who made is NHL debut on Thursday night, is expected to be a healthy scratch.

Detroit won the only other meeting between the two clubs 5-2 on Dec. 4.