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Senators defenceman Cowen suspended 3 games for late hit on Jokinen

02/23/2015 01:25 EST | Updated 04/25/2015 05:59 EDT
OTTAWA - Jared Cowen says he has no intention of changing his game despite being handed a three-game ban for his hit on Florida's Jussi Jokinen.

The suspension doled out by the NHL on Monday comes at a most unfortunate time for the Ottawa Senators as they head out on a five-game western road trip. They will be without the defenceman as they face Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.

Cowen said he was surprised at the length of the suspension.

"I'm disappointed. Three games is a bit much," he said. "I'm trying to be a physical player out there and do my job. If I don't do that I'm not in the lineup. To do that, you've got to play on the edge.

"That's what I was doing. I didn't hurt anyone and I didn't mean to hurt anyone. It's a bit over the top but there's nothing I can do about it."

The hit in question occurred at 4:38 of the second period of Ottawa's 4-1 home win over the Panthers on Saturday. Jokinen had skated into the Senators zone and completed a pass to a teammate when he was hit by Cowen.

In a video on the NHL website, the league said the lateness of the hit plus the fact that Cowen's shoulder makes contact with Jokinen's head were factors in the suspension that will cost Cowen US$113,414.64 in salary.

Cowen said his two-game suspension for a hit on Buffalo's Zemgus Girgensons two-years ago may also have come back to haunt him.

"Different season. I don't think it should be related but that's how they deal with it," he said. "There's nothing I can do about it. They have their way of going about things and that's just the way it is."

Cowen is eligible to return March 3 when the Senators visit the Minnesota Wild.

With veteran defenceman Chris Phillips not making the trip, Senators head coach Dave Cameron said the team would consider recalling a defenceman from Binghamton.

The Senators did get some good news Monday as goaltender Craig Anderson took part in a full practice and will travel with the team.

Anderson has been sidelined since taking a shot in the hand in a game against Toronto Jan. 21, resulting in a deep bone bruise that left him unable to hold his stick.

Anderson remained non-committal when asked if he foresaw himself playing on the trip.

"That's what we're hoping for," Anderson said. "Practising with the guys and getting the timing down of seeing a regular NHL shot again that's going to be key as far as getting back my timing and we'll deal with some of the pain and some of the adversity that I have to go through with my hand."

With Robin Lehner sidelined with a concussion the Senators will continue to rely on Andrew Hammond and Chris Driedger in goal.

With a number of young players in the lineup due to various injuries the Senators know they will face a tough challenge out west. The Senators have won their last two games and would love to see some ongoing progress.

"This trip is going to be a real good test for our whole team, the young guys, for our team as a group," said Cameron. "We're going up against five really good teams and they're all on the road and there's a couple back-to-backs. I think we'll have a pretty good handle on our team after this trip. That's how I'm approaching it and that's how I want them to approach it."

Expect to see recent callup Colin Greening on the ice, as the Senators will want to showcase him as the trade deadline approaches.

Notes: C Zack Smith continues to make progress with his wrist, but won't travel with the team. Clarke MacArthur will also be staying in Ottawa as he recovers from a concussion.

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