BY IAN MENDES
Shean Donovan will be out of the Ottawa Senators line-up for an extended period of time after suffering what might be a season-ending injury on Thursday night.
“It looks pretty serious. We’re not sure what extent — whether it’s long term or real long term.,” head coach Cory Clouston said on Friday morning.
Donovan left Thursday’s 6-2 win over the Penguins after suffering a knee injury when he was hit by Pittsburgh forward Matt Cooke. He will undergo further testing Friday and the club will know if he suffered significant damage to his ACL, which could sideline him for several months.
The hit from Cooke drew the ire of Senators players, but Clouston refused to comment on whether or not it warrants a suspension from the league office.
“We’ll leave that up to the powers that be,” Clouston said.
Donovan had been off to a solid start this season, finding chemistry on the club’s fourth line with Jarkko Ruutu and Chris Kelly. Donovan’s absence for an extended period of time means that Peter Regin will likely draw back into the lineup on Saturday when the club hosts the division-leading Buffalo Sabres.
“It provides an opportunity for someone else now. We have other guys who can fill that role and what an opportunity for them,” Clouston added.
Notes: Alexei Kovalev has left the team to return to Russia to attend to a death in his family. Clouston confirmed that his forward will miss Saturday’s game, but said there is a chance he could return for Monday’s game against Washington. “We understand if it takes a little longer,” Clouston said … The club is still hoping to have Anton Volchenkov back in the lineup either Wednesday at New Jersey or Thursday at home against Columbus. The defenceman has missed nine games with an elbow injury suffered on October 28th. “We’ll see how he responds tomorrow. He’s definitely made progression in last four or five days.” … Daniel Alfredsson did not skate with the team on Friday, but Clouston indicated it was just a regular maintenance day for the captain.