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Erik Karlsson will return tonight

Thursday, 04.25.2013 / 11:35 AM ET
By Chris Lund - OttawaSenators.com / Inside the Senate Blog
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Inside the Senate Blog
Erik Karlsson will return tonight



It's official.

Erik Karlsson will make his return to the lineup tonight when the Sens take on the Washington Capitals, just 10 weeks after he had his Achilles severed in a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He'll take back his usual spot on the Sens' top D pairing with Marc Methot and should quarterback the power play alongside Sergei Gonchar.

The Senators believed Karlsson would be out for the duration of the season and playoffs after he had his leg cut against the Penguins, but after a lot of hard work and help from the Sens medical staff during his rehab, Karlsson will be making a (triumphant?) return to Ottawa's lineup well ahead of schedule.

Those who are wary of whether or not it is possible for Karlsson to return to his Norris Trophy winning form — he was being touted as a lock for his second in two years prior to the injury — needn't look further than Teemu Selanne who suffered an identical injury in his second season at 23 years of age. Yes, the same Teemu who is playing at 42 and has over 1400 points.

Karlsson will obviously have to shake off some heavy rust having not played for the better part of three months, but the boost he can bring to the team is hard to understate. Let's not forget there was legitimate debate over whether or not he was the best player in hockey prior to his injury. Even a rusty Karlsson will be a massive boost to this team as they search for the 'x' next to their name in the standings.

With respect to tonight, Karlsson has eight points in 11 career games against the Caps.

With respect to this final sprint to the finish line, buckle up kids. Things just got even more interesting.


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STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
3 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
4 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
5 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
6 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
7 TOR 77 29 42 6 201 245 64
8 BUF 76 21 47 8 148 255 50

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 76 20 42 7 62
K. Turris 76 22 33 -2 55
M. Stone 74 19 35 13 54
B. Ryan 72 18 35 8 53
M. Hoffman 73 26 21 18 47
M. Zibanejad 74 19 24 0 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 56 14 14 -11 28
D. Legwand 74 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 70 11 15 -4 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02