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Erik Karlsson will return tonight

Thursday, 25.04.2013 / 11:35 AM
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 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06