Ottawa Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has had a typical season in most ways: Second in the NHL in points for a defenseman (68), playing every game and general being the team’s most vital player. One untypical thing: Karlsson is leading the NHL in blocked shots with 201, building off last season when he finished with a career high 175.
Alas, this new facet to his game appears to have felled him at a critical time of the season.
Karlsson will miss the Senators’ game at the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night, ending his streak of 324 straight games played. Defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka is expected to make his debut for Ottawa, filling in for the injured star.
Karlsson blocked a shot against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. He only played one shift in overtime during their 3-2 shootout loss. On Thursday at practice, he was seen limping and was a game-time decision.
And the decision was to sit him out.
The Senators have 91 points for second in the Atlantic with seven games remaining, trailing the Montreal Canadiens by four points and leading the Toronto Maple Leafs by four points.
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