UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Before the puck was dropped Monday, owner Eugene Melnyk declared the sky is the limit for defenceman Erik Karlsson.
“He can only get better. Over time, he can go down in history with great defencemen of all time. He is that good,” Melnyk told a Toronto radio station.
It sure looked that way in this matinee.
Led by a four-point performance from Karlsson, the Senators extended their winning streak to three straight games with a 6-0 victory over the New York Islanders at the Nassau County Coliseum.
While Karlsson moved to within six points of breaking Norm MacIver’s franchise record for scoring from a blueliner, goalie Craig Anderson had an easy afternoon with only 28 stops for his third shutout of the season.
Centre Jason Spezza continued his hot streak with his 14 points in five games by scoring two goals. Defenceman Chris Phillips and Brian Lee also chipped as the Senators left the building with wide smiles.
Karlsson was trying to become only the second blueliner in club history to get a hat-trick.
The first was Sami Salo in 1999 against the Penguins. Karlsson fell short, but had a great afternoon.
The Senators pulled out to a 4-0 lead on the strength of Phillips’ second power play goal of the season at 9:37 of the second. He fired a one-timer from the point that beat Montoya on the glove side and turn this into a laugher.
This was no laughing matter for the Isles.
While they were hoping to climb back into the playoff race, the Senators didn’t even let them get off the mat. Ottawa was ahead on the shot clock 27-10 after two periods.
Karlsson’s 12 of the season at 14:03 of the first with a snapshot that beat Al Montoya at the end of a power play gave the Senators a 3-0 lead.
It certainly didn’t look like the Isles were going to be able to come back.
The Senators chased goalie Kevin Poulin before he even had a chance to break a sweat. He allowed two goals on six shots and was pulled after Spezza’s 26th at 1:35 of the first opened up a 2-0 lead for Ottawa.
Spezza was the extra attacker on a delayed penalty and that goal came only 27 seconds after Karlsson started the onslaught with his 11th of the season at 1:08. Poulin didn’t look good at all on that one.
Karlsson scored from below the goal line.