Karlsson rewrites Sens record book

Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson is chased by Capitals forward Mike Knuble at Scotiabank Place in...

Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson is chased by Capitals forward Mike Knuble at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ont., Feb. 22, 2012. (BLAIR GABLE/Reuters)

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:14 AM ET

OTTAWA - Maybe Senators owner Eugene Melnyk was right.

Maybe Erik Karlsson will become of the “greatest defencemen of all-time” because it doesn’t look like there’s any stopping him and the Senators judging by Wednesday night’s performance at Scotiabank Place.

Karlsson rewrote the record book, setting a franchise record for assists (47) by a blueliner with three points in a 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals and helping to extend Ottawa’s winning streak to four games.

Not only did he open the scoring, he assisted on both of Milan Michalek’s goals.

Karlsson’s second helper beat the old mark of 46 set by Norm Maciver in the Senators’ inaugural season of 1992-93.

TEAM EFFORT

With 12 points in his past five games, Karlsson pulled within four points of Maciver’s franchise points record for blueliners (63). With 20 games left, Karlsson won’t just break the mark, he’ll likely shatter it.

He’s also the first blueliner in team history to record seven points in two games.

“The last two games we’ve scored 11 goals and sometimes you’ve just got to be lucky,” said Karlsson.

“The whole team has been playing well. Guys are really getting in the paint to score the goals. It feels good.”

Karlsson said he isn’t thinking about the records.

“We have 72 points in the standings. That’s what matters.”

While the Senators looked like they were in the doldrums during a seven-game losing streak earlier this month, they returned home to show a crowd of 18,357 there isn’t any stopping them now.

With their 16th victory at home and 32nd win of the season, the Senators have tied the marks they achieved in both categories all of last season.

Only John Carlson and Mathieu Perreault were able to beat Senators goaltender Craig Anderson.

For Ottawa, Chris Phillips had his fourth goal in six games and Nick Foligno put it away with an empty-netter.

Not only did the Senators take advantage of the fact the Caps were without injured winger Alex Ovechkin, who pulled up lame with a lower-body issue, they chased Tomas Vokoun after he allowed four goals on 11 shots.

Dale Hunter gave Vokoun the hook after Phillips set a career high with his third power-play goal of the season at 12:08 of the second.

Earlier, Michalek set a career high with his 27th goal of the season by tipping a shot from the point by Karlsson past Vokoun.

The Senators jumped on Washington early by pulling out to a 2-0 lead in the first. Michalek tied his career high set in 2006-07 with his 26th of the season with one of the best goals he’s ever scored here.

Michalek showed rare emotion by waving his finger after undressing Caps defenceman Dennis Wideman.

Anderson was on track for his second straight shutout, but Carlson ended that attempt at 2:19 of the third and Perreault’s effort bounced in off the forward’s face.

“Overall we got the job done. That’s a big thing,” said Anderson, who made 33 stops. “We feel pretty good about ourselves”

No, Anderson had never been beaten by a shot off the face.

“He may feel better if that was a game-tying goal. You never want to lose your teeth in this game,” said Anderson.

Perreault said the puck deflected off a stick.

“It bounced off my tongue and right into the net,” said Perreault. “It’s the most bizarre goal I’ve ever scored.”

Coach Paul MacLean said scoring first was big.

“We played with a lot of patience and discipline,” said MacLean. “It’s much easier to play with the lead than to chase the game.

“We’ve found our identity. We’ve gotten back to that work ethic where we play our game for 60-to-65 minutes. We’ve kind of found ourselves again. We’re getting contributions from everybody.”


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