Senators lose Karlsson

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:25 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Rookie Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson will be sitting out the Battle of Ontario Saturday night, sidelined by a shoulder injury.

Karlsson suffered the injury during Thursday night's 3-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks, which extended Ottawa's franchise-record win streak to 11 games. Karlsson hurt his right shoulder while getting tangled up with Canucks' Ryan Kesler along the boards late in the second period.

He left the game and did not return.

The Senators said today he is not expected to return until after the Olympic break, meaning he will miss the Senators' next five games.

After a rough start to his rookie season, Karlsson survived a demotion to AHL Binghamton, where he regained his confidence and worked has way back up to the NHL club's lineup.

Clouston likened the timing of Karlsson's injury to the broken leg suffered by Nick Foligno. He said Karlsson was playing the best hockey of his career "by far," in recent weeks. Foligno was also on a roll when he went down last weekend.

"Obviously it's not a good feeling to get this right now," Karlsson said at Scotiabank Place Friday afternoon. "Just have to work through it and be even stronger when I come back."

Taking Karlsson's place on the Senators blue line will be Alex Picard, who's been a healthy scratch in eight of the team's last nine games.

Ottawa is gearing up for a suddenly very interesting matchup with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre. The Senators want to extend their streak, while the Leafs have been rejuvenated since making major trades earlier this week for, among others, defenceman Dion Phaneuf and goaltender J.S. Giguere.


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