Senators to plug Karlsson back in to blue line

Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson is set to return to the lineup on Friday afternoon when the team...

Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson is set to return to the lineup on Friday afternoon when the team plays Pittsburgh. (QMI Agency file photo)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET

PITTSBURGH - In desperate need of some offence, the Senators will re-insert Erik Karlsson into the lineup for Friday afternoon's game in Pittsburgh against the Penguins.

Coach Cory Clouston said following Thursday's practice "there's a very good chance" the 20-year old blueliner will play after being a healthy scratch the past two games. It's an obvious move, considering Ottawa has not generated nearly enough on the attack while winning just one of its last five outings.

"We need Erik Karlsson to go back into the lineup and help us out," said Clouston. "When we were winning we were getting goals and point production from our back end."

Unacceptably, the Senators had just 19 shots in each of their last two games.

Clouston has shuffled up lines for the third time this week in hopes of finding a winning combination.

"We had some opportunities, we just didn't hit the net," Clouston said of Wednesday's 2-1 home loss to the Dallas Stars. "We have to focus on more shots, and being a little more accurate, with guys driving the net."

Missing Thursday's practice was Sergei Gonchar, although Clouston said it was a "maintenance" day for the struggling defenceman and that he'd play against his former team.


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