OTTAWA - Someday Erik Karlsson is sure to own every Senators scoring record for defencemen.
Someday soon he is likely to establish a new standard for most assists by a blueliner.
Karlsson racked up four points, including three helpers, in the two weekend games with the Flyers. In just 43 games, he has 41 points and 35 assists.
The record for most points by an Ottawa blueliner is 63 and most assists is 46. They were established 19 seasons ago by Norm MacIver. Karlsson didn't know that, nor had he ever heard of MacIver before Sunday.
Tough to blame him for that. He was one year old at the time.
"We'll see when we're there," he said when told of MacIver's records. "Come talk to me when we're there, if we ever get there."
At the start of the season Karlsson said his goal was to get 46 points this season because it would be an improvement on last season, when he had 45. His point was that it's important to keep getting better. When it was suggested that day that 70 points could be within his grasp, he laughed.
"That's a lot of points," he said.
When reminded of that conversation after his one-goal, one-assist, plus-5 performance Sunday, Karlsson said he still thinks 70 is a lot of points. Yet here he is, on pace for 80.
"It's still a long way to go," said Karlsson. "We're only halfway through. A lot of things can happen. I've seen guys fall down faster than that. You've just got to stick to it, try to do your best every game. You can't look too far ahead or too far behind. You've just got to keep going all the time."
Karlsson tops all league defencemen in scoring and is just three behind Henrik Sedin for the NHL lead in assists. He does know that.
"I can't deny it," he said when asked if he checks out the scoring race, "but it's not like I'm in there every day or keeping that much track. I don't want to jinx it too much. Obviously it's fun that you can contribute in that way, and just try to play hard every game and give the puck to (Jason) Spezza as much as you can."
Ironically, Karlsson chose not to give it to Spezza during a 3-on-1 break in the third. Shooting the puck himself turned out to be a pretty good option, as his goal completed the Senators' most recent third-period comeback.
POST TO POST
Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov was pleased to be getting a second start in 24 hours and was saying after the loss that the Flyers have to just move on and get ready for the next game. "Where I am? I forget what I'm talking," he said, before being told by a reporter that they're now off to Carolina. "Uh, yeah," he said. As for fumbling away an opportunity in Ottawa, Bryzgalov said: "It's frustrating, to have a 4-2 lead and lose the game like that. It's tough, especially when you've got an opponent who sits right behind you in the standings. There's nothing you can do. Everybody got what they deserved." ... We all remember the "do you want me to stop the ones going wide, too?" quip from former Senators 'tender Tom Barrasso the night a reporter asked him about the aid he had received from his posts. Philadelphia's fourth goal was prime example why goalies shouldn't do that. James van Riemsdyk's shot would have almost certainly hit the side of the net and deflected harmlessly off into the corner had Craig Anderson not stuck his left leg out to stop it. In doing so, Anderson gave up a horrid rebound to Matt Read, who graciously slid the puck into the open cage ... The "bad" Anderson was between the pipes earlier in the evening, too. You share that opinion unless you don't blame him, even though he was screened, for getting beaten by a wrist shot from the point ... On Saturday, at least four Flyers shots hit Anderson's posts and caromed to a safe place. On Sunday, wristers 28 seconds apart by Marc-Andre Bourdon and Sean Couturier dinged the same pipe and went in ... Anderson also made one of his most spectacular saves of the season by sprawling and throwing out his stick-holding arm to erase Brayden Schenn's shot at an empty net in the second, then came up large with 11 saves while his teammates were scoring four unanswered goals in the third.
STUFF I THINK I THUNK
Filip Kuba had a good answer when asked if -- with a plus-four rating, the game-winning goal and an assist -- it was one of his better games. "It's always a good game when you win, so we'll just take that two points," he said ... Anderson was also sharp on one of the weirdest plays you'll see. Andreas Lilja took a slap shot from the left-wing boards in the neutral zone that was heading toward the right wing corner of the Senators zone when it hit Chris Phillips in the back, at the blue line. Suddenly, the puck was headed to the top corner of the Ottawa net until Anderson shot out his trapper and snagged it ... Impressive to have Toronto Blue Jays Brett Lawrie, Ricky Romero, and Casey Janssen on hand, wearing Senators heritage jerseys and throwing T-shirts to the crowd. But what's with this "Ace" clown and whatever happened to B.J. Birdy?
It may look like a split of a weekend series, but the Senators took three points from their home-and-home with the Flyers while Philly only claimed two ... Phillips, who had a rough day in Philadelphia, hustled back to break up a Jaromir Jagr-Claude Giroux break after Karlsson lost the puck just outside the Senators blue line ... Filip Kuba also saved Karlsson's bacon by fast-tracking back on what would have been a shorthanded breakaway by Giroux late in the third ... Zack Smith didn't score, but the Senators' most pleasant surprise of the season's first half hustled to create a couple of great chances. The first was a shorthanded breakaway after he picked Danny Briere's pocket that Smith wasted by shooting right at Bryzgalov's blocker. The second was a great solo effort that again had Smith in alone. This time he at least drew a hooking penalty on Lilja.