NEW YORK -- Erik Karlsson confirmed Thursday what everyone believed would be the case -- he's back in the lineup for the Ottawa Senators after missing the team's previous game with an upper-body injury.
"I feel a lot better today," Karlsson said. "It's definitely going as plan and I expect to be ready tonight."
Karlsson suffered his injury during pre-game warmups in the Sens' previous game against the Penguins on Tuesday. He was replaced by Matt Carkner, who will be a healthy scratch against the Rangers on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
The NHL's leading scorer among defensemen said he doesn't expect his injury to be a nagging one, but he couldn't promise it wouldn't crop up again.
Coach Paul MacLean is just happy to get Karlsson back against the NHL's top team.
"Obviously he's a very important player for us," MacLean said. "He generates a lot of offense for us. He's arguably our best player. Anytime you get one of them back, it's good for your team."
Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo