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Karlsson will miss opener, could play Saturday for Senators

Defenseman recovering from offseason surgery on left foot

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Erik Karlsson, recovering from surgery on his left foot, won't dress for the Ottawa Senators' season opener against the Washington Capitals on Thursday but could play Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings.

The two-time Norris Trophy winner, who had surgery to repair torn tendons June 14, did not take part in the morning skate before the Senators opened their regular season at Canadian Tire Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, NBCSWA, NHL-TV).

"We felt he pushed himself really hard for the last week and we just felt we'd give him a day off. He won't play tonight. We're hopeful for Saturday," general manager Pierre Dorion said.

Coach Guy Boucher is also hoping the two-time Norris Trophy winner will be ready for Saturday.

Video: Erik Karlsson takes the No. 3 spot

"It's day by day, so hopefully next game we reconsider. We'll see," Boucher said. "He's doing well. Now it depends on how well every day. He's going to tell us and the medical staff will tell us.

"I'm hopeful every day. That's where we are right now, it really is. We're ready to go without him and we know it's going to be difficult without him, but we've had to deal with high-end players missing all last year, so it's just a new adversity to start the year."

No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson missed two months of last season to be with his wife, Nicholle, while she received treatment for throat cancer. Top six-forward Clarke MacArthur missed all but the last four games of the regular season because of concussion symptoms.

Karlsson has been wearing a no-contact jersey at practice, but Boucher said his readiness isn't related to taking contact.

"In his case it really is strength and balance and the small muscles around that injury," he said.

The Senators signed defenseman Mark Borowiecki to a two-year contract extension worth $2.4 million on Thursday. Borowiecki, who led the NHL in hits last season with 364 and penalty minutes with 154, will make $1.2 million a season beginning in the 2018-19 season.

Video: OTT@NYR: Borowiecki finds twine with pinpoint drive

"He led the League in hits, he's a local guy, we love him," Dorion said. "He's a big part of our team. He brings character, grit and we're happy to have him on board for the next three years."

Borowiecki, a 28-year-old native of Ottawa, was selected in the fifth round (No. 139) in the 2008 NHL Draft. He has 17 points (four goals and 13 assists) in 217 regular-season games.

"It's a big relief especially for a guy who plays the game the way that I do," he said. "You always like that kind of contractual security because there are a lot of hard miles on the body, so it's nice to have that."

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