OTTAWA -- Fresh off a triumphant return to the Ottawa Senators lineup on Thursday, defenseman Erik Karlsson will play in his first home game since Feb. 13, when Matt Cooke's skate cut his left Achilles tendon.
The injury, which required surgery, was estimated to require 4-6 months in recovery time, but the former Norris Trophy winner was able to make a stunning recovery, returning to the lineup in 31 games. Karlsson admitted Saturday morning the Stanley Cup Playoffs served as motivation to return.
"It's the most fun you can have," Karlsson said. "It's what everyone plays for, and it's what everyone wants to be a part of. I was part of missing it one year (when the Senators did not make the postseason in 2010-11) and I've been part of going to the first round (against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009-10 and New York Rangers in 2011-12) and I know how much fun that was. You build up during the season and hopefully get to the playoffs for a good run."
Here are the projected lines for the Senators and Philadelphia Flyers at Scotiabank Place on Saturday night:
Simon Gagne – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek
Matt Read – Brayden Schenn – Wayne Simmonds
Scott Hartnell – Sean Couturier – Danny Briere
Jay Rosehill – Ruslan Fedotenko – Adam Hall
Andreas Lilja – Erik Gustafsson
Oliver Lauridsen – Luke Schenn
Matthew Konan – Brandon Manning
Scratched: Kurtis Foster, Mike Knuble, Tye McGinn, Scott Laughton, Jason Akeson, Brian Boucher
Injured: Kent Huskins, Kimmo Timonen
Colin Greening – Kyle Turris – Daniel Alfredsson
Milan Michalek – Mika Zibanejad – Jakob Silfverberg
Matt Kassian – Zack Smith – Chris Neil
Cory Conacher – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Erik Condra
Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson
Jared Cowen – Sergei Gonchar
Eric Gryba – Chris Phillips
Scratched: Peter Regin, Andre Benoit, Guillaume Latendresse, Mike Lundin, Patrick Wiercioch
Injured: Jason Spezza, Matt Hoffman