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Methot-Karlsson pair solid for Senators

by Patrick Williams /

WINNIPEG – The Ottawa Senators' acquisition of Marc Methot last summer may not have drawn an abundance of headlines, but it helped reshape the club's blue line.

Methot, a 27-year-old Ottawa native, joined the Senators last July in a trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets for forward Nick Foligno. The Senators used Methot to replace the departed Filip Kuba and use his 6-foot-3, 231-pound frame to firm up a pairing with Erik Karlsson, the NHL's reigning Norris Trophy winner.

Methot spent parts of six seasons and logged 275 games with Columbus in that span. But his 2011-12 season ended with a broken jaw with 28 games remaining in a disastrous season for the Blue Jackets.

Methot's size should come in handy for the Senators, who lost defensive size with injuries to Jared Cowan and Mike Lundin. Ottawa coach Paul MacLean paired Methot with Karlsson for the Senators' season-opening 4-1 win against Winnipeg, and the duo immediately clicked. Methot registered 23:54 of ice time, second only to Karlsson's 25:35, and managed an assist on an insurance goal from Kyle Turris late in the third period.

Methot marveled at the play of Karlsson, who picked up a goal and two assists in his season debut.

"To watch him play, you don't think he can repeat [last season], but he comes out and does what he does."

It's really impressive. He's a special player."

Now Methot will return to Ottawa for a date Monday evening with the Florida Panthers at sold-out Scotiabank Place. He admits that playing his first game in Ottawa colors on the road should make the transition easier for his first game on home ice.

"I'm hoping it will be easier," Methot said. "I know that with all of the family and friends that I have in town, I'll be as nervous as heck."

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