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Erik Karlsson of Senators to have MRI, X-rays on injured heel

Defenseman expects full recovery after playing entire postseason with two hairline fractures in left foot

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Erik Karlsson will have an MRI and X-rays on his injured left heel next week, but the Ottawa Senators defenseman said Saturday he expects to fully recover.

Karlsson played the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs with two hairline fractures in his foot.

"I'm going to have to go over that this week," Karlsson said at Canadian Tire Centre, where the Senators cleaned out their lockers after being eliminated with a 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday. "Haven't really done much the previous two days. I'm going to go get an MRI and some X-rays done next week, and we'll go from there, but hopefully it shouldn't be an issue come the start of next year."

Video: Erik Karlsson after the end of the 2016-17 season

Video courtesy of Sens TV

Karlsson revealed after Ottawa advanced past the Boston Bruins in the first round that he sustained the injury blocking a shot late in the regular season. In the postseason, he played after having his foot frozen and being injected with painkillers.

It's going to take awhile for Karlsson and the Senators to get over their loss to the Penguins.

"It obviously stings, but at the same time it happened for a reason," Karlsson said. "We moved in the right direction. We're happy where we ended up even though you're not satisfied."

"Both days you wake up, it hurts," forward Clarke MacArthur said. "You're so close to having a chance of doing something great. It just shows you how hard it really is."

MacArthur, who sustained a concussion in training camp and briefly retired after Christmas, returned to play the final four regular-season games and had nine points (three goals, six assists) in the playoffs. He did not commit to returning next season, saying he played with a sore neck after the first round and wants to confer with doctors before deciding on his future.

After they exceeded predictions by the experts, the Senators said they will use the loss to the Penguins as motivation during the offseason.

"This is one of those ones that stings for a little while," said forward Bobby Ryan, who had 15 points in 19 playoff games after he had 25 in 62 regular-season games. "Eventually you'll look back at it and use it as a motivational tool and a learning thing.

Video: OTT@NYR, Gm6: Karlsson buries Ryan's slick dish

"I'm sure I'll see it over and over again and dwell on it a little bit, but turn it into some kind of fuel, hopefully."

Ryan said the Senators' success this season under first-year coach Guy Boucher was brought about by the players deciding to put team goals ahead of personal success.

"There were so many positive things around this team. Everybody bought in," Ryan said. "From Day One, we had a different feel about us. Obviously, a little bit has got to do with the coaching staff, but I just think everybody was leaving the last couple of years with disappointment in ourselves and in our system.

"We came in this year and decided it was the right thing to do to buy in. We've gone through coaches and a lot of turnover in players, and right from Day One everybody said this is the role that we're given and this is what we're going to do. It was collective. When you get 20 guys doing that, it builds, and it built all year.

"The last six weeks was the most fun I've ever had playing hockey, that's for sure."

Defenseman Mark Borowiecki and forward Alexandre Burrows each sustained a high ankle sprain during the playoffs, and defenseman Cody Ceci played through a broken finger.

Borowiecki was unable to return to the lineup after he was injured in Game 2 against Boston, and Burrows missed the final four games against Pittsburgh.

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