WASHINGTON - Ottawa Senators defenceman Erik Karlsson has returned to the lineup after being sidelined 2 1/2 months with a torn left Achilles tendon.
Karlsson, last season's Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's top defenceman, played against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, his first appearance since Pittsburgh's Matt Cooke stepped on the back of his leg on Feb. 13.
Karlsson recorded a shot less than a minute into Thursday's game.
He originally was expected to miss the rest of the season after surgery, but recently returned to practice.
Karlsson sat out 31 games, returning in time to help Ottawa down the stretch in its push for the playoffs.
He led NHL defencemen with 19 goals and 78 points last season. He had six goals and 10 points in 14 games this season entering Thursday.