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Erik Karlsson, Craig Anderson of Senators overcame injuries in playoffs

Defenseman played with hairline fractures, muscle damage in ankle, no surgery needed; goalie had bad back

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Erik Karlsson played with muscle damage in his left ankle and hairline fractures in his heel during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and goaltender Craig Anderson had a bad back during the second round, but neither will need surgery this offseason, Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said Monday.

Karlsson revealed after the Senators' six-game victory against the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round that he was playing with two hairline fractures in his left heel, sustained blocking a shot in the regular season. Dorion said Karlsson also had muscle damage in that ankle.

"For him to play at the level that he did this year was really something quite spectacular," Dorion said.

Karlsson said Saturday he will have an MRI and X-rays on left heel next week but expects to fully recover in time for next season.

"Hopefully it shouldn't be an issue come the start of next year," he said.

Anderson played with a bad back during the Eastern Conference Second Round, a six-game win against the New York Rangers.

"[Anderson's] back was in terrible shape during the Rangers series, which we managed to win, so that says a lot about his character playing through the pain that he had to go through," said Dorion, who added that the Senators would protect the 36-year-old goaltender in the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft.

Defenseman Cody Ceci played despite breaking the same finger multiple times, Dorion said.

"It got broken during the year, it got broken in the playoffs against the Rangers, it was put back in place through a break and it broke again," Dorion said. "He needed to freeze it before every game. He played through a lot of pain."

Video: Jaffe and Pang wrap up wild Eastern Conference Finals

Defenseman Mark Borowiecki and forward Alexandre Burrows each had a high ankle sprain; Borowiecki didn't play after Game 2 of the first round; Burrows left Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins and didn't play again.

Forwards Derick Brassard (shoulder), Mark Stone (leg), Zack Smith (rib, abdominal), Tom Pyatt (ankle) and Viktor Stalberg (rib) and defenseman Dion Phaneuf (wrist), also played injured, Dorion said.

Dorion said he doesn't foresee many changes next season after the Senators lost the conference final in the second overtime of Game 7. He said the message from most players was that "[We were] one goal (away), let's not do too many changes."

Dorion said he has spoken with Vegas Golden Knights general manager George McPhee to see "if there was a trade scenario that could maybe happen" in advance of having to submit the Senators' protected list of players for the NHL Expansion Draft.

All 30 teams must submit their list of protected players by 5 p.m. ET June 17. Vegas will submit its picks by 5 p.m. ET June 20, and the announcement of the selections will be made June 21 at the NHL Awards in Las Vegas. Teams must protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender; or eight skaters (forwards/defensemen) and one goaltender.

Signing restricted free agent forwards Ryan Dzingel and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka, will be a priority for the Senators, Dorion said. He would also like to sign goaltender Mike Condon, who can also become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

"It's up to him," Dorion said. "If he doesn't like our offer, he can just say no. We'd like to bring him back. He wants to come back, but I've been around a long time and you know when talks are going nowhere and they haven't been very good so far."

Five forwards -- Pyatt, Stalberg, Chris Neil, Chris Kelly and Tommy Wingels -- can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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