From The Ice

Erik Karlsson sets Senators’ franchise record for goals by a defenseman

March 06, 2016: Ottawa Senators Defenceman Erik Karlsson (65) [6758] prepares for a face off during the NHL game between the Ottawa Senators and the Dallas Stars at Canadian Tires Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Steve Kingsman/Icon Sportswire)
Steve Kingsman/Icon Sportswire

Erik Karlsson scored his second goal of the season on Tuesday night, and it meant moving into first place in the Ottawa Senators’ all-time record book in a key category.

The longtime Senators defensive stalwart scored the 102nd goal of his eight-year career, and that moves him into first place in franchise history for goals scored by a defenseman, per Callum Fraser of SB Nation.

While Karlsson’s goal came in the final minute against an Arizona Coyotes team that pulled their goalie, that doesn’t necessarily dampen the significance of the score for Ottawa’s franchise defender. Karlsson scored with 13 seconds left to play on an assist from Chris Kelly to finish off a 7-4 Senators victory at Canadian Tire Centre.

Karlsson moves past Wade Redden in Senators annals with the empty-net goal. Redden played 12 seasons with the Senators, from 1996-2008, so it took the now-retired Canadian much longer to reach 101 goals than it’s taken the 26-year-old Swede to get here. Redden left the Senators just before the team drafted Karlsson in the first round in 2008, so the impact defenders did not play together.

In four of his past five full seasons, Karlsson has scored at least 16 goals. His high-water period came form 2013-15, when he scored 20 and 21 goals, respectively, and played in all 82 of the Senators’ regular-season contests. The former No. 15 overall pick took two shots tonight and also contributed an assist — his fifth of the season — on a Bobby Ryan goal that tied the game at 1 in the first period.

Ottawa improved to 3-1 with its victory.

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