The time was nigh once again for Erik Karlsson to hit the ice at Canadian Tire Center. However, he did it as the visiting player for the first time on Saturday afternoon.
In his first appearance in Ottawa since he was traded to the Sharks in September, Karlsson was welcomed back home. In honor of the occasion, Karlsson was given a moment to do a solo warmup lap, something typically reserved for rookies.
MORE: Sharks’ Erik Karlsson has no regrets in emotional return to Ottawa
The boys (okay, Jumbo) made @ErikKarlsson65 take a solo lap. 😂 pic.twitter.com/TvE3Iqyide
In the first period, Karlsson received a standing ovation from the Senators fans in attendance after a tribute video played on the Jumbotron.
In his presser with reporters on Friday, Karlsson discussed his emotions heading into Saturday’s matchup. While Karlsson noted that he was unsure of the fans’ reaction, he praised the organization and was appreciative of his nine-year tenure in Ottawa.
“It feels good, I’ve been waiting for it,” Karlsson said. “It’s going to be nice to come back, I have nothing but good memories here and I look forward to making new ones.”
In nine seasons with the Senators, the Sweden native grew from a 19-year-old rookie into arguably the top defenseman in the NHL. He recorded 518 points in 627 games across nine seasons in Ottawa, while becoming a two-time Norris Trophy winner. In that time, Karlsson also made four All-Star teams and led the Senators to the postseason in five of his nine seasons.
“I’ve had a great time here,” Karlsson added. “I came here as a young boy and spent my entire young adult life here. Looking back, I don’t think I would change anything.”
As for the actual game, it did not go the way Karlsson and the Sharks intended Ottawa defeated San Jose 6-2 on Saturday, led by four points (three assists, one goal) from Mikkel Boedker.
Karlsson did not record a point in the game as he notched nine of the Sharks’ 38 shots on goal.
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