The Ottawa Senators earned a desperately needed 4-3 overtime victory against the Washington Capitals on Saturday and defenseman Erik Karlsson played a big role in that win by logging 27:43 minutes of ice time and contributing two assists.
The first of those points also served as the 300th of Karlsson’s career after just 393 games:
He reached that mark faster than any defenseman since Sergei Zubov when he recorded his 300th point in his 354th game on Jan. 11, 1998, per the NHL’s Communications Department. Karlsson also became the second fastest Swedish blueliner to ever reach that milestone behind Borje Salming, who did it in 388 contests.
Karlsson has been leading the charge of what has become an impressive generation of Swedish offensive defensemen. Along with Karlsson, Sweden’s batch of 24-years-old or younger blueliners includes Oliver Ekman-Larsson, rookie John Klingberg, and Victor Hedman. After years of struggles the 2011 fourth overall pick, Adam Larsson, also seems to be finding his way.
Of course rather than milestones, it seems safe to say that Karlsson’s primary focus right now is on the Wild Card race. The Senators recent surge has kept them in the running, but with just four games left on their schedule they’re still three points behind in the battle for a postseason berth. Ottawa will play Toronto tonight.