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 Erik Karlsson

Erik Karlsson

OTTAWA — Erik Karlsson will make his season debut for the Ottawa Senators against the Vancouver Canucks at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, SNV, NHL.TV).

Karlsson missed the first five games recovering from June 14 surgery to repair torn tendons in his left foot.

“It’s going to be good,” the 27-year-old defenseman said Monday. “I had the appropriate amount of time to get ready to play again. It’s exciting. I’m going to be a little bit rusty probably, but it’s better to get back into things as early as possible. Hopefully we’ll get better as we move on.”

Senators coach Guy Boucher said the benefits of Karlsson’s return will be immediate.

“I think he’s the best player in the world, so it basically has an impact on everything,” Boucher said. “Your breakouts, your transition, your [offensive] zone, your power play, your defensive play. I mean, it’s your leader. He is who he is. He’s such a presence. It’s not just a hockey player, it’s everything around it too. And it’s time.”

The Senators captain said his recovery and any urge to rush back has been eased by their 3-0-2 start. Ottawa has won three straight games after losing its first two in a shootout. The Senators and Los Angeles Kings (4-0-1) are the only teams in the NHL without a loss in regulation.

“It’s been easier for me to watch and be able to take my time and not get too antsy,” Karlsson said. “They’ve done a great job. I’m not coming in to do anything different. We’re going to keep doing the same things.”

Boucher said the timing is right for Karlsson’s return.

“Nothing is easy, but I think he comes back in a state of mind where he doesn’t have to come in and be the hero,” Boucher said. “I think it’s good for Erik to know that, so he doesn’t have all that pressure. Imagine if we had lost every game and he’d be coming in right now? I’m not sure that would be a good situation either.”

The Senators used 11 forwards and seven defensemen in their past two games, and that remains an option against the Canucks. Boucher said Karlsson could skate with different partners and no target has been set for how much he will play.

“We’re going to try to be smart here,” Boucher said. “We don’t need him to play 35 minutes. It’s going to be more about him, what he can take.”

Karlsson, who also sustained hairline fractures in his left heel during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 28, said in September, “They took half of my ankle bone out” during the surgery.

When asked if his foot would be 100 percent, Karlsson said, “No, I don’t think it will be. But again, I don’t think I’ve been 100 percent since I entered this league. I don’t think anyone is. It’s something you’re going to have to get used to if you’re a pro athlete no matter what sport you play. As you get older, you’re never going to feel as good as you did when you were a kid.

“It feels different and it’s going to feel different for a long time probably. It’s something I’m going to have to get used to. Again, I think playing is the best way to adapt to that and getting back to a new normal.”

Karlsson has led the Senators in scoring the past four seasons. He was third among NHL defensemen with 71 points (17 goals, 54 assists) in 77 games last season and led defensemen with 18 points (two goals, 16 assists) in 19 games during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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OTTAWA — Defenseman Erik Karlsson will not join the Ottawa Senators on their current road trip in Western Canada but could be in the lineup as early as next week.

The two-time Norris Trophy winner, who had surgery on his left foot to repair torn tendons June 14, will remain in Ottawa to work on his conditioning.

“We are hopeful that he will play at some point in time next week,” general manager Pierre Dorion said Wednesday.

The Senators play the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (9 p.m. ET, SNF, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV) and are at the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. They return home to play the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday.

“It’s all about conditioning and he has to get used to a different sensation in his foot, but there is no setback at all,” Dorion said. “We talked before we left (for the road trip) that the best thing to get him ready is to have him skate with (player development coach) Shean Donovan on a daily basis.

“With Erik, I know he’s putting in a lot of hard work on the ice and in the gym to come and help this team sooner than later. It’s just conditioning. We all know when Erik steps into the lineup he is not going to play seven minutes. He will play his usual 25 minutes to 30 minutes. I think when you have to play that many minutes, you have to be in shape. Even though Erik is special and in great shape, the more we can get him in that great shape the best it will be for everyone.”

Dorion said there is a chance defenseman Johnny Oduya, who sustained a lower-body injury against the Washington Capitals on Thursday and remained in Ottawa, could join the team in Calgary and be in the lineup in Edmonton.

Oduya, 36, signed a one-year contract worth $1 million with bonuses that could add up to another $1.25 million July 24.

Senators coach Guy Boucher dressed seven defensemen in a 3-2 shootout win against the Canucks on Tuesday including rookies Christian Jaros, who made his NHL debut, and Thomas Chabot, who played his second game in the League.