<
>

Senators won't have Erik Karlsson as they try to clinch

The Ottawa Senators only need one point to clinch a playoff spot, but they won't have captain Erik Karlsson as they go for it on Thursday.

Coach Guy Boucher announced that Karlsson will not play against the Boston Bruins. The defenseman had missed two games with a foot injury but returned Monday with a goal and assist in a shootout loss to the Red Wings. He added another goal in a win over Detroit on Tuesday. He did miss the end of that game, however.

That victory snapped a five-game losing streak. Ottawa (94 points, three games left), Boston (94 points, two left) and Toronto (93, three left) are battling for second and third place in the Atlantic Division and the second wild card. Second place gets home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The second wild card likely faces Metro leader and Presidents' Trophy winner Washington in the first round.

Karlsson leads the Senators with 71 points and is a likely Hart Trophy and Norris Trophy candidate.

Boucher also said Thursday that defenseman Cody Ceci, who has a leg injury, is doubtful for Thursday.

The coach said earlier this week that Ceci, defenseman Marc Methot (finger) and forward Zack Smith (undisclosed injury) were unlikely to play for the remainder of the regular season.