Erik Karlsson Deemed Late Scratch by San Jose Sharks Saturday Night

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GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JANUARY 16: Erik Karlsson #65 of the San Jose Sharks in action during the third period of the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on January 16, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 6-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Erik Karlsson was scratched from the San Jose Sharks Saturday night matchup against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The decision was made just before puck drop sparking speculation that his lower-body injury is more severe than initially thought.

Sharks Erik Karlsson Injured

After participating in the first few minutes of warm-ups with the Sharks, Karlsson ultimately left the ice and headed back to the dressing room. The veteran is dealing with a lower-body injury which kept him out of action for a chunk of the third period on Tuesday in a competition against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After the Sharks victory over the Pens, head coach Peter DeBoer stated that Karlsson had limited ice time as a “precaution.”

Despite the injury, the defenseman logged 25:48 minutes of ice time just one day later when the Sharks fell to the Arizona Coyotes. After the loss, Karlsson was reportedly limping in the Sharks locker room. Karlsson was noticeably absent from the teams practice Friday and sat out of the teams optional morning skate on Saturday.

What this means for the future

Karlsson is a cornerstone of the Sharks defensive group. The injury could be a huge setback for him as he’s been white hot as of late. The veteran notched 27 points in his last 28 games. This season, he’s tallied three goals and 40 assists for 43 points in 47 games. He averages almost 25 minutes of ice time a game, so his absence will be felt. Joakim Ryan slotted into his place on Friday as the team suited up against Tampa Bay.

Currently, the severity of his injury is still unclear. Coach DeBoer previously seemed unphased as he insisted that Karlsson would dress for Saturday’s contest. At this point, the Sharks have not announced a time table for his return. San Jose’s next competition is Monday against the Florida Panthers.

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