Erik Karlsson did not skate at the Sharks' practice facility Tuesday.
The injured defenseman now is skating every other day rather than every day, Sharks coach Peter DeBoer told reporters Tuesday.
Erik Karlsson (groin) is no longer skating every day, per DeBoer, as his rehab continues. The hope remains, though, that he’ll play before the regular season ends #SJSharks— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzNHL) March 26, 2019
DeBoer's full comment on Karlsson's recovery: "Erik is not skating today. He's been kind of going, then we're taking him off for a day. Going. It's the rehab schedule he's on."#SJSharks— Sheng Peng (@Sheng_Peng) March 26, 2019
The Sharks have six games remaining in the regular season, which ends April 6. DeBoer told reporters Tuesday that he is optimistic Karlsson will be able to suit up before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin, and the defenseman told reporters last month he will be "100 percent" ready to suit up by then.
Karlsson has missed the last 12 games, and 22 of the last 27, with a recurring groin injury. He first injured his groin on Jan. 16 against the Arizona Coyotes, but he participated in NHL All-Star weekend in San Jose a week and a half later. Karlsson returned to the lineup Feb. 16, but he aggravated the injury one week later. He returned to the lineup Feb. 25, but played just 14:24 that night.
The two-time Norris Trophy winner has not played since then, and the Sharks have subsequently alternated a six-game winning streak and a six-game losing skid. The latter coincided with Radim Simek's season-ending injury, and the Sharks have not won since the first game he missed on March 14.
Sans Simek and Karlsson, the Sharks have allowed 23 goals (excluding empty-netters) in the last six games. Fifteen have come at full strength, despite San Jose giving up 5-on-5 chances at lower rates than it has on the season as a whole, per Natural Stat Trick.
In the 22 games Karlsson has missed due to injury, the Sharks are 13-8-1. They can snap their active six-game losing streak Thursday against the Chicago Blackhawks, but they'll have to do it without Karlsson.