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Karlsson doesn’t regret playing through foot injury during playoffs

New York Rangers v Ottawa Senators - Game One

OTTAWA, ON - APRIL 27: Erik Karlsson #65 of the Ottawa Senators prepares for a faceoff against the New York Rangers in the third period in Game One of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Canadian Tire Centre on April 27, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

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Erik Karlsson was Ottawa’s best player in the postseason, despite playing through a foot fracture.

The price? Foot surgery that comes with a four-month recovery period.

Photos of Karlsson in Las Vegas, using crutches and with a cast on his foot, began to circulate on Twitter on Tuesday, a day before he could win the Norris Trophy as the league’s top defenseman.

“Looking back, I feel a lot better now,” he told reporters.

“At the time, it was manageable and something obviously I could play through and play up to the standards that I thought I needed to be able to play and contribute for the team. At the end of the day, I’m paying the price for it now but looking back, it’s not something I regret.”

He was just one of many Ottawa players that battled through injury during the postseason.

His performance during the playoffs, as the Senators surprised many by making it to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final, left such an impression that Karlsson actually received one third-place vote for the Conn Smythe Trophy, despite his team not making it to the Stanley Cup Final.