Erik Karlsson is a marked man.

His 6-foot, 180-pound frame has taken a beating, especially so of late, as the race for playoff positioning intensifies. And it's easy to understand why.

A Norris Trophy favourite with 69 points and a plus-15 record, the Senators are 27-12-5 in games that Karlsson puts his name on the scoresheet. Conversely, they are 9-13-4 when their star defenceman doesn't pick up a point.

Clearly, to muffle Karlsson is to have the best chance at beating Ottawa.

"You don't have 70 points in this league and not become a target," said coach Paul MacLean, who gave the players a day off Sunday. "I think he's handled it, for the most part, pretty well."