Score: Sabres 3, Canucks 2
Shots: BUF: 29 VAN: 32
Buffalo Sabres: Goals: Casey Mittelstadt (1), Jeff Skinner (1), Rasmus Dahlin (1)
Vancouver Canucks: Goals: J.T. Miller (1), Bo Horvat (1)
Plus 1: Mittelstadt Makes Some Magic
Casey Mittelstadt scored the opening goal 1:50 into the first period with an assist from Oloffson and Miller. This is the second time Mittelstadt has gotten the first goal in a game since coming back from long-term injuries. The Sabres center needs to keep getting pucks in the net to rebuild his confidence and it’s enjoyable for the fans to watch.
Plus 2: Skinner Turns on the Sizzle
J.T. Miller scored a tying goal at the beginning of the 2nd period that at first, didn’t look like it went in, but on further review did find the back of the net. Less than two minutes later, Jeff Skinner answered back with a goal that got past Canucks goalie Thatcher Demko with an assist from Dahlin and Mittelstadt. Skinner, after suffering through scoring slumps in past seasons, is taking more chances and scoring more often.
Plus 3: Dahlin Does It
The Buffalo Sabres have had issues with winning in overtime this season. Too many times, if Buffalo got a point in regulation, they’ve blown it in OT. That started to change during their last game against the Calgary Flames, when Tage Thompson took advantage of Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom coming too far out of the net to take the puck away from him and score the lone game winner.
Tooch had the Comment of the Game: “Whatever Dahlin did to prepare for this game, he needs to do every game. He was on another level tonight.” Ramus Dahlin scored the game winning goal 48 seconds into OT with an assist from Tuch and Thompson.
During the past few seasons, Dahlin has struggled to get past the junior hockey player stage where he made rookie mistakes and wore his heart on his sleeve. Recently, he’s shown a maturity, developing a tough physical presence on the ice and taking on all comers. Number 26 is an offensive minded defenseman, not happy with getting the puck out of the Sabres’ end but taking the fight into the opponents’ zone. Getting that OT winner was a well-deserved effort a long time coming.
The Buffalo Sabres have won four of their last five games. They’re playing better than they have all year and their offensive and defensive lines are showing far more skill, effort and ability. Keep it up guys and the fans will be back in the stands.
Buffalo hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins Wednesday, March 23rd at 7:30PM.