Sabres' Dahlin is starting to play more again

November 14, 2019 - 10:35 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - It's been a rough season defensively for 19-year-old Rasmus Dahlin. All season long he's had one or two players bearing down fast on him every time he gets the puck. They're looking to hit him hard and force him into a turnover. Ralph Krueger and some teammates have said he just needs to relax out there. Dahlin said he's not uptight, "No, not really. Some games you don't play good and some games you play good, so it's different what degree it is and you've just got to move forward and you can't think too much."

Since the end of last season Dahlin has had two men coming at him fast to be physical with him as well as to take time and space away from him. Dahlin is used to the bigger ice surface and he often tries to do things that he used to be able to do on the bigger ice, "I'm trying to prepare for that. It's year No. 2 and I've got more pressure on myself and all the teams want to have bigger guys on me, so it's tougher out there, but I'm learning and it feels like I'm getting better."

Buffalo has eight healthy defensemen on the roster with Zach Bogosian coming back soon. Dahlin said they shouldn't be afraid of a little competition, "We have a bunch of them and it's going to be good. All of them want to play and it's going to be a competition every practice and I think everyone will get better when we get competition."

Krueger has made it sound like there's going to be a rotation on defense.

Dahlin wasn't on the ice for any of the first three Carolina goals and was on the ice for Jeff Skinner's goal.

As I watched his game his first play of the night was a nice quick pass to get the Sabres out of the zone.

Buffalo got a power play at 8:38 of the first period and Dahlin almost produced a shorthanded goal against and he tried to force a pass almost produced a breakaway.

That breakaway came near the end of the period when he went up the center of the ice and had an open Casey Mittelstadt. The problem was the pass was behind him and in his skates allowing Lucas Wallmark a wide open chance that Carter Hutton stopped.

In the second period I like how Dahlin jumped into the left circle and got a shot and then had a nice breakup in front of his own net.

Dahlin helped Buffalo have some pretty good movement on its power plays, but it really didn't translate into scoring chances.

By the end of the night Dahlin played 21:16 with two shots and one hit.

Curtis Lazar scored in his first game as a Sabre. The winger jumped in front of a point shot, blocked it and used his speed to go in alone. Lazar scored on a nice shot on Petr Mrazek. I thought that goal is what got the Sabres going.

Before Lazar scored, Buffalo was backing off the Hurricanes and not pressuring them coming out. Once they started with their two-man pressure, Buffalo forced turnovers and got chances.

Carolina scored three goals by having men all around the net. The Hurricanes are a hungry bunch willing to take punishment to score. Buffalo rarely has people at the net, but they were able to tie the game because Johan Larsson was right in front of Mrazek. The puck went off him after he had his back to Jeff Skinner's shot. That is what this team needs all the time and it's what most of the Carolina players do.

Special teams again were the difference as Carolina went 2-for-3 on the power play and the Sabres have only killed five of their last 10 penalties. Buffalo went 0-for-3 with the extra man and haven't gotten a power play goal in five games.

Buffalo gets a point, but have now lost six in a row.

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