Sabres' Dahlin knows why he didn't play late in the third on Saturday

October 13, 2019 - 5:57 pm

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Rasmus Dahlin didn't play in the final 8:23 of the third period against Florida after a horrible shift behind his own net. Dahlin has struggled mightily defensively, especially in the last two games. He did get one shift in overtime and said, "It was a 1-0 lead and we have better players in our D-zone, so that's how it is."

Ralph Kruger has heard a lot about it since the game ended on Friday. He said it's not that big of a deal, "I think there's too much focus on that right now, we had a game closing strategy and that could be different the next game, but there's no time for feelings here when we're reducing, but we're pleased with the attitude and coachability with Rasmus and we're pleased with how he's taking on adversity."

Steve Smith didn't say much to Dahlin about why he sat other than "It was just McCabe and Ristolainen were really on fire in the D-zone and he felt in those players he could trust them a lot."

Dahlin is having no trouble in the offensive zone, but playing without the puck has been a huge problem for him. He said he's working to get better, "It's being heavy in the battles. In the corners for my body it's not as easy as it is for Risto, so I just have to use my brain a little bit more than I used to."

On Friday you heard from Colin Miller about how he's enjoyed being a mentor for Dahlin. The young defenseman said he takes in everything Miller tells him, "He's meant a lot, he's been in the Stanley Cup Finals, he's been in the league awhile, so I have a lot to learn from him."

Miller mentioned how he's helping Dahlin not be so hard on himself. Dahlin said, "I've grown from last year and I've understood how important it is not to think too much about the game you played, but yes, sometimes when I get pissed he tells me, 'Yes, just shake it off and try to be better next time.'"

With a goal and six assists for seven points, Dahlin is 13th in league scoring. He said he likes the improvement in his offensive game, "Yes, I feel like I'm more comfortable with the puck, but also I like to shoot the puck too, so I'm shooting a little bit more so they don't know if I'm going to shoot or pass, so it's better overall."

Dahlin has been doing a terrific job as the point man or quarterback of the power play. Five of his seven points have come with the extra man. He said, "When I get the puck I see their forwards and their D actually cheating on him (Eichel) a little bit so it makes Vic open."

Lately teams have been trying to take both flanks away, but that leaves Jeff Skinner in the high slot and Sam Reinhart in front of the net. Dahlin said he's been using Skinner more, "Last game they took away both players, so I just flipped it into the middle to Skins and he got a great scoring chance, so all four guys that I play with, they can score, they can shoot, they can pass, so it's really fun playing with them."

The Sabres have recalled Curtis Lazar from Rochester. They're leaving for Anaheim right after Monday afternoon's game and they have to have an extra forward for the west coast trip. Lazar has one assist in three games with the Amerks. He did not play on Sunday.

The Sabres made no changes to the lines or the D-pairs in Sunday's practice.

Join Brian Koziol for the pregame for the Stars game starting at 2:00 when he'll be joined by Ralph Krueger, Rasmus Dahlin and Johan Larsson.

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