Sabres' Larsson trying to find where he can help this team

October 27, 2018 - 9:14 pm

Columbus, OH (WGR 550) - Saturday was Johan Larsson’s fifth game. He was injured to start the year, played one game, didn’t do well and then got back in and excelled with Patrik Berglund and Zemgus Girgensons. Larsson said, “I just kept myself prepared and waited for my chance.

“We’ve had a couple of good games here, we’ve all played in this league for a while, so we know what to do and be responsible in key situations.”

Those key situations include being on the ice in the final minute protecting a lead. All three players showed quite a bit of desperation in those situations, but why did Phil Housley decide to give them that opportunity? “They’ve earned those minutes. It started in L.A. and they’re doing a great job, not only defensively, but when they’re in the offensive zone, they start the right way, they hem teams in, they get us some momentum that we need.

“We’d love to see them score a goal, they’ve really gotten a lot of looks, Bergy had five shots, so if they continue to go to the net, that’s going to pay off.”

There certainly is a mindset that a player has to have in those situations. Larsson said, “You don’t want to give up too good of chances. You have to be ready for the shots and then clean up in front of the net, but in the end, it comes down to battling.”

In Saturday’s game Larsson did another good job of penalty killing and he and his line mates were good early at hemming the Blue Jackets in their zone.

I thought he made a really bad play on Artemi Panarin’s goal. Larsson was right on Pierre-Luc Dubois, but bounced off him easily. Dubois found Panarin who was let go by Rasmus Ristolainen and at the time the score was tied at two.

The Sabres needed another good penalty kill midway through the third period after socring two goals to tie the game and Larsson was a big part of getting it.

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