The Buffalo Sabres found themselves in another nail-biter, but they ended up with the W in a hard-fought win over the Chicago Blackhawks.
What a much-needed win for the Buffalo Sabres, who just improved to 8-9-1 on the season and three points out of a wild card at the time of this writing. While several players enjoyed a strong outing, Zach Benson and Rasmus Dahlin were standouts.
Let’s start with Benson, who set up a remarkable pass for Dahlin to score and put the Blue and Gold up 1-0. And if you missed the magic, check it out in the video below:
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) November 20, 2023
But that wasn’t all Benson did tonight – he forechecked well, kept sequences alive all game, and enjoyed more than a few textbook shifts that most 18-year-old rookies would never manage. Barring some unforeseen (and shocking) transaction from the front office, Benson may have played his way onto the Blue and Gold’s roster for the season.
Buffalo Sabres win in a close one with Rasmus Dahlin leading the way
Dahlin has taken his game beyond an elite level over the last four frames, and tonight, he accumulated three points, a goal, two assists, five shots on goal, and 29:01 worth of ice time. He also had three hits on the night in a performance that, if this becomes the norm, will put him well into the early conversation of Norris Trophy candidates in what is still the first quarter of the season.
Finally, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was also lights out for the most part, stopping 24 of 26 shots on goal for a 0.923 save percentage. Luukkonen was also perfect on the penalty kill, as it should be noted that Taylor Raddysh’s goal did not occur on the power play, but a few seconds after.
Overall, it wasn’t the most encouraging performance from the Buffalo Sabres, but thanks to some dynamic efforts from the aforementioned trio, they escaped the Windy City with a win. Now, it’s onto the next one against the Washington Capitals in hopes that they can climb back to 0.500.
(Statistics provided by NHL.com)