Rasmus Dahlin became yet another player the shorthanded Buffalo Sabres would miss for tonight’s matchup against Boston, but it didn’t matter.
With star defenseman Rasmus Dahlin missing tonight’s game against the mighty Boston Bruins, few of us saw the Buffalo Sabres pulling off yet another major upset. But they found a way, building off of that final 20 minutes from their previous matchup vs. the Detroit Red Wings.
Tonight, Devon Levi made his triumphant return to the NHL and to the Boston area, where he ended up posting stellar numbers, saving 30 of 31 shots on goal at the time of this writing, good for a 0.968 save percentage in what was his best game of the season. Levi, who had struggled throughout his first eight games with a 3-4-1 record, a 3.73 GAA, and a 0.876 save percentage, looked like an entirely different goaltender tonight.
But the win didn’t come without the Sabres stepping up and playing sound defense in Dahlin’s absence. As they did during their previous upset win against the New York Rangers, Buffalo routinely got sticks on the puck and took away some of the Bruins favorite shooting lanes. They also took away the slot and got bodies near the crease, where Boston often tried to score.
Buffalo Sabres are making a habit of pulling off major upsets in 2023
This isn’t the first, but the third time the Sabres have pulled off a shocker, with the first coming on October 29th in a 4-0 win vs. the Colorado Avalanche. This was a significant victory for goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen since he recorded his first career shutout
Nearly one month later, the Sabres came off of a demoralizing 7-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils, only to storm back and beat the Rangers by four goals. With 37 points as of Thursday night, the Rangers remain tied for first place in the Eastern Conference with Boston.
Then came tonight’s win against the Bruins, marking the third time the Buffalo Sabres have upset a team currently leading the division. The only division-leading team they have yet to stun in 2023? Jack Eichel and the Vegas Golden Knights, who the Blue and Gold will meet next week.
(Statistics provided by NHL.com)