OPINION: Three observations: Sabres battle back, but fall in shootout against Bruins

Dustin Tokarski fills in admirably for Linus Ullmark in a losing effort

For the second game in a row, the Buffalo Sabres battled back in a game they trailed heading into the third period. This time, they got things to overtime against the Bruins at TD Garden in Boston.

The Sabres played a messy game, with the Bruins all over them early after the game's opening goal from Colin Miller. Despite that, the Sabres came to play in the third period, and finally broke through on a goal by defenseman Rasmus Dahlin.

Let's take a look at three observations from Tuesday night's game:

1.) Tokarski shines as he's pressed into duty early

The Sabres started this game with goaltender Linus Ullmark making three saves before quietly making an exit and yielding the net to backup Dustin Tokarski.

Tokarski came in to the game with a 1-0 advantage after Miller's goal early in the first period.

Tokarski performed admirably in nearly a full game of duty, making 29 saves on the 31 shots he faced. He allowed a couple Bruins goals, but neither were much on him.

While not an ideal situation, Tokarski has given the Sabres an option in net that still gives them some sort of chance to win games. Probably not nearly as much as Ullmark, but still makes you feel confident he can bring you a big save here and there.

The Sabres had no update on Ullmark following the game.

2.) Bjork looks good in first game with the Sabres

It took new Sabres forward Anders Bjork just one shift to find himself on the score sheet.

Bjork whipped a puck around the boards early, finding rookie forward Dylan Cozens around the net before the puck popped to the point for Miller. Miller fired a shot that deflected off a Bruins defender and straight into the Boston net behind rookie netminder Jeremy Swayman.

For the rest of the game, Bjork brought some great defensive balance to his line, allowing Cozens and rookie forward Arttu Ruotsalainen to use their skill to create offense.

Bjork will be an interesting piece to watch over the back half of this season.

3.) Dahlin wows with pretty goal from the blue line

Dahlin had a tough outing on Tuesday night, but he made the right play at the right time when the Sabres needed him most.

Dahlin's expected goals percentage from this contest was just a 28.75%, indicating the Bruins had more quality scoring chances than the Sabres with Dahlin on the ice, but it's hard to worry about that when Dahlin makes the play at the blue line like he did.

Dahlin's partner Henri Jokiharju was carrying the puck in the offensive zone and found Dahlin open on his opposite point. Dahlin then carried the puck across the blue line, facing pressure from Bruins forward Sean Kuraly before making a nifty play to escape his poke check and wind up his shot. Dahlin fired, hit old teammate Curtis Lazar and watched the puck bounce in to tie things up at 2-2.

It's been great to see Dahlin gain some of his stickhandling and offensive ability back, and it'll be interesting to see how he ends his season in the upcoming games.


The Sabres will pack their bags and travel down to Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. to take on the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

We'll start things off with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show at 6 p.m. ET, hosted by Mike Schopp. He will take you through the hour all the way up to opening faceoff scheduled to take place just after 7 p.m ET on the radio flagship station of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550!

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