June 5, 2023
Dahlin scores for fifth straight game, Sabers spoils Canucks home opener

Dahlin scores for fifth straight game, Sabers spoils Canucks home opener

VANCOUVER– Rasmus Dahlin scored for the fifth straight game and also had an assist for the Buffalo Sabers, who spoiled the Vancouver Canucks’ home game with a 5-1 win at Rogers Arena on Saturday.

Victor Olofsson had two goals and one assist, Alex cloth and Zemgus Girgensons scored, and Craig Anderson made 29 saves for the Sabers (4-1-0), who won the first three games of a four-game road trip that will end Tuesday at the Seattle Kraken.

“I think it starts with hard work and we really deserve that confidence that we have now,” Dahlin said. “We play away games but we play them really, really well and we’re really starting to find our game. So yes, our confidence is high at the moment.”

Video: [email protected]: Dahlin scores his 5th goal in 5 games

Conor garland scored, and Thatcher Demko made 22 saves for the Canucks (0-4-2), who remain the only team in the NHL without a win and failed for a sixth straight year to give Coach Bruce Boudreau his 600th NHL win.

“My job is to help us find a way out,” Boudreau said. “So I’m going to do whatever I can to see what I can do to turn this thing around. Your task should be individual: ‘What can I do to flip this thing?’ That’s what I would feel if they booed us off the ice like that. I would hope that our pride would set in.”

Dahlin gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead at 5:35 of the first period with a point shot that deflected past a shielded Demko on the power play. Dahlin became the first defenseman in NHL history to score in the first four games of a season and is now the first defenseman in Sabers history to score in five straight games.

“I’m trying not to think about it,” Dahlin said. “I was there [the defensive] Zone for 80 percent of that game, but when things happen out there I try to hit, so it feels good when the puck goes in.”

Dahlin may downplay his hit streak, but it left a strong impression on the rest of the Sabers.

“He makes pieces that kind of remind me of when Eric Karlson was at his best,” said Anderson. “He did things with the puck that you just wouldn’t expect him to do because he had that confidence, and [Dahlin] is there in its own game. I don’t compare him to Erik, but I compare him to that confidence, that swagger with the puck that he has to be able to make those plays. He’s just playing loose and letting his skill and ability take over at the moment.”

Tuch, shielding Demko on Dahlin’s goal, made it 2-0 at 15-18. Jeff Skinner forced a turnover in the slot that left Tuch behind the Vancouver defense for a turning shot under Demko’s blocker.

Video: [email protected]: Tuch doubles the lead with a sixth goal

Tuch has scored in four straight games, including a hat-trick in Thursday’s 6-3 win at the Calgary Flames, the longest streak of his NHL career.

Garland cut it down to 2-1 at 1:27 of the second period with a one-timer from the left after a power play, but the Sabers extended their lead early in the third period.

Olofsson completed a 2v1 with a one-time cross ice pass Casey Mittelstadt to 3: 1 at 1:54. The goal fell forward 26 seconds after Sabers Vinnie Hinostroza hit both posts in a wrist shot from the slot in what was called a goal, before a video review showed the puck failed to cross the goal line.

“It was nice to score that quick goal straight away and smother them,” said Olofsson. “After that we took over.”

Video: [email protected]: Olofsson scores in the 3rd period

Gurgensons fired into the empty net at 16:31 to make it 4-1, and Olofsson beat a spreading Demko 17:21 after a cross-crew pass from Dahlin to make it 5-1.

“His skills just take over,” Olofsson said of Dahlin. “The last goal was a disgusting game from him and he’s just taking it to another level this year.”

Vancouver, who had given up a lead in their first five games, were beaten 13-1 in the third period of this season.

“Pretty frustrating,” forward J T Miller said. “We went [Demko] dry there in the last 10 minutes. We had a chance to win going into third. Up until the third period I thought we were making a pretty good game. Coming out given our situation and playing a third like that was hard to swallow.”

REMARKS: Buffalo Defender Matthew Samuelssonplaying in the top pair with Dahlin left the team at 2:57 in the second period after awkwardly falling into the corner and checking Canucks up front Curtis Lazar. Samuelsson clutched his right knee as he lay on the ice before being helped and limping to the locker room, but Buffalo coach Don Granato said initial words were positive. “We obviously won’t know until tomorrow but I’ve been holding my breath like everyone else and you’re wondering what kind of news you’ll get, so much happier after hearing where he is,” Granato said. …Vancouver’s best defender, QuinnHughesShe had a late scratch and suffers from lower body injuries on a daily basis. … defenders from Canucks Jack Rathbone was minus-3 in 17:55 on his season debut. … Mittelstadt had two assists in his 200th NHL game. … Sabers defenders Ilya Lyubuskin had three hits and blocked three shots in 20:37 after missing a game with an undisclosed injury. … Vancouver defender Noah Julsen played 11:18 after being recalled from Abbotsford from the American Hockey League on Saturday.

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