Notes: Sabers avoids prolonging drought playoffs with victory from behind | Buffalo Sabers News

Threatened to receive a dubious mark, the Buffalo Sabers did not fall apart when Jesper Fast scored Tuesday’s first goal with a smooth left kick in the first period.

Even some difficult moments in the third period did not lead to a solution.

They have become a success story in the development of Sabers. Selected from Sweden in the second and seventh rounds respectively, Asplund and Ulafson have gradually improved their games to earn places on the full-time roster at Buffalo.

The Sabers made the same effort to advance the club during an impressive march as they rallied from an early deficit, and Victor Ulafson scored the winning goal of 7:52, which remained in regulation to secure a win at the KeyBank Center over Carolina Hurricanes with a score of 4 -2. , a contender for the Stanley Cup with 98 points in the standings.

“We had to adjust a bit,” Sabers defender Rasmus Dalin said. “We’re a good team, so we know how to do it. It was bad tonight, but we found a way. That’s what good teams do.”

The victory delayed the Sabers and became the NHL’s record-breaking 11th season outside of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Inevitably, hockey fans in Buffalo will wait at least another year to experience the post-season games. And although the comeback against Carolina showed the Sabers ’courage, it was not done in light of the drought.

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Among the current Sabers only Kyle Okposo and Zemgus Girgenson have been at Buffalo for more than four seasons. Neither Don Granata nor his players are responsible for the various organizational mistakes that caused Buffalo to be on the verge of linking the New York Jets with the second-longest active drought playoff in North American professional sports.

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Kevin Adams, general manager of Sabers, has acknowledged the 11-year wait and is committed to learning from the mistakes of the past. But neither he nor Grenade want anyone in the dressing room to dwell on what led the franchise to a failed record. For these Sabers it’s all about the future, and the outlook for this season continues to be brighter.

The Sabers (26-34-11) were just one goal behind in the first break – Fast scored at 14:58 in the game when Carolina’s pressure changed the defensive zone for Buffalo – but the Hurricanes became an elite team led by Rod Brind ‘Amour. Entering the game, Carolina was 34-3-6 when scoring the first goal and 30-1-3 when leading after the second period.

The sluggish first period was not a prediction of what the Sabers had been expecting for the past 40 minutes, although it did not bode well that they did not record a goal kick in the first 10:50 games. The Buffalo were a much better team in the second period and received help from Craig Anderson, who made 32 saves.

“I feel like we’re very confident in our group now,” Ulafson said. “Even when they scored 2-2, we calmed down a bit and made it easier.”

Jeff Skinner’s goal, his 29th of the season, tied the score at just 1:21 in the midfield when he finished 2-on-1, once making the perfect pass in Tage Thompson’s cross-slot. And the Sabers came out first in the game less than five minutes later when Casey Mittelstadt made a pass on the right flank, ran in a circle and scored when hitting from under the clearing point, making the score 2-1.

A good game against the Hurricanes (45-16-8) is not a small success for the Sabers. They have gone 0-7-4 in their previous 11 meetings against Carolina. But a difficult third period cost Buffalo, as Thompson’s turn led to a draw by Nino Niederreiter, who remained in regular time with a score of 15:50.

“Our confidence has not been broken,” Grenade said.

The thriving young Sabers players are determined to reconnect with

Many of the qualities of these sabers are similar to excellent franchise teams. Players have blue collars, the determination of a worker bee that echoes the people of Buffalo.

The Sabers suffered from revs until Dalin made the game that led to the winning goal. Dalin bounced the puck in the air to maintain possession in the attack zone, and found Ulafson wide open in the right circle with a perfect pass on the ice. Ulafson’s shot beat goalkeeper Frederick Anderson, his 16th goal of the season.

“If he’s in his office, you have to give him the puck,” Dalin said threateningly. “His shot is great. A huge goal.”

Dylan Cosens reached the insurance target in the game with 4:49 left in the schedule to complete performance at the end of the season, which was not what most saw at the KeyBank Center during the first 10 years of the drought. After that last return the Sabers have a 10-4-3 score in the last 17 games since March 1st.

“Today was a great victory,” Dalin said.

Here are other observations from the game:

The thriving young Sabers players are determined to reconnect with

Many of the qualities of these sabers are similar to excellent franchise teams. Players have blue collars, the determination of a worker bee that echoes the people of Buffalo.

Mittelstadt have nine points in their last nine games after scoring their fourth goal of the season on Tuesday night. He continues to improve, breaking away from an injury that has left him out of all but four of the Sabers ’first 41 games this season. Ulafson recently made a similar improvement, showcasing his excellent shot release and much better all-around. He has scored four goals in the last five games.

From March 2, Ulafson has five winning goals.

“If you don’t score in 30 games, it obviously comes to mind, and you think too much when you have a good chance,” Ulafson admitted. “Now I feel much more confident. It seems the puck keeps finding the net, which is a bit of a relief.”

Skinner continued to take revenge on his former team. The 29-year-old winger has six goals and eight points in six games against the Hurricanes, scoring a point in each of these competitions. Taken by Carolina in 2010 in seventh place, in August 2018 Skinner was sold to Buffalo. His 29 goals in 2021-22 are more than all but three, his sums in eight seasons from Hurricanes.

Thompson deserves pride for manipulating the defender and goalkeeper to think he is hitting in front of goal.

Before passing to Ulafson, Dalin imitated the pressure on Hariken defender Jakob Slavin, who quickly tried to clear the puck.

Dalin scored a puck near the blue line before finding Ulafson on the ice to score the winning goal. It’s a play that showed Dalin playing without fear of making a mistake.

We talked about not hesitating, being fearless, ”Grenade said. – If you are like that, it reveals abilities, reveals skills. … A strange play. “

Defender Colin Miller on Tuesday morning for the first time since being included in the Covid-19 protocol spoke with the Sabers, but Miller will need more time to train to get back into form. He had symptoms during the protocol. … Winger Kyle Okposo and quarterback Jacob Bryson have appeared in their 900th and 100th NHL games respectively. … It was the first Hurricanes game in Buffalo since November 14, 2019. … Anderson won his 305th career victory, drawing with Billy Smith for 34th time.

The Sabers begin a four-game trip Thursday night in Carolina against the Hurricanes at 7:30 p.m. at Buffalo, followed by the Buffalo against Florida (Friday), Tampa Bay (Sunday) and Toronto (Tuesday).

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