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Sharpen Up: April 7, 2021 | Confidence rising throughout Sabres lineup

Buffalo hosts Devils again tomorrow at KeyBank Center

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Three guys named Rasmus scored for the Buffalo Sabres last night in a 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils

While not being able to fully account for variations of first names, the NHL Stats department was able to provide us with this fun stat:

The last time three players with the same first name each scored in a game for the same team was on December 19, 2019 when Ryan Donato, Ryan Hartman and Ryan Suter each had a goal for the Wild. 

The last time this happened for the Sabres was back on April 2, 1989 when three players named Mike scored in the same contest (Mike Foligno, Mike Hartman, Mike Ramsey).

Rasmus Asplund, Rasmus Dahlin and Rasmus Ristolainen potted goals for Buffalo on Tuesday. Brandon Montour also scored and Casey Mittelstadt netted the game-winner. Linus Ullmark made 27 saves.

Buffalo has points in five straight games. They're 3-0-2 over that span. 

Here's what you need to know.


A look back at last night

If you missed them, here is Dahlin making highlight-reel plays on Buffalo's third and fourth goals:

Video: BUF@NJD: Dahlin wires home wrister past Wedgewood

Video: BUF@NJD: Mittelstadt taps home Dahlin's feed for PPG 

"We don't win that game without him rising to the level he can rise to," Sabres interim coach Don Granato said. "He made a couple of big plays to tip that game back our way and that's what you hope for out of guys with his talent. Special player, fun to watch and very engaged right now."

We have lots more for you in our Postgame Report.  

Video: POSTGAME: Granato

Video: POSTGAME: Dahlin

Buffalo skated with 11 forwards and seven defensemen during the game and once they got settled in, the Sabres received a strong effort from the line of Mittelstadt, Asplund and Tage Thompson.

"They were very good, they had a lot of energy today," Granato said. "At one moment early in that game, I was wondering if we practiced too hard yesterday. Our guys looked a little heavy footed, a little lethargic. But the young guys did not. They skated. They went through that."

Video: Mittelstadt, Dahlin lead Sabres to victory

Video: POSTGAME: Mittelstadt 

Mittelstadt is on a four-game point streak (3+2) and has performed well in his return to center.

"He keeps improving," Granato said. "… It's been a progression for Casey as many others and he's engaged in that, trying to add more to his game, looking for more opportunities, seek more opportunity. His confidence is clearly growing as well."

Sibling rivalry

Thompson's brother Tyce made his NHL debut last night for New Jersey. Tyce recorded his first NHL point when he posted an assist on the Devils' first goal. 

Tage notched an assist of his own late in the first period on Montour's goal.

Their dad Brent joined Brian Duff and Martin Biron on the pregame show to take about his sons' journeys to the NHL:

Video: Tage Thompson's dad Brent on the pregame show

Trade Deadline is Monday

With the Trade Deadline set for 3 p.m. on Monday, two pending unrestricted free agents sat out last night's game. For the Devils, Kyle Palmieri was a healthy scratch while Taylor Hall did not play for Buffalo. 

Hall is third in scoring for the Sabres with 19 points (2+17) in 37 games. He signed a one-year deal with Buffalo in the offseason. 

The Sabres have already made two trades during the season. Buffalo acquired a 2021 sixth-round pick for goaltender Jonas Johansson on March 21. The team traded Eric Staal to the Montreal Canadiens on March 27 for third-round and fifth-round picks in the 2021 NHL Draft. 

Buffalo currently holds eight picks in July's draft. 


Weissbach signs entry-level deal

Yesterday, the Sabres signed forward Linus Weissbach to a two-year, entry-level contract, the team announced Tuesday. The contract begins in 2021-22.

Weissbach was selected by Buffalo during the seventh round of the 2017 NHL Draft (192nd overall). His senior season at the University of Wisconsin ended with the team's elimination during the opening round of the NCAA Tournament on March 26.

He ranked among the top 10 in the NCAA in assists (29, 2nd), points (41, 3rd) and points per game (1.32, 8th) this season, and was named Second Team All-Big 10.,

Tweet from @BadgerMHockey: Two-year, entry-level contract for @linusweissbach with the @BuffaloSabresGreat year for the newly-minted pro. Congrats!!#BadgersintheBigs

Read more on Weissbach here.

What's next

The Sabres will return to practice today before hosting the Devils tomorrow night. The home-and-home wraps up at 7 p.m. on MSG and WGR 550. Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on MSG.

Buffalo plays the Capitals on Friday. Tickets for that game are on sale now. 

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