Canucks at Sabres

The Buffalo News - - NHL -

pointed out his coun­try­man’s seam­less tran­si­tion to fac­ing the sport’s best, laud­ing Dahlin’s quick­ness and abil­ity to carry the puck through the neu­tral zone.

While both ex­pressed ex­cite­ment for their first meet­ing in the NHL, nei­ther want their matchup to cast a shadow over an im­por­tant game for their re­spec­tive teams. The Sabres’ 6-5 over­time win over the Cana­di­ens on Thurs­day lifted them into a three-way tie for fourth in the Eastern Con­fer­ence.

Make no mis­take, though, their home coun­try will watch closely when ei­ther one is on the ice. It’s the first mar­quee matchup of what many called one of the best draft classes in re­cent mem­ory, and Sabres coach Phil Hous­ley un­der­stood why there is hype.

“They’re very good hockey play­ers,” Hous­ley said. “They’re smart, they’re in­stinc­tive. They use their abil­ity and their in­stincts on the ice. That’s what makes them spe­cial play­ers.”

Getty Images

Elias Pet­ters­son, left, played for Swe­den in the IIHF World Ju­nior Cham­pi­onship at KeyBank Cen­ter in Jan­uary. The NHL rookie has scored 10 goals in 11 games this sea­son.

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