Marcus Johansson will get more time at center

Victor Olofsson shines in Buffalo's preseason win over Toronto

Paul Hamilton
September 21, 2019 - 10:35 pm

Photo courtesy of @buffalosabres, Sara Schmidle

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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - Marcus Johansson told Sabres.com that playing center is no big deal and he likes playing center. He showed it Saturday night against the Leafs.

I thought the new Sabre did a pretty good job in between Victor Olofsson and Rasmus Asplund. The Swedes seem to communicate well until midway through the third period when Olofsson was deposited into the Leaf bench by Jake Muzzin and Trevor Moore scored.

Getting a look at Johansson at center may tell us that the team is getting worried about Casey Mittelstadt. The second-year center has struggled mightily in this training camp and has been severely out played by Dylan Cozens. Johansson won 8-of-20 faceoffs.

Cozens started the game at center for Jeff Skinner and Evan Rodrigues, but the No. 1 pick moved to wing and Rodrigues went to the middle.

Johansson has spent all of training camp with Olofsson and Asplund, and it's possible two of them could be a line when the season starts.

This was a good game for Sam Reinhart, who scored a goal and had a great breakout to Jimmy Vesey to give the Sabres a short-lived lead. He also set up the game-winner when he was in on a good forecheck with Jack Eichel and found Olofsson in front for his second goal.

Cozens was excellent in Toronto, but wasn’t near as good in this game as he appeared to be tired.

On the other side, Henri Jokiharju struggled in Toronto, but rebounded well in this game.

Got a real good look at Colin Miller tonight, and I thought he was excellent. He has a cannon for a shot, and skates the puck up ice well with good passing.

Rasmus Ristolainen played his first game of the preseason and said he didn't play well. He admitted he had a small injury that kept him out of the first three games.

The Sabres have Sunday off, but will likely send players down to Rochester as the Amerks open camp on Monday.

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