Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – The Atlantic Division finally has a defenseman on its roster for the NHL All-Star Game, as Rasmus Dahlin has been named to replace the injured Tage Thompson.
Thompson left Wednesday’s game with an upper-body injury, which is going to prevent him from playing in his first All-Star Game.
Dahlin, who has been far-and-away the best defenseman in the Eastern Conference this season, will play in his second All-Star Game. It was a joke that Dahlin wasn’t originally named to the team in addition to Thompson.
In 49 games this season, Dahlin has 14 goals and 41 assists for 55 points. That’s two more points than he had in 80 games last season when he was also an All-Star. The Buffalo Sabres defenseman has set a career high in goals and assists.
Dahlin and Alex Tuch are 20th in league scoring with 55 points. Dahlin is second in points for defensemen, 11 points behind San Jose Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson. Karlsson has played two more games, scoring two more goals and nine more assists.
Sabres head coach Don Granato said Monday that Thompson had been playing through some nagging injuries. That’s probably why his goal production has slipped just a bit. He’s still third in league goal scoring with 34, and fifth in points with 68.
The NHL All-Star Skills Competition will take place in Sunrise, Florida on Friday, with the 3-on-3 All-Star Game slated for Saturday.
The Sabres will be off until their next practice scheduled for Feb. 9 at 3 p.m. EST. Photo credit Losi and Gangi
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