Dahlin's big weekend: Berth in All-Star final, chance to play for Sweden in the Olympics


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Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin came close to winning an All-Star championship Saturday but ultimately fell just short as Team McDavid lost to Team Matthews, 7-4. in the final of the 3-on-3 tournament in Scotiabank Arena.

At $11 million per with a full no-movement clause in the final seven years of the deal, Rasmus Dahlin will become the most expensive player in Sabres history next season.

Team McDavid beat Team MacKinnon in the opener, 4-3, in a shootout after scoring two goals in the final 32 seconds of regulation to forge a tie. But the McDavids ran out of gas in the finale, scoring just one goal in the second 10-minute period.

"The second game was a little difficult. We sat around for an hour just waiting but yeah, no excuses," Dahlin said. "It was a good game. Thank God we had (Connor) McDavid on the team the first game and he clutched it for us."

Toronto star Auston Matthews had two goals and three points in the final to earn MVP honors.

The championship was tied, 3-3, at halftime as the opening 10 minutes featured three goals in an 18-second span. David Pastrnak scored at 8:08 to pull Team McDavid into a 2-2 tie, Matthews responded right off the faceoff at 8:13 to put his team back ahead and Leon Draisaitl scored at 8:26 to restore the tie.

Second-half goals by Filip Forsberg and Matthews made it 5-3 and Team McDavid never caught up.

Dahlin's team got to the final with a miraculous comeback in the opener.

Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon had two goals – including a filthy chip backhand over the shoulder of Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky – and netminders Alexandar Georgiev and Jeremy Swayman combined to allow only one goal over the first 19 minutes as Team MacKinnon had a 3-1 lead.

But MacKinnon coach Peter Laviolette pulled Bobrovsky for a 4-on-3 advantage and got the game even. Boston's David Pastrnak beat teammate Swayman off a Connor McDavid pass and returned the favor to feed McDavid for the tying goal with 5.4 seconds to play.

The teams headed directly to the shootout, where McDavid and Pastrnak beat Swayman while Bobrovsky stopped MacKinnon and Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.

Dahlin played 6:30 in the opener with three shots on goal while playing on a trio with Florida winger and former Buffalo teammate Sam Reinhart, and St. Louis forward Robert Thomas. He played 6:52 with no shots in the finale. He did not have a point in either game.

"It was fun. We a lot of chances couldn't score today," Dahlin said of reuniting with Reinhart. "I had a lot of fun. We talked a lot about memories and stuff. So it was nice catching up with him."

Dahlin's best chance in the opener was actually not a shot on goal, as he had Swayman out of position after a Thomas pass but his shot was blocked by Washington forward Tom Wilson, who got a tap of thanks on the back from Swayman.

"I was a little bit worried about it but he's all good," Dahlin said of Wilson, who took the shot in the leg. "He said he was here to win. It was a great block."

Dahlin also had one of the numerous breakaways in the game but Swayman stopped his backhand attempt.

In the second preliminary, Team Matthews beat Team Hughes, 6-5, as Detroit's Alex DeBrincat scored two goals in regulation and got the only goal in a four-round shootout. New York goalie Igor Shesterkin went 4 for 4 in the shootout.

Dahlin on international play​

It was a big weekend for the NHL with Friday's announcement that the league's players will go to the 2026 Olympics in Italy and the 2030 Games expected to be held in Nice, France. In addition, there will be a tournament dubbed the Four Nations Face-Off held next February matching the best players from the United States, Canada, Sweden and Finland.

Dahlin, of course, is presumed to be one of the headline defenseman on the Swedish roster.

"For me, it's like 'Finally,' " Dahlin said. "We've been waiting for this news and it's coming so I can't wait. The Four Nation tournament starts off there and then Olympics here in a few years. So I just have to play some good hockey so I can make that team."


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