BUFFALO – If you’ve watched Sabres defenseman Lawrence Pilut closely, you possibly noticed he often taps his stick on the ice before shooting the puck.
Why? The rookie said he wants to get rid of the snow that has accumulated on his blade.
“Get a feel for the puck a little better,” Pilut explained after recording an assist in Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime win against the Los Angeles Kings inside KeyBank Center.
Chances are Pilut, 22, would still have a pretty good feel if he kept a little snow.
Just five games into his NHL career, the Swede has looked impressive, showcasing terrific vision and playmaking ability.
On Tuesday, center Johan Larsson redirected Pilut’s shot from the right point – yes, he tapped his stick first – in for the tying goal late.
“My thought was just trying to get it through and hit a skate or something,” Pilut said. “I got a lucky bounce. It was a great effort by Larry.”
In Saturday afternoon’s 6-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Pilut spotted Jack Eichel in front of the net and unleashed a quick shot from the left point the captain tipped in.
Pilut, who has three goals and 22 points in 16 games with the Rochester Americans this season, keeps looking more comfortable.
“I’m getting there and trying to transition my game from Rochester and from the Swedish league as much as possible,” Pilut said. “I’m feeling better and better.”
Pilut believes he has another step.
“Today was a good step forward,” he said.