TORONTO – On a delayed penalty early in Monday afternoon’s 4-1 win, Buffalo Sabres defenseman Taylor Fedun thought he had scored his third NHL goal.
The puck went in the net, the horn sounded and the crowd cheered. The officials, however, had blown the play dead when Dallas goalie Kari Lehtonen made a quick save.
“I thought it was just a rebound off the goalie,” Fedun said this afternoon inside the Air Canada Centre. “But I guess they ruled when he had his paddle down that counted as possessing the puck.”
Until then, Fedun said he hadn’t thought much about scoring. But being robbed of his first goal since Nov. 17, 2013 got him thinking “a little bit” about getting another one.
“I scored one in each of my first two games,” Fedun said. “I haven’t scored since.”
Fedun, oddly enough, hasn’t scored a goal in his last 25 appearances.
“The position I’m in distributing the puck is a little more important for me,” he said. “I’m just kind of going with the mindset that if I keep doing that effectively, the goals will come. If they don’t, honestly, it’s not the end of the world for me.”
Fedun has 11 assists in his NHL career, including six in a career-high 15 games this season.
The Princeton product has meshed well with the Sabres, showcasing his strong ability to distribute to dish the puck, especially on the power play.
“There needs to be a certain element of comfort in order to make some of those plays,” Fedun said. “It’s on such a big stage and everything, but when you actually get out there and play the game, we’ve all been doing it for so long in this room, I think a lot of the nerves and the mental part of on that side of it goes away a little bit.”
Tonight’s game against the Maple Leafs will be the Edmonton native’s first appearance at the ACC.