Game Preview: 12/6/15 at EDM


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Friday, December 4
Arizona 2 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Kane (2), Reinhart, McGinn, Foligno
Goalie: Johnson (18 saves/20 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 28 – Arizona 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 125)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 26 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10; injured reserve) – 25 games
Mike Weber (knee, Nov. 10) – 12 games
Mark Pysyk (bone bruise, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 8 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Nov. 25; injured reserve) – 5 games

Assigned F Tim Schaller to Rochester (AHL)
12/5: Recalled F Cal O’Reilly from Rochester (AHL)

Monday, Dec. 7:
Buffalo at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 10: Buffalo at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 12: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 14: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 15: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Oilers this season.
  • Last meeting: Edmonton defeated Buffalo, 3-2, in Edmonton on Jan. 29
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, March 1 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 7-3-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Oilers; 5-4-1 on the road.
  • This is the 70th game all-time between Buffalo and Edmonton; Buffalo has a 22-37-10 series record.
  • The Sabres are 9-28-3 on the road against the Oilers all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-10-3 all-time on December 6.
  • December 6, 1970: Roger Crozier stops 24 shots to record the first shutout in franchise history, a 1-0 Sabres victory over the Minnesota North Stars at the Aud.
  • December 6, 1973: Jim Lorentz records two goals and four assists to lead the Sabres to an 8-4 victory over the Rangers at the Aud.


  • Tonight’s game is the first in a three-game western swing. The team will visit Vancouver tomorrow night before heading to Calgary for a matchup with the Flames on Thursday.
  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with points in their last four games (3-0-1), seeking points in five straight for the first time since they had points in nine straight (7-0-2) from March 10 to 27, 2012.
  • Despite their 7-3-0 record and plus-15 goal differential (35-20) in their last 10 games against the Edmonton, the Sabres need a win tonight to avoid losing three straight games to the Oilers for the first time since Oct. 13 2000 to March 4, 2002.
  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game having scored at least four goals in each of their last four games. With four goals tonight, the team would have four or more goals in five consecutive games (same season) for the first time since they did it from Feb. 20 to March 2, 2007.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:49) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game entering play Saturday and Evander Kane (20:59) ranked third.


  • Evander Kane enters tonight’s game having recorded three straight two-point games for the first time since Jan. 22 to 27, 2013. A point tonight would give him his first four-game point streak since he had points in eight straight from Feb. 12 to 26, 2013. Kane has never logged four consecutive multi-point games.
  • Jamie McGinn is on his first four-game point streak (2+3) since April 5 to 10, 2014 (1+3). A point tonight would tie his career-best five-game point streak set from March 12 to 19, 2014 (3+4).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 13 points (3+10) in his last 13 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has five points (1+4) in his last five games.
  • Sam Reinhart has three goals in his last three games.


  • With Cal O’Reilly’s recall from the Rochester Americans, he and Ryan O’Reilly have a chance to become the second pair of brothers ever to play for the Sabres at the same time. The other pair, Bob and J.F. Sauve, played together from 1980-81 to 1982-83.
  • The Sabres have had three other pairs of siblings who both played for the team, but never in the same season: Randy and Mike Moller, James and Steve Patrick, Darryl and Darrin Shannon

Tonight’s game begins Buffalo’s fourth of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Vancouver. The Sabres are 1-2-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (1), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (1).


  • With a combined 15 goals through Buffalo’s first 26 games, Jack Eichel (8) and Sam Reinhart (7) are currently on pace to become the second pair of rookies in Sabres history to each record 20 goals in the same season. The other pair was Danny Gare (31) and Peter McNab (22) in 1974-75.
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (8+5) and Reinhart (7+3) would also be the first pair of Sabres rookies to surpass the 30-point mark since Thomas Vanek (48) and Jason Pominville (30) did so in 2005-06.


  • Entering Saturday’s games, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 15 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-15th, 4), assists (T-6th, 14), points (T-7th, 18), shots (T-11th, 65) and multi-point games (T-5th, 5). He is the first Sabres defenseman to record five or more multi-point games in a season since Christian Ehrhoff had six in 2011-12.
  • With 18 points (4+14) in 26 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 57 points this season. If he reaches the 50-point mark, Ristolainen would be the first Sabres defenseman with 50 points in a season since Garry Galley (1995-96) and the youngest to reach that mark since Phil Housley.


  • The Sabres and the Buffalo Bills are playing on the same day for the third time this season after their respective games on Nov. 12 and 23.
  • The teams have played on the same date 211 times, with both teams winning their respective games on 47 of those days.
  • The Sabres are 113-65-33 when playing on a Bills game day and the Bills are 89-120-2 on those dates.
  • If both teams win tonight, the Sabres and Bills will both have won on the same date twice in the same season for the first time since Nov. 5 and Nov. 26, 2006.


  • Of the 457 NHL players who have played at least 20 games this season, only seven have zero penalty minutes. Rasmus Ristolainen is one of those seven players.
  • Ristolainen (36 games) is on the longest penalty-free streak of his career.
  • Ristolainen averages 24:10 of ice time per game. He the only NHL player with an average above 20 minutes per game and zero penalty minutes this season.
  • Ristolainen is one of just three NHL defensemen (Brian Dumoulin, Matt Tennyson) with at least 15 games played and no penalty minutes.

(All stats as of 12/5)


  • Entering Saturday’s games, Ryan O’Reilly (59.3%) was ranked fourth in the league in faceoff percentage. O’Reilly also ranked second in the league with 624 faceoffs taken, accounting for 40.4% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.
  • O’Reilly’s4% win percentage on the power play (75-for-108) ranked first in the league among all players with at least 50 power-play faceoffs taken. He has taken 69.7% of Buffalo’s power-play faceoffs.

The Sabres are 18-for-82 (22.0%) on the power play this season, ranked seventh in the league entering play Saturday. The Sabres last finished a season above 20 percent on the power play in 2008-09 (21.0%).

The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 13 of their first 26 games this season, posting a 5-7-1 record in those games. Last season, the team finished the season 5-5-0 in 10 total games when outshooting their opponent.

The Sabres have led their opponent in even-strength shot attempts (corsi) in 11 of the team’s 26 games this season, going 4-6-1 in those games. Buffalo only led their opponents in even-strength shot attempts eight times throughout the entire 2014-15 season, going 3-5-0 in those eight games. (Data courtesy of

Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo Drafted Andrej Sekera in 3rd round (71st overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft and he went on to play seven seasons in blue and gold. The defenseman had 92 points (17+75) and a plus-6 rating in 339 games for the Sabres.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Mark Letestu for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-2011.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • He and Luke Gazdic were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Matt Hendricks for the United States during the 2015 World Championship.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Benoit Pouliot for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2011.

Josh Gorges:

  • He and Justin Schultz are both from Kelowna, British Columbia.
  • Played with Benoit Pouliot for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2011.

Chad Johnson:

  • He and Eric Gryba were both born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
  • Teammates with Lauri Korpikoski for the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012-13 season.

David Legwand:

  • Played with Matt Hendricks for the Nashville Predators during the 2013-14 season.
  • Teammates with Eric Gryba for the Ottawa Senators during the 2014-15 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Justin Schultz for the University of Wisconsin (WCHA) during the 2011-12 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Teddy Purcell for the Los Angeles Kings from 2007-2009.
  • Teammates with Anders Nilsson for the New York Islanders during the 2013-14 season.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Luke Gazdic for the Erie Otters (OHL) from 2007-2009.
  • Played with Matt Hendricks for the Colorado Avalanche during the 2009-10 season.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • He and Lauri Korpikoski were both born in Turku, Finland.

International Teammates:

  • 2009 World Junior Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle.
  • 2010 World Championship (Canada): Chad Johnson, Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle
  • 2011 World Championship (Canada): Carlo Colaiacovo, Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle.
  • 2011 World Junior Championship (Sweden): Johan Larsson and Anton Lander.
  • 2012 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Teddy Purcell.
  • 2013 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly, Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall and Justin Schultz.
  • 2015 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly and Taylor Hall.
  • 2015 World Junior Championship (Canada): Sam Reinhart and Darnell Nurse.

NHL Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Tyler Ennis (26th overall) and Jordan Eberle (22nd overall) were all drafted in the first-round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall) and Anton Lander (40th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers (82nd overall) and Anders Nilsson (62nd overall) were both third-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Taylor Hall (1st overall) were both first-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Nail Yakupov (1st overall) were both first-round draft picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) was taken one pick after Darnell Nurse (7th overall) in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) was taken one pick before Leon Draisaitl (3rd overall) in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Deslauriers (69), McGinn (60), Foligno/Gorges (54)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (67), Ristolainen (41), McCabe (29)
Shots: Eichel (86), Ristolainen (65), O’Reilly (64)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 3-7-0 (6), 23/32, 9/35, 19/27
11-20: 5-3-2 (12), 21/21, 5/27, 23/29
21-30: 3-2-1 (7), 20/14, 4/17, 10/12

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-1; 99-102 all-time)
Oct. 27 at PHI: W, 4-3 (GWG-Girgensons)

Nov. 14 vs. SJS: L, 2-1 (GWG-Marleau)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-2; 66-53 all-time)
Oct. 21 vs. TOR: W, 2-1 (GDG-Moulson)

Nov. 19 at STL: L, 3-2 (GDG-Steen)
Dec. 1 at DET: L, 5-4 (GDG-Richards)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Jamie McGinn … 8 games … 400 career games played
Ryan O’Reilly … 2 goals … 100 career goals
Tyler Ennis … 8 goals … 100 career goals
Zach Bogosian … 5 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 6 assists … 100 career assists

Matt Moulson … 500th NHL game … Dec. 4 vs. ARI

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