Game Preview: 12/12/15 vs. LAK

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, December 10
Buffalo 3 at Calgary 4
Goals: Ristolainen (3)
Goalie: Johnson (28 saves/32 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: Calgary 32 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 138)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 29 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10; injured reserve) – 28 games
Mark Pysyk (bone bruise, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 11 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Nov. 25; injured reserve) – 8 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Dec. 14:
Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 15: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 17: Anaheim at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 19: Chicago at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 26: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
KINGS at SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Kings this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Los Angeles, 1-0, in Buffalo on Dec. 9, 2015
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Feb. 27 in Los Angeles
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Kings; 9-1-0 at home
  • This is the 118th game all-time between Buffalo and Los Angeles; Buffalo has a 57-41-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 33-16-9 at home against the Kings all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-8-4 all-time on December 12.
  • December 12, 2000: J-P Dumont records his first hat trick as a member of the Sabres and Dominik Hasek stops all 22 Bruins shots in a 3-0 win at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The last time either the Sabres or the Kings won in the other’s arena* was a 5-1 Sabres victory on Oct. 23, 2003, when the Sabres snapped a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in road games against the Kings that dated back to March 13, 1996 (6-2 Sabres win). *The Sabres won a road game against the Kings in Berlin, Germany in 2011-12.
  • Matt Moulson has seven points (3+4) in his last seven games against the Kings.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:52) leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:11) ranks third.
  • The Sabres are 7-for-21 on the power play in their last six games.
  • Sam Reinhart has five points (1+4) in his last six games, averaging 18:55 of ice time during that stretch. Reinhart has averaged 15:11 per game on the season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 16 points (6+10) in his last 16 games.

KINGS IN BUFFALO

  • The Sabres are 12-1-1 (one tie) in their last 14 home games against the Kings, dating back to a 2-0 Sabres win on Dec. 17, 1993. During this stretch, the Sabres have outscored the Kings 59-21 on home ice.
  • The Kings have not won a game in Buffalo since their 4-1 win at HSBC Arena on Feb. 21, 2003. No players from either team’s roster that day remain on the rosters today.
  • The Sabres are 6-0-0 at home against Los Angeles since the last Kings win in Buffalo, outscoring the visitors by a combined 31-8 margin in those contests. With a win tonight, the Sabres would extend the longest home-winning streak against the Kings in franchise history.

THE O’REILLY FACTOR

  • Ryan O’Reilly has nine points (2+7) in his last eight games, including at least a point in each of his last six games.
  • The six-game point streak is O’Reilly’s longest of the season and his longest since a career-best eight game point streak from March 14 to 30, 2015.
  • With 25 points in the team’s first 29 games of the season, he has already topped his previous best career point total through 30 games (21 points, 2011-12).

Longest Active Point Streaks (as of 12/11)

Player Team Games Points
Patrick Kane CHI 24 38 (15G, 23A)
Nicklas Backstrom WSH 7 8 (2G, 6A)
Jeff Carter LAK 7 7 (2G, 5A)
Roman Josi NSH 6 8 (3G, 5A)
Ryan O’Reilly BUF 6 8 (2G, 6A)

HATS OFF TO RISTO
Rasmus Ristolainen
scored three goals in the third period on Thursday at Calgary.

  • At 21 years and 44 days, Ristolainen became the youngest NHL defenseman to score a hat trick since Hannu Virta (19 years old) recorded one for the Sabres on March 19, 1983 at Montreal.
  • The hat trick was the first by a Sabres player since Thomas Vanek in a 7-4 win at Boston on Jan. 31, 2013.
  • Ristolainen was just the sixth Sabres defenseman to score a hat trick and the first since Phil Housley on Jan. 22, 1988 vs. New Jersey. The others were Phil Housley (2), Jerry Korab, Jim Schoenfeld, John Van Boxmeer and Hannu Virta.
  • Ristolainen also became the first Sabres player to score three goals in a period since Thomas Vanek (March 19, 2008 vs. Tampa Bay) and the first NHL defenseman to do so since Dustin Byfuglien (Nov. 30, 2007). Only one other Sabres defenseman had ever scored a single-period hat trick (Jerry Korab, Nov. 19, 1978).

FINNISHING TOUCH

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 10 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-5th, 7), assists (T-10th, 14), points (T-5th, 21), shots (T-8th, 75) and multi-point games (T-4th, 6).
  • Ristolainen is the first Sabres defenseman to record five or more multi-point games in a season since Christian Ehrhoff had six in 2011-12. Jordan Leopold (2010-11) was the last Sabres defenseman to record seven multi-point games.
  • With 21 points (7+14) in 29 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 59 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.

YOUNG GUNS

  • With a combined 17 goals through Buffalo’s first 29 games, Jack Eichel (9) and Sam Reinhart (8) 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 (9+5) and Reinhart (8+4) 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.

STAYING OUT OF TROUBLE

  • Of the 484 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 (39 games) is on the longest penalty-free streak of his career.
  • Ristolainen averages 24:13 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 20 games played and no penalty minutes.

(Stats as of 12/11)

QUICK DRAW McGRAW

  • Ryan O’Reilly (58.6%) was ranked fourth in the league in faceoff percentage before Friday’s games. O’Reilly ranked first in the league with 711 faceoffs taken, accounting for 40.8% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.
  • O’Reilly’s 67.2% win percentage on the power play (80-for-119) ranks first in the league among all players with at least 50 power-play faceoffs taken. He has taken 69.2% of Buffalo’s power-play faceoffs.

FAMILY TIES

  • 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

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER
The Sabres are 21-for-92 (22.8%) on the power play this season, ranked fourth in the league entering play Friday. Buffalo last finished a season above 20 percent on the power play in 2008-09 (21.0%).

OUTSHOOTING OPPONENTS
The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 15 of their first 29 games this season, posting a 5-9-1 record in those games. Last season, the team finished the season 5-5-0 in 10 total games when outshooting their opponent.

POSSESSION PROGRESSION
The Sabres have led their opponent in even-strength shot attempts (corsi) in 12 of the team’s 29 games this season, going 4-7-1 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 war-on-ice.com)

BUF-LAK CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Brayden McNabb was a part of the Sabres’ organization for parts of five seasons before being traded in March 2014. Selected by Buffalo in the third round (66th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, McNabb played 37 games for the Sabres, totaling eight points (1+7). He also tallied 95 points (17+78) in 145 games for the Rochester Americans.
  • Jhonas Enroth played for the Sabres for parts of six seasons after being drafted by Buffalo in the second round (46th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He posted a 38-56-14 record with a .910 save percentage and a 2.92 goals-against average in 118 games for Buffalo.
  • Christian Ehrhoff played for the Sabres for three seasons and had 87 points (16+71) in 192 games from 2011 to 2014.
  • Jamie McBain played for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2013-14 season, tallying 17 points (6+11) in 69 games played.

Former Kings:

  • Dan Bylsma played for Los Angeles from 1995-2000. The former forward had 30 points (9+21) in 220 games in his five seasons for the Kings.
  • Terry Murray served as head coach of the Kings from 2008-2011, posting a 139-106-30 mark behind the bench for Los Angeles.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Dustin Brown for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Teammates with Trevor Lewis for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Milan Lucic for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) from 2004-2007.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Jeff Carter for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Christian Ehrhoff for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2007.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Marian Gaborik for the New York Rangers during the 2010-11 season.
  • Played with Milan Lucic for the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.

Evander Kane:

  • He and Milan Lucic were both born in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were also teammates for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) during the 2006-07 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Teammates with Michael Mersch for the University of Wisconsin from 2011-2014).

Jamie McGinn:

  • Teammates with Christian Ehrhoff for the San Jose Sharks during the 2008-09 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played for the Kings from 2007-09, tallying 10 points over 29 games (6+4).
  • He is the brother-in-law of Jonathan Quick.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Kyle Clifford and Brayden McNabb for Team Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Played with Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • He and Jordan Weal were both born in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mike Weber:

  • Played with Jordan Nolan for the Windsor Spitfires during the 2006-07 season.

NHL Draft:

  • Cody Franson (79th overall) and Jonathan Quick (72nd overall) were both third -round picks in the 2005 NHL Draft.
  • Mike Weber (57th overall), Jamie McGinn (36th overall), Jhonas Enroth (46th overall), Milan Lucic (50th overall) and Jamie McBain (63rd overall) were all taken in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Zach Bogosian and Drew Doughty were selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Bogosian was the 3rd overall selection, Doughty was the 2nd overall pick and Ennis was chosen 26th overall.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall) and Kyle Clifford (35th overall) were selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers and Braden McNabb, who were involved in the same trade last season, were both third-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft. McNabb went 66th overall to the Sabres, and Deslauriers was taken 84th overall by the Kings.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Tyler Toffoli (47th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tanner Pearson (30th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (73), McGinn (63), Foligno (61)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (76), Ristolainen (47), McCabe (31)
Shots: Eichel (92), Ristolainen (75), Kane/O’Reilly (71)

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: 3-5-1 (7), 27/27, 7/27, 20/23

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 … 5 games … 400 career games played
Johan Larsson … 6 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Ryan O’Reilly … 1 goal … 100 career goals
Tyler Ennis … 8 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Zach Bogosian … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 6 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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