Game Preview: 12/15/15 vs. NJD


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Monday, December 14
Buffalo 2 at Detroit 1
Goals: O’Reilly, Larsson
Goalie: Johnson (32 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: Detroit 33 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 146)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 31 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10; injured reserve) – 30 games
Mark Pysyk (bone bruise, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 13 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Nov. 25; injured reserve) – 10 games


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.
Monday, Dec. 28: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 30: Buffalo at Washington


  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Buffalo on Oct. 24
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 5 in New Jersey
  • The Sabres are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 147th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has a 73-48-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 40-24-10 at home against the Devils all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-7-2 all-time on December 15.
  • December 15, 1977: Gilbert Perreault scores a goal in each period to help the Sabres beat the St. Louis Blues, 7-4. It was Perreault’s first of a career-high four hat tricks during the 1977-78 season.
  • December 15, 2010: Buffalo gets two third-period goals from Drew Stafford to seal a 3-2 home win over the Boston Bruins, marking the 1,500th win in franchise history.


  • The Sabres need a win tonight to avoid going winless in five straight games to the Devils for the first time since they went 11 straight matchups without a win (0-7-4) from Feb. 10, 2002 to Oct. 28, 2005.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in four straight home games for the first time since the team won six in a row from Nov. 28 to Dec. 15, 2014.
  • The Sabres are 8-for-26 (30.8%) on the power play in their last eight games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly’s eight-game point streak is the longest point streak by a Sabres player since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 consecutive games from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 18 points (6+12) in his last 18 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:53) leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:07) ranks third.


  • Ten of the last 20 games between the Sabres and Devils have been settled in overtime or a shootout, including seven of the last 12.
  • With 12 shootouts in the 29 matchups since the beginning of 2007-08 season, the Sabres have played more shootouts against the Devils than any other non-divisional opponent (Boston/Ottawa-12), going 7-5 in those shootouts.

Tonight’s game concludes Buffalo’s fifth of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 2-1 win at Detroit. The Sabres are 2-3-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-2-0 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 (2).


  • Ryan O’Reilly has 12 points (4+8) in his last 10 games, including at least a point in each of his last eight.
  • The eight-game point streak ties the longest streak of O’Reilly’s career, set from March 14 to 30, 2015.
    • It is the second-longest active point streak in the NHL and is tied for the fifth-longest streak in the league this season. With a point tonight, O’Reilly would become the fifth player this season to record a point nine consecutive games, joining Patrick Kane, David Krejci, Erik Karlsson and Bobby Ryan.


  • Rasmus Ristolainen ranks in the top 10 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-5th, 7), assists (7th, 16), points (T-4th, 23), shots (8th, 78) and multi-point games (T-5th, 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.
  • His four power-play goals are the most by a Sabres defenseman since 2010-11 (Jordan Leopold, 5).
  • With 23 points (7+16) in 31 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 61 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.
    • If he reaches the 60-point mark, he would be the first Sabres defenseman to do so since Phil Housley recorded 81 in the 1989-90 season.


  • With a combined 17 goals through Buffalo’s first 31 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+5) 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.


  • Of the 504 NHL players who have played at least 20 games this season, only six have zero penalty minutes. Rasmus Ristolainen is one of those six players.
  • Ristolainen (41 games) is on the longest penalty-free streak of his career.
  • Ristolainen averages 24:23 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 two NHL defensemen (Matt Tennyson) with at least 20 games played and no penalty minutes.


  • Ryan O’Reilly (58.8%) ranks fourth in the league in faceoff percentage. O’Reilly ranks first in the league with 763 faceoffs taken, accounting for 41.2% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.
  • O’Reilly’s2% win percentage on the power play (84-for-125) ranks first in the league among all players with at least 50 power-play faceoffs taken. He has taken 67.9% of Buffalo’s power-play faceoffs.


  • 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

The Sabres are 22-for-97 (22.7%) on the power play this season, ranked fifth in the league. Buffalo last finished a season above 20 percent on the power play in 2008-09 (21.0%).

The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 16 of their first 31 games this season, posting a 6-9-1 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 14 of the team’s 31 games this season, going 6-7-1 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

Former Devils:

  • Brian Gionta played for the Devils from 2001-2009, tallying 312 points (152+160) in 473 games. Selected by New Jersey in the third round (82nd overall) of the 1998 NHL Draft, Gionta currently holds the club’s single-season franchise record in goals (48), which he set during the 2005-06 campaign.

Local Players:

  • Lee Stempniak was born in West Seneca, N.Y. and played junior hockey for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL).

Zach Bogosian:

  • Teammates with Jiri Tlusty for the Winnipeg Jets during part of the 2014-15 season.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • He and Mike Camalleri were both in Toronto, Ontario, and both represented Team Canada at the 2002 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Jiri Tlusty for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2007-2008.
  • He and Lee Stempniak were traded for each other during the 2008-09 season. Toronto traded Colaiacovo and Alex Steen to St. Louis in exchange for Stempniak on Nov. 24, 2008.
  • Represented Team Canada alongside Travis Zajac at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Played with Jordin Tootoo for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2012-13 season.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Teammates with Brian O’Neil for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2011-2014.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Stefan Matteau at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with John Moore for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Jordin Tootoo for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2011.

Brian Gionta:

  • Brian’s younger brother, Stephen Gionta plays for the Devils. The two were born in Rochester, N.Y.
  • Played with Mike Cammalleri for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2012.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Ryan Clowe for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2007.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with David Schlemko for the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012-13 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with Jiri Tlusty for the Winnipeg Jets during part of the 2014-15 season.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Team Sweden alongside Jacob Josefson at the 2009 World U18 Championship.

David Legwand:

  • Played with Jordin Tootoo for the Nashville Predators from 2003-2012. They were reunited during the 2013-14 season when Legwand was traded to the Detroit Red Wings.

Jamie McGinn:

  • Played with Ryan Clowe for the San Jose Sharks from 2008-2012.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played alongside Mike Cammalleri for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2007-08 season.

NHL Draft:

  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Jacob Josefson (20th overall), John Moore (21st overall) and Kyle Palmieri (26th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall) and Eric Gelinas (54th overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Stefan Matteau (29th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Deslauriers (81), McGinn (68), Foligno (66)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (81), Ristolainen (50), McCabe (33)
Shots: Eichel (99), O’Reilly (79), Ristolainen (78)

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: 4-5-1 (9), 29/28, 8/29, 20/23
31-40: 1-0-0 (2), 2/1, 0/3, 2/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-1; 100-102 all-time)
Oct. 27 at PHI: W, 4-3 (GWG-Girgensons, 2:29)

Nov. 14 vs. SJS: L, 2-1 (GWG-Marleau, 2:59)
Dec. 12 vs. DET: W, 2-1 (GWG-O’Reilly, 3:19)

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 … 3 games … 400 career games played
Johan Larsson … 4 games … 100 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 8 goals … 100 career goals
Zach Bogosian … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 6 assists … 100 career assists

Ryan O’Reilly … 100th NHL goal … Dec. 12 vs. LAK

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