Game Preview: 12/19/15 vs. CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, December 17
Anaheim 0 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Kane, McCabe, McGinn
Goalie: Johnson (44 saves/44 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 3/3; Shots: Anaheim 44 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 156)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 33 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10; injured reserve) – 32 games
Mark Pysyk (bone bruise, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 15 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Nov. 25; injured reserve) – 12 games
Marcus Foligno (upper body, Dec. 15) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/18: Assigned F Cal O’Reilly to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec. 26:
Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 28: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 30: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 31: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 2: Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
BLACKHAWKS at SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Buffalo on April 3
  • Next meeting: Friday, Jan. 8 in Chicago
  • The Sabres are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 5-4-1 at home
  • This is the 116th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-49-13 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-17-7 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-7-4 all-time on December 19.
  • December 19, 1987: Lindy Ruff appears in his 500th NHL game, a 2-1 Sabres win at Montreal.
  • December 19, 1993: Dave Hannan plays his 100th game as a member of the Sabres, recording two assists in a 3-3 tie vs. Tampa Bay.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is the fourth of 11 afternoon games for the Sabres this season; the next will be on Saturday, Jan. 2 against Detroit at 1 p.m. at First Niagara Center.
  • The Sabres will look to avoid losing four straight home games (and eight straight total games) against the Blackhawks for the first time in franchise history. Buffalo’s last win against Chicago came on Dec. 11, 2009 in Buffalo.
  • Tyler Ennis has three points (1+2) in his last three games against the Blackhawks.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 15 points (5+10) in his last 16 games against Chicago, including eight (4+4) in his last eight.
  • The Sabres are 8-for-32 (25%) on the power play in their last 10 games and 24-for-28 (85.7%) on the penalty kill in their last 13 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 19 points (6+13) in his last 20 games. He is the first Sabres defenseman with at least 19 points in a 20-game stretch since Garry Galley (19, Feb. 21, 1996 to April 3, 1996).
  • Entering play Friday, Ryan O’Reilly (21:50) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:06) ranked third.

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT
Chad Johnson
has appeared in 12 games since the beginning of November, logging a 6-3-1 record with a .943 save percentage and a 1.70 goals-against average during that stretch. Johnson stopped a career-high 44 shots on Thursday vs. Anaheim to earn his fourth career shutout, setting the Sabres’ franchise record for most saves in a regular-season shutout.

THE O’REILLY FACTOR

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 games, a stretch that included an eight-game point streak from Nov. 28 to Dec. 14. The point streak tied the longest streak of O’Reilly’s career and is also tied for the fifth-longest streak in the league this season.
  • Entering play Friday, O’Reilly (59.0%) ranked third in the league in faceoff percentage. O’Reilly also ranked first in the league with 813 faceoffs taken, accounting for 41.2% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.

FINNISHING TOUCH

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 10 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-6th, 7), assists (T-6th, 17), points (T-5th, 24), shots (T-6th, 84) 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 24 points (7+17) in 33 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 60 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.

YOUNG GUNS

  • With a combined 17 goals through Buffalo’s first 33 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+6) and Reinhart (8+6) 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 516 NHL players who have played at least 20 games this season, only eight have zero penalty minutes. Rasmus Ristolainen is one of those eight players.
  • Ristolainen is on the longest penalty-free streak (43 games) of his career.
  • Ristolainen averages 24:34 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 (Matt Tennyson, Nate Guenin) with at least 20 games played and no penalty minutes.

(Stats as of 12/18)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER
The Sabres are 22-for-103 (21.4%) on the power play this season, ranked fifth 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 17 of their first 33 games this season, posting a 6-10-1 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 15 of the team’s 33 games this season, going 6-8-1 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-CHI CONNECTIONS
Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Rob Scuderi for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2013-14 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Ryan Garbutt were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Toews at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Rob Scuderi at Boston College from 1997-2001.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL).
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Artem Anisimov and Michal Rozsival for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.
  • Played with David Rundblad for the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012-13 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger at the 2012 World Championship.

Jamie McGinn:

  • Played with Andrew Desjardins for the San Jose Sharks from 2010-2012. Brandon Mashinter was also a part of the team during the 2010-11 campaign.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played with Teuvo Teravainen for Team Finland at the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships.

Mike Weber:

  • Played with Brian Bickell for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires during the 2005-06 season.

NHL Draft:

  • Jamie McGinn (36th overall), Mike Weber (57th overall) and Artem Anisimov (54th overall) were all first-round picks in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall) and David Rundblad (17th overall) were first-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Teuvo Teravainen (18th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (88), McGinn (75), Foligno (66)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (84), Ristolainen (53), McCabe (38)
Shots: Eichel (102), Ristolainen (84), O’Reilly (82)

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: 2-1-0 (4), 5/3, 0/9, 6/6

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 … 1 game … 400 career games played
Johan Larsson … 2 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 8 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Zach Bogosian … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 5 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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