Game Preview: 12/26/15 at BOS


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, December 19
Chicago 3 at Buffalo 2 (SO)
Goals: Franson, O’Reilly
Goalie: Johnson (26 saves/28 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/3; Shots: Chicago 28 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 160)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 34 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10; injured reserve) – 33 games
Mark Pysyk (bone bruise, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 16 games
Marcus Foligno (upper body, Dec. 15) – 3 games


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.
Tuesday, Jan. 5: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Boston, 2-1 (SO), in Boston on March 17
  • Next meeting: Friday, Jan. 15 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 4-4-2 on the road.
  • This is the 278th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 120-115-42 series record.
  • The Sabres are 47-70-20 on the road against the Bruins all-time.


  • The Sabres are 17-8-5 all-time on December 26.
  • December 26, 1988: Phil Housley scores twice in a 2-1 Sabres home win against Boston.
  • December 26, 1998: Dominik Hasek stops all 34 Devils shots in a 2-0 win at New Jersey, logging his 39th shutout as a member of the Sabres.


  • Buffalo played on Dec. 26 in all but two seasons from 1995-96 to 2011-12, their last Boxing Day game before tonight. Of the 30 games the team has played on Boxing Day, only six of those games have been on the road.
  • The Sabres are looking to win consecutive matchups with the Bruins for the first time since Feb. 8 and 24, 2012.
  • Cody Franson has six assists in his last four games against the Bruins, including at least one in each game.
  • Chad Johnson has stopped 64 of 68 shots (.941) in two career games against Boston, both as a member of the New York Islanders.
  • Evander Kane has 11 points (8+3) in his last 16 games against the Bruins, including one in each of his last three.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (2+0) and Johan Larsson (0+2) have each recorded a point in each of their last two games against the Bruins.
  • The Sabres and Bruins have played 12 shootouts (with each team winning six), tying Buffalo’s highest total against any team (Ottawa, New Jersey)
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:51) leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:02) ranks fourth.

Chad Johnson
has appeared in 13 games since the beginning of November, logging a 6-3-2 record with a .942 save percentage and a 1.71 goals-against average during that stretch. Johnson stopped a career-high 44 shots on Dec. 17 vs. Anaheim to earn his fourth career shutout, setting the Sabres’ franchise record for most saves in a regular-season shutout.


  • Ryan O’Reilly has 13 points (5+8) in his last 13 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.
  • O’Reilly (59.2%) ranks second in the league in faceoff percentage. O’Reilly also ranks first in the league with 830 faceoffs taken, accounting for 41.0% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.


  • Rasmus Ristolainen ranks in the top 10 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-8th, 7), assists (T-8th, 17), points (T-8th, 24), shots (T-11th, 87) 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 34 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 58 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.


  • If they maintain their current pace, Jack Eichel (9+7) and Sam Reinhart (8+7) would 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.
  • Eichel (9) and Reinhart (8) are also nearly on pace to become the second pair of rookies in Sabres history to each record 20 goals in the same season. The first pair was Danny Gare (31) and Peter McNab (22) in 1974-75.

The Sabres are 22-for-105 (21.0%) on the power play this season, ranked eighth 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 17 of their first 34 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.

The Sabres have led their opponent in even-strength shot attempts (corsi) in 16 of the team’s 34 games this season, going 6-8-2 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:

  • Joe Sacco served as an assistant coach for the Sabres during the 2013-14 season.

Former Bruins:

  • Dave Barr played for Boston from 1981 to 1983 and had two points (1+1) in 12 games played.
  • Chad Johnson spent one season with the Bruins, posting a 17-4-3 record with a .925 save percentage and a 2.10 goals-against average during the 2013-14 campaign.

Local Players:

  • Jack Eichel was born in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Max Talbot for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-2011.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Teammates with Jonas Gustavsson for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2012-13 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Joe Morrow were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Brett Connolly for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Brad Marchand for Team Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Jonas Gustavsson for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2011-12 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Max Talbot for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Loui Eriksson at the 2012 World Championship.

David Legwand:

  • Played with Landon Ferraro and Jonas Gustavsson for the Detroit Red Wings for part of the 2013-14 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Teammates with Jimmy Hayes for the United States at the 2014 World Championship.

Jamie McGinn:

  • Played with Matt Beleskey for Team Canada at the 2006 World U18 Championship.
  • Played with Max Talbot for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Brett Connolly and Landon Ferraro for Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Played with Max Talbot for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.

NHL Draft:

  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall) and Landon Ferraro (32nd overall) were second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Brett Connolly (6th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Ryan Spooner (45th overall) were second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.

Deslauriers (91), McGinn (78), Kane (68)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (86), Ristolainen (53), McCabe (38)
Shots: Eichel (105), Ristolainen (87), Kane/O’Reilly (84)

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: 2-1-1 (5), 7/6, 0/11, 8/9

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 (1-3; 66-54 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)
Dec. 19 vs. CHI: L, 3-2 (GDG-Kane)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

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


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