Game Preview: 12/28/15 vs. WSH

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, December 26
Buffalo 6 at Boston 3
Goals: O’Reilly (2), Eichel (2), Kane, McGinn
Goalie: Johnson (30 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 3/3; Shots: Boston 33 – Buffalo 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 164)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 35 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10; injured reserve) – 34 games
Mark Pysyk (bone bruise, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 17 games
Marcus Foligno (upper body, Dec. 15) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Friday, Jan. 8: Buffalo at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo, 4-3 (SO), in Buffalo on March 16
  • Next meeting: Wednesday, Dec. 30 in Washington
  • The Sabres are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 5-2-3 at home.
  • This is the 150th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has an 86-44-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 45-20-9 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-7-3 all-time on December 28.
  • December 28, 1972: Gerry Meehan scores three goals in a span of 5:30 in an 8-2 home win against Chicago.
  • December 28, 1988: Daren Puppa becomes first Sabres goaltender to record two assists in one game in a 4-1 home win against Detroit.
  • December 28, 2010: Mike Weber scores his first two career goals and adds an assist for his first career three-point game in a 4-2 win at Edmonton.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The last four Sabres-Capitals games at First Niagara Center have been decided in overtime or a shootout.
  • Seven of the nine games between these teams since the beginning of the 2012-13 season have been decided by a single goal.
  • The Sabres will look to avoid losing three straight home games to the Capitals for the first time in franchise history.
  • Tyler Ennis has 12 points (3+9) in his last 10 games against the Capitals.
  • Johan Larsson has scored in each of his previous two games against Washington. If he dresses tonight, Larsson will become the 189th player to appear in 100 games for the Sabres (last: Brian Gionta, Dec. 19 vs. CHI).
  • Matt Moulson has four points (1+3) in his last four games against the Capitals.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:48) leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (20:59) ranks fourth.

HOME-AND-HOME
Tonight’s game is the first in a home-and-home series between the Sabres and Capitals that will conclude in Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 30. The Sabres and Capitals have previously played eight home-and-home series, with the Sabres going 4-3-1 (one tie) in the home games and 4-1-3 (three ties) in the road games. Buffalo’s points breakdown in these series is as follows: four points (3), three points (0), two points (3), one point (2), zero points (0).

SEE YOU SOON
The Sabres and Capitals will meet again in two days in Washington. For the Sabres, this is the sixth of eight sets of games this season in which they’ll face the same opponent both home and away in a three-game span; two of these are home-and-home series. The next such set is a home-and-home series on Feb. 4 and 6 against Boston.

JACK ATTACK
Jack Eichel
recorded a career-high four points (2+2) on Saturday at Boston, becoming the first rookie to do so for the Sabres since Tyler Myers (1+3) on March 10, 2010 vs. Dallas. He was the second-youngest player ever to post a four-point game for the Sabres (Phil Housley, 18 years, Oct. 17, 1982 vs. Edmonton).

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT
Chad Johnson
has appeared in 14 games since the beginning of November, logging a 7-3-2 record with a .939 save percentage and a 1.81 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.

THE O’REILLY FACTOR

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 16 points (7+9) in his last 14 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
  • O’Reilly (58.4%) ranked third in the league in faceoff percentage entering play Sunday. O’Reilly also led the league with 859 faceoffs taken, accounting for 41.2% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.

FINNISHING TOUCH

  • Rasmus Ristolainen ranks in the top 10 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-9th, 7), assists (T-9th, 17), points (T-8th, 24), shots (T-9th, 88) and multi-point games (T-6th, 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 35 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 56 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

  • If they maintain their current pace, Jack Eichel (11+9) 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 (11) 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.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER
The Sabres are 22-for-108 (20.4%) on the power play this season, ranked ninth in the league entering play Sunday. 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 35 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 16 of the team’s 35 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 war-on-ice.com)

BUF-WSH CONNECTIONS
Former Capitals:

  • Terry Murray played for Washington during the 1981-82 campaign, his final season in the NHL. He went on to serve as a Capitals assistant coach from 1983 to 1988 before being named Washington’s head coach. Murray posted a 163-134-28 record as bench boss in Washington from 1989 to 1994.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Matt Niskanen for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2010-2014.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Matt Niskanen and T.J. Oshie for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with T.J. Oshie for the St. Louis Blues from 2008-2012 and again in 2013-14.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Jason Chimera were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Ennis (1989) and Marcus Johansson (1990) were both born on Oct. 6.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Karl Alzner for Team Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Represented Canada alongside Brooks Laich at the 2010 World Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada alongside Brooks Laich at the 2010 World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Nicklas Backstrom for Team Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

David Legwand:

  • Teammates with Justin Williams for the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) during the 1998-99 season.

NHL Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian, Tyler Ennis and John Carlson were all first-round draft picks in the 2008 NHL Draft. Bogosian was picked 3rd overall, Ennis was the 26th overall selection and Carlson was picked with the 27th overall selection.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall) and Marcus Johansson (24th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall) and Dimitry Orlov (55th overall) were second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers and Michael Latta were both chosen in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Latta was taken 72nd overall by Nashville, and Deslauriers went 84th overall to Los Angeles.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tom Wilson (16th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen, (8th overall) and Andre Burakovsky (23rd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (94), McGinn (80), Kane (69)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (86), Ristolainen (55), McCabe (39)
Shots: Eichel (108), Kane (89), Ristolainen (88)

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: 3-1-1 (7), 13/9, 0/14, 11/12

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)
Goals

Tyler Ennis … 8 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Zach Bogosian … 2 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 5 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Johan Larsson … 100th NHL game … Dec. 26 at BOS

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