Game Preview: 12/31/15 vs. NYI


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Wednesday, December 30
Buffalo 2 at Washington 5
Goals: Gionta, Girgensons
Goalie: Johnson (38 saves/42 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/3; Shots: Washington 43 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 170)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 37 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10; injured reserve) – 36 games
Mark Pysyk (bone bruise, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 19 games


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.
Sunday, Jan. 10: Buffalo at Winnipeg, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 12: Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m.


  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York, 2-1, in New York on Nov. 1
  • Next meeting: Saturday, April 9 in New York
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 4-4-2 at home.
  • This is the 161st game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has a 78-59-23 series record.
  • The Sabres are 43-25-11 at home against the Islanders all-time.


  • The Sabres are 13-11-5 all-time on December 31.
  • December 31, 1987: The Sabres trade Paul Cyr and a 10th-round draft pick in 1988 (Eric Fenton) to the New York Rangers for Mike Donnelly and a fifth-round pick in 1988 (Alexander Mogilny).
  • December 31, 1993: Alexander Mogilny appears in his 300th NHL game and Dominik Hasek stops 39 of 40 shots as the Sabres defeat the Rangers, 4-1, at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • December 31, 1997: Michael Peca scores two shorthanded goals in a 3-0 win over Ottawa. Peca still shares the franchise record for most shorthanded goals scored in one game by a single player with Alexei Zhitnik, Bob Sweeney and Don Luce.


  • The Sabres are 12-9-3 all-time in New Year’s Eve home games, including a 1-2-1 record against the Islanders (1982, 1989, 1995, 2002).
  • Seven of Buffalo’s last eight home games against the Islanders have been decided by a single goal, including three shootouts.
  • Matt Moulson has five points (4+1) in five career games against the Islanders.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:52) leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (20:58) ranks fourth.

Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s sixth of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 5-2 loss at Washington. The Sabres are 2-4-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-3-0 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 (2), one point (0) and zero points (2).

Jack Eichel
enters tonight’s game with eight points (2+6) in his last five games after recording a career-high four points (2+2) on Saturday at Boston and two assists last night at Washington. With his four-point performance, Eichel became the first rookie to tally four points in a game 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).

Chad Johnson
has appeared in 15 games since the beginning of November, logging a 7-4-2 record with a .935 save percentage and a 1.97 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 16 points (7+9) in his last 16 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 (58.6%) ranked third in the league in faceoff percentage at the conclusion of last night’s game. O’Reilly also led the league with 914 faceoffs taken, accounting for 41.5% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.


  • At the conclusion of last night’s game, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 10 among NHL defensemen in goals (10th, 7), assists (T-12th, 17), points (T-10th, 24), shots (T-12th, 88) and multi-point games (T-7th, 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 37 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 53 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 they maintain their current pace, Jack Eichel (11+11) 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.

The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 18 of their first 37 games this season, posting a 6-11-1 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 37 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:

  • Eric Boulton played for the Sabres for four seasons (2000-2004). Boulton appeared in172 games, scoring 17 points (5+12).
  • Steve Bernier was acquired by Buffalo at the trade deadline during the 2007-08 season and went on to record nine points (3+6) in 17 games for Buffalo.

Former Islanders:

  • Matt Moulson played for the Islanders from 2009-2013, registering 223 points (118+105) in 223 games.
  • Chad Johnson went 8-8-1 with a .889 save percentage and a 3.08 goals-against average in 19 games for the Islanders during the 2014-15 season. He was acquired by the Sabres on March 2, 2015 in a trade that sent Michal Neuvirth to the Islanders.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Eric Boulton for the Atlanta Thrashers from 2008-2011.
  • Teammates with Kyle Okposo for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • He and Casey Cizikas were both born in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Represented Canada alongside Cal Clutterbuck at the 2011 World Championship.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Played with Thomas Hickey for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2011-2013.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Anders Lee at the 2015 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Johnny Boychuk were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan and Casey Cizikas for Team Canada for the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Nikolay Kulemin for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2014. Mikhail Grabovski was also a part of the team from 2011-2013.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Steve Bernier for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2007.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Johnny Boychuk for the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.
  • Teammates with John Tavares for Team Canada at the 2010 World Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Eric Boulton for the Atlanta Thrashers from 2009-2011.
  • Teammates with John Tavares for Team Canada at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 World Championships.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Cal Clutterbuck for the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season.

David Legwand:

  • Teammates with Marek Zidlicky for the Nashville Predators from 2003-2008.

Jamie McGinn:

  • Played with Thomas Greiss for the San Jose Sharks from 2009-2012.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan for Team Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Brock Nelson for the United States at the 2014 World Championship.

Mike Weber:

  • Played with Josh Bailey for the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) during the 2006-07 season.

2009 World Juniors:

  • Tyler Ennis, Evander Kane, John Tavares and Thomas Hickey all played for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Jamie McGinn (36th overall), Mike Weber (57th overall) and Nikolay Kulemin (44th overall) were all selected in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Zach Bogosian, Tyler Ennis and Josh Bailey were all first-round selections in the 2008 NHL Draft. Bogosian was picked third overall, Bailey was the ninth pick and Ennis was the 26th selection.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), John Tavares (1st overall), Calvin de Haan (12th overall) and Nick Leddy (16th overall) were all taken in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Marcus Foligno (104th overall), Casey Cizikas (92nd overall) and Jean-Francois Berube (95th overall) were all drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Deslauriers (98), McGinn (83), Kane (73)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (89), Ristolainen (59), McCabe (44)
Shots: Eichel (118), Kane (99), O’Reilly (93)

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: 3-3-1 (7), 15/16, 0/21, 14/16

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. LAK: 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

David Legwand … 9 games … 1,100 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 8 goals … 100 career goals
Zach Bogosian … 2 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 5 assists … 100 career assists

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

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