Game Preview: 1/8/16 at CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 5
Florida 5 at Buffalo 1
Goals: O’Reilly
Goalie: Ullmark (22 saves/26 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/5; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 32 – Florida 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 183)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 40 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 3 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (lower body, Jan. 5; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/4:
Recalled F Tim Schaller from Rochester (AHL)
1/5: Placed F Nicolas Deslauriers and F Tyler Ennis on IR
1/6: Activated G Robin Lehner from IR; Assigned Lehner to Rochester for a conditioning stint (AHL)
1/7: Activated D Mark Pysyk from IR; Assigned Pysyk to Rochester for a conditioning stint (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Jan. 10:
Buffalo at Winnipeg, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 12: Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 15: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 16: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Arizona, 9 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BLACKHAWKS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo, 3-2 (SO), in Buffalo on Dec. 19
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 4-6-0 on the road
  • This is the 117th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-49-14 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-32-6 on the road against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-2-4 all-time on January 8.
  • January 8, 1988: Tom Barrasso stops 29 of 30 Hartford shots and Pierre Turgeon scores the game-winning goal as the Sabres top the Whalers, 3-1, at the Aud.
  • January 8, 2000: Miroslav Satan scores on each of his three shots to earn his third hat trick as a member of the Sabres in a 7-4 win at Ottawa.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Blackhawks since Dec. 11, 2009 and are in the midst of their first eight-game winless streak against Chicago since the team went 0-8-1 in the first nine meetings between the clubs from Oct. 25, 1970 to Dec. 15, 1971.
  • Buffalo is looking for its first win in Chicago since Jan. 10, 2007; the five-game losing streak in Chicago is the longest such streak in franchise history.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 16 points (5+11) in his last 17 games against Chicago, including nine (4+5) in his last nine.
  • Evander Kane ranked seventh in the league entering Thursday night’s games with 3.7 shots per game.
  • Entering play Thursday, Ryan O’Reilly (21:56) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (20:55) ranked fifth.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game with 12 points (4+8) in his last eight games, including six (2+4) during his current four-game point streak, which is his longest streak of the season.
  • Eichel entered play Thursday ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (3rd, 13), assists (T-3rd, 13), points (4th, 26), shots (1st, 131) and time on ice per game (3rd, 19:00).
  • Eichel recorded a season-high four points (2+2) on Dec. 26 at Boston, becoming 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).

THE O’REILLY FACTOR

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 17 points (9+8) in his last 17 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 (58.2%) ranked fifth in the league in faceoff percentage entering Thursday’s games. O’Reilly also led the league with 998 faceoffs taken, accounting for 41.8% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.
  • O’Reilly will become the 31st player in Sabres history to appear in the NHL All-Star Game when he plays in this year’s installment on Jan. 31 in Nashville.

FINNISHING TOUCH

  • Entering Thursday’s games, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 15 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-11th, 7), assists (T-10th, 19), points (T-11th, 26), shots (9th, 103), time on ice per game (13th, 24:48) and multi-point games (T-8th, 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 26 points (7+19) in 40 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.

JOHNNY ON THE SPOT
Chad Johnson
has appeared in 15 games since the beginning of November, logging a 7-5-2 record with a .930 save percentage and a 2.10 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.

YOUNG GUNS

  • If they maintain their current pace, Jack Eichel (13+13) and Sam Reinhart (9+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 (13) and Reinhart (9) 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.
    • If Eichel maintains his current pace, he will become the ninth Sabres rookie to record more than 50 points in a season. He would be the first since Derek Plante (1993-94) and the second-youngest to do so, trailing Phil Housley (1982-83).

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER
After going 4-for-14 in their last two games, the Sabres are 26-for-129 (20.2%) on the power play this season, ranked ninth in the league entering play Thursday. 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 21 of their first 40 games this season, posting a 6-14-1 record in those games. Last season, the team finished the season 5-5-0 in 10 total games when outshooting their opponents.

POSSESSION PROGRESSION
The Sabres have led their opponent in even-strength shot attempts (corsi) in 17 of the team’s 40 games this season, going 6-9-2 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-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.

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 WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • 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.

Evander Kane:

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

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Niklas Hjalmarsson 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.
  • 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 (102), McGinn (89), Kane (78)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (93), Ristolainen (63), McCabe (48)
Shots: Eichel (131), Kane (112), Ristolainen (103)

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: 3-6-1 (7), 20/27, 4/35, 17/21

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 … 6 games … 1,100 career games played
Assists
Zach Bogosian … 2 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 5 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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