Game Preview: 1/16/16 vs. WSH

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, January 15
Boston 4 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Legwand
Goalie: Lehner (27 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 34 – Boston 31

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 195)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 44 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 7 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (lower body, Jan. 5; injured reserve) – 5 games
Zemgus Girgensons (upper body) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/11:
Recalled D Mark Pysyk from conditioning stint in Rochester (AHL)
1/14: Recalled G Robin Lehner from conditioning stint in Rochester (AHL); Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester
1/15: Recalled F Philip Varone from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Jan. 18:
Buffalo at Arizona, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 20: Buffalo at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 25: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo, 5-2, in Washington on Dec. 30
  • The Sabres are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 4-3-3 at home.
  • This is the 152nd game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has an 86-46-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 45-21-9 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-3-5 all-time on January 16.
  • January 16, 1970: George “Punch” Imlach is named general manager and coach of the Sabres.
  • January 16, 2012: Mike Weber plays in his 100th NHL game at Detroit.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres need a win tonight to avoid going winless in five straight matchups with the Capitals for the first time in franchise history. Buffalo is also looking to avoid losing three straight games to the Capitals in regulation for the first time since the 2002-03 season.
  • Seven of the 11 games between these teams since the beginning of the 2012-13 season have been decided by a single goal.
  • Robin Lehner made his second NHL start of the season last night against Boston after missing 39 games with a high ankle sprain sustained in the second period of the team’s season opener.
  • Zemgus Girgensons left last night’s game in the first period due to an upper-body injury.
  • Evander Kane ranked eighth in the league after last night’s game with 3.7 shots per game.
  • At the conclusion of last night’s game, Ryan O’Reilly (21:55) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:03) ranked third.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s seventh of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 4-1 loss vs. Boston. The Sabres are 2-5-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-4-0 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 (3).

THE O’REILLY FACTOR

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 20 points (10+10) in his last 21 games, a stretch that included an eight-game point streak from Nov. 28 to Dec. 14 which tied the longest streak of O’Reilly’s
  • O’Reilly (58.0%) ranked fifth in the league in faceoff percentage after last night’s game. O’Reilly also led the league with 1,118 faceoffs taken, accounting for 42.3% 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.

YOUNG GUNS

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game with 13 points (4+9) in his last 12 games, a stretch which included a career-best, four-game point streak (2+4) from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5.
  • Eichel finished last night’s game ranked in the top 10 among NHL rookies in goals (T-3rd, 13), assists (4th, 14), points (4th, 27), shots (1st, 140) and time on ice per game (5th, 18:53).
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (13+14) and Sam Reinhart (12+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 (12) are also 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).

FINNISHING TOUCH

  • After last night’s game, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 15 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-10th, 8), assists (T-13th, 20), points (T-11th, 28), shots (9th, 109), time on ice per game (15th, 24:45) and multi-point games (T-9th, 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 28 points (8+20) in 44 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 52 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 16 games since the beginning of November, logging a 7-6-2 record with a .932 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.

OUTSHOOTING OPPONENTS
The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 22 of their first 44 games this season, posting a 6-15-1 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 18 of the team’s 44 games this season, going 7-9-2 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-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.

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:

  • Evander Kane (4th overall) and Marcus Johansson (24th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th 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.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (26th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • 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 (102), McGinn (93), Kane (91)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (98), Ristolainen (68), McCabe (52)
Shots: Eichel (140), Kane (126), Ristolainen (109)

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
41-50: 2-2-0 (4), 9/11, 1/11, 5/6

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. 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 … 2 games … 1,100 career games played
Evander Kane … 5 games … 400 career games played
Assists
Zach Bogosian … 2 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 4 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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