Game Preview: 1/20/16 at COL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, January 18
Buffalo 2 at Arizona 1
Goals: Eichel, McGinn
Goalie: Johnson (26 saves/27 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 5/5; Shots: Buffalo 28 – Arizona 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 205)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 46 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 9 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (lower body, Jan. 5; injured reserve) – 7 games
Zemgus Girgensons (upper body, Jan. 16) – 2 games
Josh Gorges (upper body, Jan. 16) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/14:
Recalled G Robin Lehner from conditioning stint in Rochester (AHL); Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester
1/16: Recalled F Philip Varone from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Wednesday, Feb. 3: Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 4: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at AVALANCHE

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Avalanche this season.
  • Last meeting: Colorado defeated Buffalo, 5-3, in Colorado
  • The Sabres are 1-5-4 in their last 10 games vs. the Avalanche; 5-3-2 on the road.
  • This is the 138th game all-time between Buffalo and Colorado; Buffalo has a 59-54-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 23-33-13 on the road against the Avalanche all-time.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 9-10-6 against the Avalanche since they moved to Colorado before the 1995-96 season.
  • Marcus Foligno has four points (3+1) in five career games against the Avalanche.
  • Johan Larsson had a point in each of Buffalo’s two games against Colorado last season, including his first NHL goal on Dec. 20, 2014.
  • David Legwand has eight points (2+6) in his last seven games against the Avalanche.
  • Chad Johnson earned his first NHL win on Jan. 31, 2010 in Colorado, stopping 34 of 35 Avalanche shots.
  • Evander Kane ranked fifth in the league entering play Tuesday with 3.8 shots per game.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 20 points (7+13) in 21 road games this season.
  • Entering Tuesday’s games, Ryan O’Reilly (21:55) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:04) ranked third.

IT’S BEEN AWHILE

  • The Sabres are looking for their first win against the Avalanche since Dec. 4, 2005, a 6-4 win in Colorado.
  • At over 10 years, the Sabres’ drought against the Avalanche is their longest against any opponent.
  • While the Avalanche have won the last nine matchups with the Sabres, four were decided in either overtime (once) or a shootout (three times).
  • The Sabres need a win tonight to avoid their first five-game losing streak on the road against Colorado/Quebec since they lost 11 in a row from Oct. 8, 1983 to Jan. 25, 1986.

HOME AWAY FROM HOME
A win tonight would give the Sabres wins in four straight road games for the first time since the first four road games of the 2011-12 season. The Sabres haven’t won five straight road games in a single season* since they won the first 10 road games of the 2006-07 season.

*The Sabres won six consecutive regular-season road games from April 3 to Oct. 20, 2011 and seven consecutive regular-season road games from April 3 to Oct. 28, 2009.

THE O’REILLY FACTOR

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 22 points (10+12) in his last 23 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 (57.5%) ranked fifth in the league in faceoff percentage before Tuesday’s games. O’Reilly also leads the league with 1,166 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 15 points (5+10) in his last 14 games, a stretch which included a career-best, four-game point streak (2+4) from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5.
  • Eichel entered Tuesday’s games ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (T-2nd, 14), assists (4th, 15), points (4th, 29), shots (1st, 143) and time on ice per game (5th, 18:47).
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (14+15) and Sam Reinhart (12+9) 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 (14) 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.
  • With 29 points (14+15) in 46 games, Eichel is on pace for 52 points this season. If he reaches the 50-point mark, 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 only Phil Housley (1982-83).

FINNISHING TOUCH

  • Before Tuesday’s games, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 15 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-11th, 8), assists (T-7th, 23), points (T-8th, 31), shots (10th, 113), time on ice per game (12th, 24:55) and multi-point games (T-5th, 7).
  • Ristolainen is the first Sabres defenseman to record seven multi-point games in a season since Jordan Leopold in 2010-11. Jaroslav Spacek (10 multi-point games in 2008-09) was the last Sabres defenseman to record more than seven.
  • His four power-play goals are the most by a Sabres defenseman since 2010-11 (Jordan Leopold, 5).
  • With 31 points (8+23) in 46 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 55 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 18 games since the beginning of November, logging a 9-6-2 record with a .936 save percentage and a 1.98 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 23 of their first 46 games this season, posting a 7-15-1 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 19 of the team’s 46 games this season, going 8-9-2 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-COL CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo selected Mikhail Grigorenko in the first round (12th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft and he had 14 points (6+8) in 68 games for the Sabres.
  • Nikita Zadorov had 16 points (4+12) in 67 games for the Sabres after they selected him in the first round (16th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Former Avalanche:

  • Dave Barr served as an assistant coach for the Colorado Avalanche from 2008 to 2009.
  • Jamie McGinn played for the Avalanche from 2012 to 2015 and tallied 79 points (42+37) in 162 games.
  • Colorado selected Ryan O’Reilly in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He went on to play 427 games from 2009 to 2015 and had 283 points (90+156).

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Jarome Iginla for part of the 2012-13 season.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Zach Redmond for the Winnipeg Jets from 2012-2014.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with Erik Johnson for the St. Louis Blues from 2008-2011.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Tyson Barrie for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) from 2001-2004.
  • Played with Alex Tanguay for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2008-09 season.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Matt Duchene for Team Canada at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Jarome Iginla and Carl Soderberg for the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Zach Redmond for the Winnipeg Jets from 2012-2014.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Team Sweden alongside Gabriel Landeskog at the 2012 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the New York Islanders from 2009-2011.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada alongside Chris Bigras at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

International Teammates:

  • 2010 World Championship (Canada): Chad Johnson, Evander Kane, Francois Beauchemin and Matt Duchene
  • 2011 World Championship (Canada): Carlo Colaiacovo, Evander Kane and Matt Duchene
  • 2013 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene
  • 2015 World Championship (Canada): Tyler Ennis (IR), Ryan O’Reilly, Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon

NHL Draft:

  • David Legwand (2nd overall), Brad Stuart (3rd overall) and Alex Tanguay (12th overall) were all taken in the first round of the 1998 NHL Draft.
  • Brian Gionta (82nd overall) and Francois Beauchemin (75th overall) were third-round picks in the 1998 NHL Draft.
  • Chad Johnson (125th overall) and Andrew Bodnarchuk (128th overall) were both fifth-round picks in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall) was taken one pick after Matt Duchene (3rd overall) in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Calvin Pickard (49th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall) were first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall), Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall) and Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) were all first-round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (102), Kane (100), McGinn (95)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (98), Ristolainen (71), McCabe (55)
Shots: Eichel (143), Kane (138), Ristolainen (113)

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: 4-2-0 (8), 15/13, 4/19, 14/15

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

Evander Kane … 3 games … 400 career games played
Mark Pysyk … 9 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Josh Gorges … 4 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Zach Bogosian … 100th NHL assist … Jan. 16 vs. WSH
David Legwand … 1,100th NHL game … Jan. 18 at ARI

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