Game Preview: 2/3/16 at MTL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 26
Buffalo 3 at Ottawa 2
Goals: Eichel (2), Kane
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/36 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Ottawa 36 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 225)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 50 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 13 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (lower body, Jan. 5; injured reserve) – 11 games
Sam Reinhart (upper body, Jan. 22; injured reserve) – 3 games
Josh Gorges (upper body, Jan. 22) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/3:
Activated F Nicolas Deslauriers and F Sam Reinhart from IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, Feb. 4:
Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 6: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 9: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 11: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at CANADIENS

  • This is the second of five meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Montreal defeated Buffalo, 7-2, in Buffalo on Oct. 23
  • Next meeting: Friday, Feb. 12 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 7-3-0 on the road
  • This is the 268th game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 122-107-38 series record.
  • The Sabres are 52-69-13 on the road against the Canadiens all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-12-2 all-time on February 3.
  • February 3, 1985: Gilles Hamel scores twice, including a shorthanded goal, as the Sabres top the Flames, 6-1, at home.
  • February 3, 1993: The Sabres trade Dave Andreychuk, Daren Puppa, and the team’s first-round draft choice in 1993 (Kenny Jonsson) to Toronto in exchange for Grant Fuhr and the Maple Leafs’ fifth-round pick (Kevin Popp) in the 1995 Entry Draft.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • In his four games played since returning from a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for 39 games, Robin Lehner has logged one assist, a .938 save percentage and a 2.27 goals-against average.
  • The Sabres have gone 14-7-2 in their last 23 games against the Canadiens.
  • Buffalo has more wins against Montreal (122) than against any other NHL team. The Sabres have 121 wins against the Bruins, but have played 10 more games against Boston than against Montreal.
  • Matt Moulson has recorded 13 points (10+3) in his last 14 games against the Canadiens, dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has seven points (4+3) in eight career games against Montreal.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES
Only seven players who were on Buffalo’s 23-man roster when these teams met one year ago today in Montreal are currently on the team’s roster. The Canadiens’ current roster features12 of 23 players from last year’s roster. Here are some other comparisons of the matchup from one year ago today.

Date Feb. 3, 2015 Feb. 3, 2016
Team Buffalo Sabres Montreal Canadiens Buffalo Sabres Montreal Canadiens
Record 14-33-3 32-14-3 20-26-4 24-22-4
Top Scorers Tyler Ennis (30)

Zemgus Girgensons (24)

Drew Stafford (22)

Max Pacioretty (40)

Alex Galchenyuk (34)

Tomas Plekanec (33)

Ryan O’Reilly (40)

Jack Eichel (34)

Rasmus Ristolainen (31)

P.K. Subban (37)

Max Pacioretty (36)

Tomas Plekanec (34)

Last 10 0-10-0 6-3-1 5-5-0 2-7-1

ROAD WARRIORS
The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 5-0-1 record in their last six road games against Atlantic Division opponents, the team’s best record in six road games against divisional opponents since they went 5-0-1 in six divisional road games from Dec. 4 to March 10, 2011. With a win or overtime loss tonight, the Sabres would have points in seven straight divisional road games for the first time in franchise history.

BACK FROM THE BREAK*
The Sabres return to action tonight after a seven-day layoff. Buffalo is 16-17-4 all-time in the first game back from the All-Star break. The Sabres are 3-3 in such games since 2005-06, outscoring their opponents by a margin of 22-15.

FINISHING STRONG AFTER THE BREAK*
Buffalo is 554-424-191 (.544) all-time in games after the All-Star break. This includes a record of 103-71-29 (.579) in those games since the lockout.

*Note: These totals do not include games after breaks for the Olympic Games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s ninth of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which concludes tomorrow night in Buffalo against the Bruins. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-4-0 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 (4), one point (0) and zero points (3).

HIGHLY RANKED

  • Entering play Tuesday, Ryan O’Reilly (21:52) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:08) ranked third.
  • Despite having missed 10 games due to injury this season, Kane leads the Sabres in both shots (157) and hits (111), making him the only player in the league to lead his team in both categories. Kane ranked fourth in the league entering play Tuesday with 3.9 shots per game.
  • O’Reilly (57.1%) ranked eighth in the league in faceoff percentage before Tuesday night’s games. O’Reilly leads the league with 1,267 faceoffs taken, accounting for 42.4% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.

YOUNG GUNS

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game with 20 points (7+13) in his last 18 games, a stretch which included a career-best, four-game point streak (2+4) from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5.
  • Eichel entered Tuesday night’s games ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (2nd, 16), assists (T-3rd, 18), points (2nd, 34), shots (1st, 150) and time on ice per game (5th, 18:39).
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (16+18) 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 (16) 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 34 points (14+18) in 50 games, Eichel is on pace for 56 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

  • Entering play Tuesday night, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 15 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-12th, 8), assists (T-11th, 23), points (T-10th, 31), shots (T-11th, 118), time on ice per game (11th, 25:11) 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 50 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 51 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.

OUTSHOOTING OPPONENTS
The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 23 of 50 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 20 of the team’s 50 games this season, going 8-10-2 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-MTL CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Brian Flynn played in parts of three seasons for Buffalo, totaling 41 points (17+24) in 159 games.
  • Torrey Mitchell played 60 games for the Sabres during parts of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He had 14 points (7+7) and 30 penalty minutes during his time in Buffalo.

Former Canadiens:

  • Brian Gionta played for the Canadiens from 2009-2014, registering 173 points (97+76) in 303 games played.  He also served as the team’s captain from 2010-2014.
  • Josh Gorges was a member of the Canadiens from 2006-2014, registering 88 points (13+75) over 464 games played.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • He and P.K. Subban were both born in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Colaiacovo and Lars Eller played together for the St. Louis Blues during the 2009-10 season.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Ben Scrivens for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2013.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Dale Weise for the New York Rangers during the 2010-11 season.

Evander Kane:

  • He and P.K. Subban both represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Tom Gilbert and Torrey Mitchell for the Minnesota Wild from during the 2012-13 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Alex Galchenyuk at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship. Jeff Petry was also a part of the 2014 World Championship squad.

Jamie McGinn:

  • He and Dale Weise share a birthday (Aug. 5, 1988).
  • Played with Torrey Mitchell for the San Jose Sharks from 2009-2012.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Tomas Fleischmann for the Colorado Avalanche during part of the 2010-11 season.

NHL Draft:

  • Jamie McGinn (36th overall by San Jose) and Jeff Petry (45th overall by Edmonton) were both second-round picks in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall by Minnesota) and Devante Smith-Pelly (42nd overall by Anaheim) were both taken in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Kane (111), Deslauriers (102), Foligno/McGinn (101)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (98), Ristolainen (78), McCabe (60)
Shots: Kane (157), Eichel (150), Ristolainen (118)

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: 5-5-0 (10), 22/26, 6/25, 26/28

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

Mark Pysyk … 5 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Josh Gorges … 4 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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