Game Preview: 2/4/16 vs. BOS

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, February 3
Buffalo 4 at Montreal 2
Goals: Foligno, McGinn, Larsson, Gionta
Goalie: Lehner (33 saves/35 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/2; Shots: Montreal 35 – Buffalo 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 227)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 51 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 14 games

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

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Sunday, Feb. 14: Colorado at Buffalo, 12:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BRUINS at SABRES

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo, 4-1, in Buffalo on Jan. 15
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Feb. 6 in Boston
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 280th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 121-116-42 series record.
  • The Sabres are 73-46-22 at home against the Bruins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-7-2 all-time on February 4.
  • February 4, 1971: Eddie Shack records the second hat trick in franchise history in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
  • February 4, 1998: The Sabres acquire Geoff Sanderson from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Brad May and a third-round draft pick in the 1999 NHL Draft.
  • February 4, 2012: Ryan Miller passes Dominik Hasek for the most wins in franchise history with his 235th career win at N.Y. Islanders.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • In his five games played since returning from a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for 39 games, Robin Lehner has logged a 2-3-0 record with a .939 save percentage and a 2.22 goals-against average.
  • Lehner has faced Boston more times than any other NHL team. In 12 career games against the Bruins, Lehner has logged a 3-6-2 record with a .923 save percentage and a 2.71 goals-against average.
  • In three career games against the Bruins, Chad Johnson is 2-1-0 with a .931 save percentage and a 2.35 goals-against average.
  • Cody Franson has seven assists in his last six games against the Bruins.
  • The Sabres and Bruins have played 12 shootouts (with each team winning six), tying Buffalo’s highest total against any team (Ottawa, New Jersey)

HOME-AND-HOME
Tonight’s game is the first in a home-and-home series between the Sabres and Bruins that concludes on Saturday at Boston. The Sabres and Bruins have previously played 20 home-and-home series, with the Sabres going 10-6-4 (four ties) in the home games and 9-6-5 (three ties) in the road games. Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (5), three points (5), two points (6), one point (0), zero points (4).

SEE YOU SOON
The Sabres and Bruins will meet again in two days in Boston. For the Sabres, this is the seventh of eight sets of games this season in which they’ll face the same opponent both home and away in a three-game span; two of these are home-and-home series. The next such set is against the Montreal Canadiens on March 10 and 16.

FINISHING STRONG AFTER THE BREAK*
Buffalo is 555-424-191 (.556) all-time in games after the All-Star break. This includes a record of 104-71-29 (.581) 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 wraps up Buffalo’s ninth of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 4-2 win at Montreal. The Sabres are 3-6-0 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

  • After last night’s game, 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 per game (3.9) and hits per game (2.8), making him the only player in the league to lead his team in both categories. Kane ranked fourth in the league after last night’s game with 9 shots per game.
  • O’Reilly (56.9%) ranked 10th in the league in faceoff percentage after last night’s game. O’Reilly leads the league with 1,293 faceoffs taken, accounting for 42.4% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.

YOUNG GUNS

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game with 21 points (7+14) in his last 19 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 five among NHL rookies in goals (2nd, 16), assists (3rd, 19), points (2nd, 35), shots (1st, 151) and time on ice per game (5th, 18:38).
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (16+19) 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 35 points (14+19) in 51 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

  • After last night’s game, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 15 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-12th, 8), assists (T-9th, 24), points (10th, 32), shots (T-10th, 121), time on ice per game (11th, 25:09) 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 32 points (8+24) in 51 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 51 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 21 of the team’s 51 games this season, going 9-10-2 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-BOS CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Joe Sacco served as an assistant coach for the Sabres during the 2013-14 season.

Former Bruins:

  • Dave Barr played for Boston from 1981 to 1983 and had two points (1+1) in 12 games played.
  • Chad Johnson spent one season with the Bruins and posted a 17-4-3 record with a .925 save percentage and a 2.10 goals-against average during the 2013-14 campaign.

Local Players:

  • Jack Eichel was born in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Max Talbot for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-2011.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with Zac Rinaldo for the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2014-15 season.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Brett Connolly for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Brad Marchand for Team Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Max Talbot for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Loui Eriksson at the 2012 World Championship.

David Legwand:

  • Played with Landon Ferraro for the Detroit Red Wings for part of the 2013-14 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Teammates with Jimmy Hayes for the United States at the 2014 World Championship.

Jamie McGinn:

  • Played with Matt Beleskey for Team Canada at the 2006 World U18 Championship.
  • Played with Max Talbot for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Brett Connolly and Landon Ferraro for Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Played with Max Talbot for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.

NHL Draft:

  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Landon Ferraro (32nd overall) were second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Brett Connolly (6th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Ryan Spooner (45th overall) were second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and David Pastrnak (25th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Kane (113), Deslauriers/Foligno(107), McGinn (103)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (100), Ristolainen (82), McCabe (60)
Shots: Kane (161), Eichel (151), Ristolainen (121)

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
51-60: 1-0-0 (2), 3/2, 1/3, 1/2

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 … 4 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Josh Gorges … 4 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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