Game Preview: 2/14/16 vs. COL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, February 12
Montreal 4 at Buffalo 6
Goals: Foligno (2), Kane (2), Legwand, Gorges
Goalie: Johnson (26 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 1/3; Shots: Montreal 30 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 245)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 56 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 19 games
Zemgus Girgensons (lower body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 3 games
Johan Larsson (lower body, Feb. 9) – 3 games
Daniel Catenacci (upper body, Feb. 12; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/10:
Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR
2/12: Recalled F Philip Varone from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Daniel Catenacci on IR
2/13: Assigned F Philip Varone to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Feb. 16:
Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 19: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 21: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 12:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 24: Buffalo at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
AVALANCHE at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Avalanche this season.
  • Last meeting: Colorado defeated Buffalo, 2-1, in Colorado
  • The Sabres are 0-6-4 in their last 10 games vs. the Avalanche; 2-5-3 at home.
  • This is the 139th game all-time between Buffalo and Colorado; Buffalo has a 59-55-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-21-11 at home against the Avalanche all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-4-4 all-time on February 14.
  • February 14, 1995: The Sabres acquire Charlie Huddy, Robb Stauber, Alexei Zhitnik and a fifth-round draft choice in 1995 (Marian Menhart) from Los Angeles in exchange for Philippe Boucher, Grant Fuhr and Denis Tsygurov.
  • February 14, 2004: J-P Dumont scores 9,000th goal in franchise history in a 6-4 win at Toronto.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is the seventh of 11 afternoon games for the Sabres this season; the next will be on Sunday, Feb. 21 vs. Pittsburgh.
  • David Legwand has eight points (2+6) in his last eight games against the Avalanche.
  • Marcus Foligno has four points (3+1) in six career games against the Avalanche.
  • Entering play Saturday, Evander Kane ranked third in the league with 4.2 shots per game. With only two games played, Justin Bailey (4.5 shots per game) does not qualify for the leaderboard.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (57.0%) ranked eighth in the league in faceoff percentage before Saturday’s games. O’Reilly leads the league with 1,419 faceoffs taken, accounting for 42.4% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs.

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. Their last home win against the Avalanche was a 3-2 overtime win on March 24, 2003.
  • At over 10 years, the Sabres’ drought against the Avalanche is their longest against any opponent.
  • While the Avalanche have won the last 10 matchups with the Sabres, four were decided in either overtime (once) or a shootout (three times).
  • The Sabres need a win tonight to avoid losing three straight home games in regulation against Colorado/Quebec for the first time in franchise history.

LOGGING BIG MINUTES

  • Rasmus Ristolainen was ranked 11th in the NHL before Saturday’s games with an average ice time of 25:17 per game. Only Alexei Zhitnik (four times) has averaged more minutes per game in a full season with the Sabres.
  • Entering Saturday’s games, Ryan O’Reilly (21:53) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (20:59) ranked third. The pair currently own the two highest average career ice times by Sabres forwards. Michael Peca (20:18) is the only other forward with an average over 20 minutes.
  • With an average ice time of 23:40 per game in his 60 games played since joining the Sabres last season, Zach Bogosian owns the third-highest average ice time ever recorded by a Sabres player, trailing only Alexei Zhitnik (531 GP, 25:32) and Christian Ehrhoff (192 GP, 23:55).

Note: The NHL began tracking ice time in the 1997-98 season.

YOUNG GUNS

  • Jack Eichel has 23 points (7+16) in his last 24 games, a stretch which included a career-best, four-game point streak (2+4) from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5.
  • Eichel entered play Saturday ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (T-3rd, 16), assists (3rd, 21), points (3rd, 37) and shots (1st, 167).
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (16+21) and Sam Reinhart (16+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 (16) 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 37 points (16+21) in 56 games, Eichel is on pace for 54 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 Saturday’s games, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked in the top 15 among NHL defensemen in goals (T-15th, 8), assists (T-12th, 25), shots (11th, 133), time on ice per game (11th, 25:17) and multi-point games (T-13th, 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 33 points (8+25) in 56 games, Ristolainen is on pace for 48 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 24 of 56 games this season, posting a 7-16-1 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 23 of the team’s 56 games this season, going 9-11-3 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.

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 that was held 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): Ryan O’Reilly, Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon

NHL Draft:

  • David Legwand (2nd overall) and Alex Tanguay (12th overall) were both 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.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers (82nd overall) and Tyson Barrie (64th overall) were both third-round picks in 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) and Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall) were both first-round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Kane (124), Deslauriers (120), Foligno (115)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (113), Ristolainen (88), McCabe (63)
Shots: Kane (194), Eichel (167), Ristolainen (133)

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: 2-2-2 (6), 17/23, 3/21, 12/15

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-2; 100-103 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)
Feb. 6 at BOS: L, 2-1 (GWG-Marchand, 2:32)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-4; 66-55 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)
Feb. 4 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GDG-Spooner)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Mark Pysyk … 1 game … 100 career games played
Brian Gionta … 2 games … 900 career games played
Robin Lehner … 5 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Josh Gorges … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Ryan O’Reilly … 7 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Daniel Catenacci … 1st NHL game … Feb. 6 at BOS
Justin Bailey … 1st NHL game … Feb. 11 at PHI

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