Game Preview: 2/26/16 at SJS

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, February 24
Buffalo 0 at Anaheim 1
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Lehner (28 saves/29 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/3; Shots: Anaheim 29 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 262)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 61 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 24 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 2 games
Ryan O’Reilly (lower body, Feb. 21; injured reserve) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/21:
Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL)
2/22: Recalled F Cal O’Reilly from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Ryan O’Reilly on IR
2/23: Acquired a third-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft from the Washington Capitals in exchange for D Mike Weber

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 27:
Buffalo at Los Angeles, 11 p.m.
Tuesday, March 1: Edmonton at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 3: Calgary at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 5: Minnesota at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, March 7: Buffalo at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at SHARKS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Sharks this season.
  • Last meeting: San Jose defeated Buffalo, 2-1 (OT), in Buffalo on Nov. 14
  • The Sabres are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Sharks; 5-2-3 on the road
  • This is the 35th game all-time between Buffalo and San Jose; Buffalo has a 22-6-6 series record.
  • The Sabres are 6-5-5 on the road against the Sharks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-8-6 all-time on February 26.
  • February 26, 1987: Wilf Paiement records the 99th hat trick in Sabres history in a 4-3 win against the visiting St. Louis Blues.
  • February 26, 1995: Dominik Hasek plays his 100th game as a member of the Sabres against the New York Rangers.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres have gone 59-for-65 (90.8%) on the penalty kill in their last 22 games, including a 20-for-21 run in the team’s last five games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has an assist in each of his last two games against San Jose.
  • Evander Kane ranked third in the league entering play Thursday with 4.2 shots per game.
  • Robin Lehner’s .930 save percentage through 14 games played is the fourth-best in the league among goalies with at least five games played.
  • In his last five games, Lehner is 2-2-1 with a .956 save percentage and a 1.39 goals-against average, making it the best five-game stretch of his career by both metrics.

SHARK KILLERS

  • The Sabres are currently on a franchise-best nine-game point streak (8-0-1) against the Sharks, dating back to a 3-1 win in Buffalo on Feb. 13, 2010. The previous record was five games (3-0-2), set from March 12, 1998 to Dec. 23, 2000.
  • Buffalo has won each of its last four games in San Jose, dating back to a 3-0 win on Jan. 6, 2011.

GOING BACK TO CALI
Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s second in a three-game road trip against Pacific Division opponents, following the team’s 1-0 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday. The Sabres are 5-4-1 against the Pacific Division this season, the team’s best record against any division. The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games against the Western Conference, including a 3-1-0 record in their last four games against the Pacific Division.

FINISHING STRONG AFTER THE BREAK
Buffalo is 558-428-194 (.555) all-time in games after the All-Star break. This includes a record of 107-75-32 (.575) in those games since the lockout. The Sabres are 4-4-3 (.500) since the All-Star break so far this season.

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

LOGGING BIG MINUTES

  • Rasmus Ristolainen was ranked 10th in the NHL before Thursday’s games with an average ice time of 25:22 per game. Only Alexei Zhitnik (four times) has averaged more minutes per game in a full season with the Sabres.
  • Entering Thursday’s games, Ryan O’Reilly (21:51) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (20:59) ranked second. 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 23:32 per game in his 65 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).
  • Jack Eichel’s average ice time of 18:47 is the highest ever recorded by a Sabres rookie forward, topping the next highest (Cody Hodgson- 20 GP, 17:16) by more than a minute. Sam Reinhart (16:29 this season) is the only other Sabres rookie forward to top 16 minutes per game.

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

YOUNG GUNS

  • Sam Reinhart leads all Sabres with 18 goals this season and Jack Eichel is tied for second with 17. If either player finishes the season with the team lead, he will be the first Sabres rookie to lead the team in goals since Ray Sheppard did so in the 1987-88 season.
  • Eichel entered play Thursday ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (T-4th, 17), assists (T-2nd, 24), points (T-2nd, 41) and shots (1st, 175).
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (17+24) and Sam Reinhart (18+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. The Sabres haven’t had two or more rookies reach 35 points in the same season since Ray Sheppard (65), Pierre Turgeon (42) and Calle Johansson (42) each did so in 1987-88.
  • Reinhart (18) and Eichel (17) are also on pace to become the third pair of rookies in Sabres history to each record 20 goals in the same season. The last pair was Danny Gare (31) and Peter McNab (22) in 1974-75.
  • With 41 points (17+24) in 61 games, Eichel is on pace for 55 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).

OUTSHOOTING OPPONENTS
The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 25 of 61 games this season, posting a 7-16-2 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 61 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-SJS CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Bob Boughner spent more time with the Sabres than with any other team during his 10-year NHL career. In 177 games for Buffalo, the former defenseman had 13 points (2+11) and 494 penalty minutes.
  • Dainius Zubrus played 19 games for the Sabres during the 2006-07 season, totaling eight points (4+4) and 12 penalty minutes.

Former Sharks:

  • Josh Gorges played for the Sharks from 2005-2007, tallying 10 points (1+9) in 96 games played.
  • Jamie McGinn spent parts of four seasons with San Jose from 2008-2012. He posted 49 points and 99 penalty minutes in 204 games for the Sharks.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Paul Martin for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2010-2014.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Represented the United States alongside Joe Pavelski at the 2009 World Championship.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Roman Polak for the St. Louis Blues from 2008-2012 and again during the 2013-14 season.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Mike Brown for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2013.
  • Played with Nick Spaling for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2011.

Brian Gionta:

  • Teammates with Paul Martin for the New Jersey Devils from 2003-2009.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2010 World Championship.

David Legwand:

  • Played with Nick Spaling for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2013.

Matt Moulson:

  • He and Joel Ward were both born in North York, Ontario.

Sam Reinhart:

  • He and Martin Jones were both born in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played with Joonas Donskoi for Team Finland at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

NHL Entry Draft:

  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tomas Hertl (17th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Kane (134), Deslauriers (133), Foligno (123)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (119), Ristolainen (107), McCabe (78)
Shots: Kane (209), Eichel (175), Ristolainen (145)

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: 4-3-3 (11), 29/30, 6/34, 30/33
61-70: 0-1-0 (0), 0/1, 0/4, 2/3

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 (1-5; 66-56 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)
Feb. 16 at OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)

UPCOMING MILESTONES (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Assists

Josh Gorges … 2 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Robin Lehner … 100th NHL game … Feb. 24 at ANA

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