Game Preview: 2/27/16 at LAK

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, February 26
Buffalo 0 at San Jose 1
Goals: Larsson, Bogosian, Kane
Goalie: Johnson (24 saves/25 shots)
PP: 0/0; PK: 0/0; Shots: San Jose 25 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 266)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 62 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 25 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 3 games
Ryan O’Reilly (lower body, Feb. 21; injured reserve) – 3 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
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.
Tuesday, March 8: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at KINGS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Kings this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Los Angeles, 2-1 (OT), in Buffalo on Dec. 12, 2015
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Kings; 2-7-1 on the road
  • This is the 119th game all-time between Buffalo and Los Angeles; Buffalo has a 58-41-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-25-10 on the road against the Kings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-8-3 all-time on February 27.
  • February 27, 1975: The Sabres get goals from five different players and Roger Crozier stops all 21 Los Angeles shots as Buffalo tops the Kings 5-0 at home.
  • February 27, 2012: The Sabres acquire a first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Draft from Nashville in exchange for Paul Gaustad and a fourth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres have gone 59-for-65 (90.8%) on the penalty kill in their last 23 games, including a 20-for-21 run in the team’s last six games.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have defeated the Kings twice in a season for the first time since 2003-04. The teams have split the only two multi-game season series since then (2013-14 and 2014-15).
  • Evander Kane has six points (2+4) in his last six games against the Kings.
  • Jamie McGinn has four points (3+1) in his last four games against Los Angeles.
  • Chad Johnson is 2-0-0 in three career games against the Kings, with a .942 save percentage and a 1.48 goals-against average.
  • Evander Kane ranks third in the league with 4.1 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.

HOME-ICE ADVANTAGE
With the exception of the 2011 NHL Premiere* meeting between these teams, the home team has won the last 11 games between the Sabres and the Kings. The last time one of these teams won in the other team’s arena was a 5-1 Sabres victory on Oct. 23, 2003, when the Sabres snapped a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in road games against the Kings that dated back to March 13, 1996 (6-2 Sabres win).

*The Sabres topped the Kings, 4-2, in a road game on Oct. 8, 2011, but the game was held in Berlin, Germany as part of the 2011 NHL Premiere series.

GOING BACK TO CALI
Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s third in a three-game road trip against Pacific Division opponents. The Sabres are 6-4-1 against the Pacific Division this season, the team’s best record against any division. The Sabres are 7-3-1 in their last 11 games against the Western Conference, including a 4-1-0 record in their last five games against the Pacific Division.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 11th of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 3-1 win at San Jose. The Sabres are 4-7-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-4-1 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 (1), two points (5), one point (0) and zero points (3).

FINISHING STRONG AFTER THE BREAK
Buffalo is 559-428-194 (.555) all-time in games after the All-Star break. This includes a record of 108-75-32 (.577) in those games since the lockout. The Sabres are 5-4-3 (.542) since the All-Star break so far this season.

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

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 is ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (T-4th, 17), assists (T-2nd, 24), points (T-2nd, 41) and shots (1st, 176).
  • If they maintain their current pace, Eichel (17+24) and Sam Reinhart (18+10) 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 62 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).

LOGGING BIG MINUTES

  • Rasmus Ristolainen is ranked 10th in the NHL with an average ice time of 25:20 per game. Only Alexei Zhitnik (four times) has averaged more minutes per game in a full season with the Sabres.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:51) leads 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 23:31 per game in his 66 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 (16:30 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.

OUTSHOOTING OPPONENTS
The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 25 of 62 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 62 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-LAK CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Brayden McNabb was a part of the Sabres’ organization for parts of five seasons from 2009-2014. Selected by Buffalo in the third round (66th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, McNabb played 37 games for the Sabres, totaling eight points (1+7). He also tallied 95 points (17+78) in 145 games for the Rochester Americans.
  • Jhonas Enroth played for the Sabres for parts of six seasons after being drafted by Buffalo in the second round (46th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He posted a 38-56-14 record with a .910 save percentage and a 2.92 goals-against average in 118 games for Buffalo.
  • Jamie McBain played for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2013-14 season, tallying 17 points (6+11) in 69 games played.

Former Kings:

  • Dan Bylsma played for Los Angeles from 1995-2000. The former forward had 30 points (9+21) in 220 games in his five seasons for the Kings.
  • Matt Moulson played for the Kings from 2007-2009, tallying 10 points (6+4) in 29 games.
  • Terry Murray served as head coach of the Kings from 2008-2011, posting a 139-106-30 mark behind the bench for Los Angeles.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Dustin Brown for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Teammates with Luke Schenn for Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Teammates with Trevor Lewis for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Milan Lucic for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) from 2004-2007.
  • Played with Luke Schenn for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2011-12 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Jeff Carter for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Milan Lucic for the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.

Evander Kane:

  • He and Milan Lucic were both born in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were also teammates for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) during the 2006-07 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Teammates with Michael Mersch for the University of Wisconsin from 2011-2014.

Matt Moulson:

  • He is the brother-in-law of Jonathan Quick.

NHL Draft:

  • Vincent Lecavalier (1st overall) and David Legwand (2nd overall) were the first two picks of the 1998 NHL Draft, which was held in Buffalo.
  • Cody Franson (79th overall) and Jonathan Quick (72nd overall) were both third -round picks in the 2005 NHL Draft.
  • Jamie McGinn (36th overall), Jhonas Enroth (46th overall), Milan Lucic (50th overall) and Jamie McBain (63rd overall) were all taken in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Zach Bogosian, Drew Doughty and Luke Schenn were all selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Bogosian was the 3rd overall selection, Doughty was the 2nd overall pick and Schenn went 5th overall.
  • Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Kyle Clifford (35th overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers and Brayden McNabb, who were involved in the same trade in 2014, were both third-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft. McNabb went 66th overall to the Sabres, and Deslauriers was taken 84th overall by the Kings.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Tyler Toffoli (47th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tanner Pearson (30th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Kane (139), Deslauriers (135), Foligno (127)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (121), Ristolainen (107), McCabe (80)
Shots: Kane (210), Eichel (176), Ristolainen (146)

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