Game Preview: 3/1/16 vs. EDM

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 27
Buffalo 0 at Los Angeles 2
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Lehner (33 saves/35 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: Los Angeles 35 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 270)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 63 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 26 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 4 games
Ryan O’Reilly (lower body, Feb. 21; injured reserve) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/27:
Acquired F Alex Guptill, F Eric O’Dell, F Cole Schneider and D Michael Sdao from Ottawa in exchange for F Jason Akeson, F Philip Varone and D Jerome Leduc
2/29:
Acquired a conditional third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft from Anaheim in exchange for F Jamie McGinn

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, March 10: Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
OILERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Oilers this season.
  • Last meeting: Edmonton defeated Buffalo, 4-2, in Edmonton on Dec. 6
  • The Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Oilers; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 71st game all-time between Buffalo and Edmonton; Buffalo has a 22-38-10 series record.
  • The Sabres are 13-15-7 at home against the Oilers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-10-5 all-time on March 1.
  • March 1, 1981: Randy Cunneyworth appears in his first NHL game with Sabres, a 6-4 loss at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres have gone 61-for-67 (91.0%) on the penalty kill in their last 24 games, including a 22-for-23 run in the team’s last seven games.
  • Despite their 7-4-0 record and plus-13 goal differential (37-24) in their last 11 games against Edmonton, the Sabres need a win tonight to avoid losing four straight games to the Oilers for the first time since they lost seven in a row from March 14, 1987 to Nov. 13, 1988
  • Brian Gionta has five points (1+4) in his last four games against the Oilers.
  • Cody Franson has five assists in his last five games against Edmonton.
  • Evander Kane ranks third in the league with 4.1 shots per game.
  • Robin Lehner’s .931 save percentage through 15 games played is the second-best in the league among goalies with at least five games played, trailing only Carey Price (12 GP, .934).
  • In his last six games, Lehner is 2-3-1 with a .954 save percentage and a 1.50 goals-against average, making it the best six-game stretch of his career by both metrics.

WILD, WILD WEST
Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s fourth of five straight games against Pacific Division opponents. The Sabres are 6-5-1 against the Pacific Division this season, the team’s best record against any division. The Sabres are 7-4-1 in their last 12 games against the Western Conference, including a 4-2-0 record in their last six games against the Pacific Division.

FINISHING STRONG AFTER THE BREAK
Buffalo is 559-429-194 (.555) all-time in games after the All-Star break. This includes a record of 108-76-32 (.574) in those games since the lockout. The Sabres are 5-5-3 (.500) 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.
  • Entering play Monday, Eichel is ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (T-4th, 17), assists (3rd, 24), points (3rd, 41) and shots (1st, 182).
  • 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 63 games, Eichel is on pace for 53 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 was ranked 10th in the NHL entering play Monday with an average ice time of 25:21 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) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game entering play Monday and Evander Kane (21:02) 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 23:30 per game in his 67 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 18:48 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.

OUTSHOOTING OPPONENTS
The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 25 of 63 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 63 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-EDM CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo selected Andrej Sekera in 3rd round (71st overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft and he went on to play seven seasons in blue and gold. The defenseman had 92 points (17+75) and a plus-6 rating in 339 games for the Sabres.

Local Players:

  • Adam Clendening was born in Niagara Falls, New York.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Mark Letestu for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-2011.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Matt Hendricks for the United States during the 2015 World Championship.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Benoit Pouliot for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2011.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Benoit Pouliot for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2011.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Lauri Korpikoski for the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012-13 season.

David Legwand:

  • Played with Matt Hendricks for the Nashville Predators during the 2013-14 season.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • He and Lauri Korpikoski were both born in Turku, Finland.

International Teammates:

  • 2009 World Junior Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle.
  • 2010 World Championship (Canada): Chad Johnson, Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle
  • 2011 World Championship (Canada): Carlo Colaiacovo, Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle.
  • 2011 World Junior Championship (Sweden): Johan Larsson, Robin Lehner and Anton Lander.
  • 2012 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle,
  • 2014 World Junior Championship (Canada): Sam Reinhart and Connor McDavid.
  • 2015 World Junior Championship (Canada): Sam Reinhart, Connor McDavid and Darnell Nurse.

NHL Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall) and Jordan Eberle (22nd overall) were both drafted in the first-round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Anton Lander (40th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Taylor Hall (1st overall) were both first-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Nail Yakupov (1st overall) were both first-round draft picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) was taken one pick after Darnell Nurse (7th overall) in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) was taken one pick before Leon Draisaitl (3rd overall) in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Connor McDavid (1st overall) were the top two picks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (145), Kane (137), Foligno (129)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (124), Ristolainen (107), McCabe (82)
Shots: Kane (214), Eichel (182), Ristolainen (149)

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: 1-2-0 (2), 3/4, 0/7, 4/5

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s