Game Preview: 3/5/16 vs. MIN

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 3
Calgary 3 at Buffalo 6
Goals: Ristolainen, Foligno, Deslauriers, Larsson, Eichel, Kane
Goalie: Lehner (26 saves/29 shots)
PP: 1/8; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 35 – Calgary 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 278)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 65 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 28 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 6 games
Ryan O’Reilly (lower body, Feb. 21; injured reserve) – 6 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/29:
Acquired a conditional third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft from Anaheim in exchange for F Jamie McGinn; Assigned F Justin Bailey and F Cal O’Reilly to Rochester (AHL); Recalled F Daniel Catenacci and F Cal O’Reilly from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Saturday, March 12: Carolina at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Wednesday, March 16: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
WILD at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Wild this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Minnesota, 3-2, in Minnesota on Jan. 12
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Wild; 2-6-0 in eight home games.
  • This is the 18th game all-time between Buffalo and Minnesota; Buffalo has an 8-9-0 series record.
  • The Sabres are 2-6-0 at home against the Wild all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-10-1 all-time on March 5.
  • March 5, 2010: Thomas Vanek records his 300th career NHL point, a goal vs. Philadelphia.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is the ninth of 11 afternoon games for the Sabres this season; the next will be on Saturday, March 12 vs. Carolina.
  • The Sabres are 5-0-2 in their last seven home games against Western Conference opponents. A point this afternoon would tie the best single-season home point streak against Western Conference teams in franchise history (7-0-1 from Oct. 8, 2009 to March 10, 2010).
  • The Sabres have gone 66-for-73 (90.4%) on the penalty kill in their last 26 games, including a 27-for-29 (93.1%) mark in the team’s last nine games.
  • Evander Kane ranks third in the league with 4.1 shots per game.

SABRES-WILD

  • Evander Kane has five points (2+3) in his last five games against Minnesota.
  • Brian Gionta has 10 points (6+4) in his last nine games against the Wild.
  • Robin Lehner recorded his second NHL shutout in his only career meeting with the Wild, stopping all 27 Minnesota shots on Jan. 14, 2014 as a member of the Ottawa Senators.

ROBBIN’ LEHNER

  • Robin Lehner’s .931 save percentage through 17 games played is the third-best in the league among goalies with more than five games played.
  • In his last eight games, Lehner is 3-3-2 with a .947 save percentage and a 1.73 goals-against average, making it the best eight-game stretch of his career by both metrics.

FINISHING STRONG AFTER THE BREAK
Buffalo is 560-429-195 (.555) all-time in games after the All-Star break. This includes a record of 109-76-33 (.576) in those games since the lockout. The Sabres are 6-5-4 (.533) since the All-Star break so far this season.

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

YOUNG GUNS

  • Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart are tied with Evander Kane for the Sabres’ team lead with18 goals this season. If either rookie 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 Friday, Eichel is ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (T-3th, 18), assists (3rd, 24), points (3rd, 42) and shots (1st, 194).
  • If Reinhart records one more point this season, Eichel (18+24) and Reinhart (18+11) would be the first pair of Sabres rookies to reach 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 and Eichel 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 42 points (18+24) in 65 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 Friday with an average ice time of 25:19 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 Friday and Evander Kane (21:06) 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 69 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 18:54 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 (16:40 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 26 of 65 games this season, posting an 8-16-2 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 65 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-MIN CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Jason Pominville spent the better part of nine seasons as a member of the Sabres (2003-2013), also serving as captain from 2011-2013. Over this time, he suited up for a total of 578 games with Buffalo and recorded 456 points (185+271).
  • Thomas Vanek was a member of the Sabres for just over eight seasons from 2005-2013. Initially drafted by Buffalo in the first round (5th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Vanek finished his career with the Sabres ranked 10th in franchise history in points (497), fifth in goals (254), 13th in assists (243), fourth in power-play goals (106) and fourth in game-winning goals (41).

Former Wild:

  • Dave Barr served as an assistant coach for Minnesota from 2009-2011.
  • Johan Larsson was Minnesota’s second-round pick (56th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. He only played one game for the Wild before being traded to Buffalo as part of the Jason Pominville trade.
  • Matt Moulson spent part of the 2013-14 season with the Wild, tallying 13 points (6+7) in 20 games and adding three points (1+2) in 10 playoff games.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Represented the United States alongside Ryan Suter at the 2009 World Championship.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with Jarret Stoll for Team Canada at the 2002 World Junior Championship.
  • He and Chris Porter were both born in Toronto, Ontario. They were also teammates for the St. Louis Blues from 2008-2012 and again during the 2013-14 season.
  • Teammates with Devan Dubnyk for Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Charlie Coyle and Mike Reilly at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Ryan Suter for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2011.

Brian Gionta

  • Represented the United States alongside Ryan Suter at the 2005 World Championship.
  • Played with Thomas Vanek for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2013-14 season.
  • Played with Zach Parise for the New Jersey Devils from 2005-2009.

Josh Gorges

  • Played with Thomas Vanek for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2013-14 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with Devan Dubnyk for Team Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.

David Legwand:

  • Teammates with Ryan Suter for the Nashville Predators from 2005-2012 and for the United States at the 2005 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Mike Reilly at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Nino Niederreiter for the New York Islanders from 2010-2012.  The two were also reunited briefly with the Wild during the 2013-14 season.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • He and Mikko Koivu were both born in Turku, Finland.
  • Played with Mikael Granlund for Team Finland at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Matt Dumba for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Carlo Colaiacovo (17th overall) and Mikko Koivu (6th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2001 NHL Draft.
  • Matt Moulson (263rd overall) and Chris Porter (282nd overall) were both ninth-round picks in the 2003 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall), Nino Niederreiter (5th overall), Mikael Granlund (9th overall) and Charlie Coyle (28th overall) were all chosen in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Jason Zucker (59th overall) were second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Matt Dumba (7th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (152), Kane (143), Foligno (133)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (127), Ristolainen (112), McCabe (85)
Shots: Kane (223), Eichel (194), Ristolainen (157)

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: 2-2-1 (5), 10/9, 1/16, 9/11

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-3; 100-104 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)
March 1 vs. EDM: L, 2-1 (GWG-McDavid, 3:48)

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
N/A

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