Game Preview: 3/7/16 at TOR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 5
Minnesota 3 at Buffalo 2 (SO)
Goals: Larsson, Eichel
Goalie: Lehner (28 saves/30 shots)
PP: 2/2; PK: 0/1; Shots: Buffalo 32 – Minnesota 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 282)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 66 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 29 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 7 games
Ryan O’Reilly (lower body, Feb. 21; injured reserve) – 7 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Friday, March 18: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at MAPLE LEAFS

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Toronto, 2-1 (SO), in Buffalo on Oct. 21
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 19 in Toronto
  • The Sabres are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 1-6-3 on the road
  • This is the 199th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 109-63-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 42-38-18 on the road against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-7-5 all-time on March 7.
  • March 7, 1989: The Sabres trade Lindy Ruff to the New York Rangers for a fifth-round draft choice in 1990 (Richard Smehlik).
  • March 7, 2002: Martin Biron turns aside 26 New York Islanders shots to earn the first of two shutouts on back-to-back nights, a feat he would complete with another 26-save performance the following night against Montreal.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Matt Moulson has recorded 18 points (11+7) in his last 14 games against the Maple Leafs. In 25 career games against Toronto, Moulson has 24 points (16+8).
  • Johan Larsson has four points (1+3) in three career games against Toronto.
  • Eight of the last 15 games between these teams have gone to overtime.
  • Chad Johnson is 2-0-1 in four games against the Maple Leafs with a .924 save percentage and a 2.02 goals-against average.
  • Evander Kane ranks third in the league with 4.1 shots per game.

HOME COOKING
The home team has won 20 of the last 22 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs, including each of the last 12. The Sabres will look to avoid losing seven straight road games in Toronto for the first time in franchise history with a win tonight. The team’s last win in Toronto came on Jan. 21, 2013.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 12th of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night in Buffalo against the Rangers. The Sabres are 4-7-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-5-1 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 (6), one point (0) and zero points (3).

ROBBIN’ LEHNER

  • Robin Lehner’s .931 save percentage through 18 games played is the third-best in the league among goalies with more than five games played.
  • In his last nine games, Lehner is 3-3-3 with a .946 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average, making it the best nine-game stretch of his career by both metrics.

FINISHING STRONG AFTER THE BREAK
Buffalo is 560-429-196 (.555) all-time in games after the All-Star break. This includes a record of 109-76-34 (.575) in those games since the lockout. The Sabres are 6-5-5 (.531) 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 leads the Sabres with19 goals this season. If he 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 Sunday, Eichel is ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (T-2nd, 19), assists (3rd, 25), points (2nd, 44) and shots (1st, 197).
  • Eichel (19+25) and Sam Reinhart (18+12) are 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 44 points (19+25) in 66 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).

LOGGING BIG MINUTES

  • Rasmus Ristolainen was ranked 11th in the NHL entering play Sunday 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.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:51) led all NHL forwards in average ice time per game entering play Sunday 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 23:36 per game in his 70 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 18:56 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 (16:42 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 27 of 66 games this season, posting an 8-16-3 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 66 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-TOR CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Brad Boyes skated as a member of the Sabres from 2010-2012. During his two seasons in Buffalo, Boyes played in 86 games, recording 37 points (13+24).

Former Maple Leafs:

  • Cody Franson played for the Maple Leafs from 2011-2015. He posted 115 points (20+95) in 236 games for Toronto and led the team in scoring among defensemen during the 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
  • Toronto drafted Carlo Colaiacovo in the first round (17th overall) of the 2001 NHL Draft. He went on to play 111 games for the Maple Leafs, totaling 33 points (12+21).

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Colaiacovo, Frank Corrado and Peter Holland were all born in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Played with Brad Boyes for the St. Louis Blues from 2008-2011. They were also teammates for the Erie Otters (OHL) from 1999-2002.
  • Played with Jonathan Bernier for Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Jake Gardiner at the 2015 World Championship for the United States.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Frank Corrado for the Sudbury Wolves (OHL) from 2009-2011.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders during the 2014-15 season.
  • Teammates with Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau for the New York Rangers during the 2010 season.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brooks Laich at the 2010 World Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada alongside Brooks Laich at the 2010 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Jake Gardiner at the 2014 World Championship for the United States.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Jonathan Bernier for the Los Angeles Kings and Manchester Monarchs (AHL) for two seasons (2007-2009).
  • Played with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders from 2010-2013. Brad Boyes was also on the team during the 2012-13 season and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau was on the team from 2010-2012.

NHL Entry Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall) and Jake Gardiner (17th overall) were all chosen in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane, Nazem Kadri and Peter Holland were all taken in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Kane was taken fourth overall by Atlanta, Kadri went seventh overall to Toronto and Holland was selected 15th overall by Anaheim.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Morgan Rielly (5th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall), William Nylander (8th overall) and Kasperi Kapanen (22nd overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (154), Kane (147), Foligno (133)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (130), Ristolainen (113), McCabe (88)
Shots: Kane (228), Eichel (197), Ristolainen (160)

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: 2-2-2 (6), 12/12, 3/18, 9/12

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 (1-6; 66-57 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)
March 5 vs. MIN: L, 3-2 (GDG-Pominville)

UPCOMING MILESTONES (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Assists

Josh Gorges … 2 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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