Game Preview: 3/29/16 at PIT

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 28
Buffalo 2 at Detroit 3
Goals: Girgensons, Reinhart
Goalie: Johnson (26 saves/28 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/3; PK: 4/5; Shots: Detroit 29 – Buffalo 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 329)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 76 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 39 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 17 games
Jason Kasdorf (lower body, March 16) – 6 games
Robin Lehner (ankle, March 18) – 5 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/25:
Signed F Eric Cornel to an entry-level contract

REMAINING GAMES
Thursday, March 31:
Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 2: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 5: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 8: Columbus at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 9: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PENGUINS

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Buffalo on Feb. 21
  • The Sabres are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 3-7-0 on the road.
  • This is the 182nd game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 64-76-41 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-48-19 on the road against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-6-2 all-time on March 29.
  • March 29, 2004: Martin Biron stops 23 shots to record his 17th career shutout and 100th NHL victory, a 6-0 win vs. Columbus.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Evander Kane has 16 points (5+11) in 18 career games against the Penguins, including 12 points (4+8) in his last eight matchups.
  • Zach Bogosian has five points (2+3) in his last five games against Pittsburgh.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has four points (1+3) in his last four games against the Penguins.
  • Evander Kane ranks third in the league with 4.2 shots per game.

STAYING REGULAR

  • The last 22 meetings between the Sabres and Penguins have been decided in regulation. The last overtime game between these teams was a 2-1 Penguins shootout win on Dec. 19, 2009 in Buffalo.
  • Each of the last 15 Sabres visits to Pittsburgh has ended in regulation, with the last overtime game taking place on March 13, 2007.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 14th of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 3-2 loss at Detroit. The Sabres are 6-8-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-7-1 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 (8), one point (0) and zero points (3).

20 UNDER 25

  • The Sabres currently have three skaters under the age of 25 with at least 20 goals: Jack Eichel (23), Evander Kane (21) and Sam Reinhart (22)
  • It is the first time Buffalo has had three players reach the 20-goal mark before their 25th birthdays since Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek each had 20 or more in 2006-07.
  • If Ryan O’Reilly scores three more goals this season, the Sabres will have four 20-goal scorers under 25* for the first time since 1987-88 (Dave Andreychuk, Phil Housley, Christian Ruuttu and Ray Sheppard).

*All ages used are the players’ ages as of Feb. 1 of the given season

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel leads the Sabres with 23 goals this season, the highest total by a Sabres player since 2011-12 (Jason Pominville, 30) and the highest by a Sabres rookie since 2005-06 (Thomas Vanek, 25). If he finishes the season with the team lead, Eichel will be the first Sabres rookie to lead the team in goals since Ray Sheppard did so in the 1987-88 season.
  • After last night’s game, Eichel was ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (2nd, 23), assists (4th, 27), points (2nd, 50) and shots (1st, 221).
  • With his goal on March 7 at Toronto, Eichel (19 years, 131 days) became the youngest 20-goal scorer in Sabres history, besting Pierre Turgeon (19 years, 140 days on Jan. 15, 1989) by nine days.
  • With his goal on March 26 vs. Winnipeg, Eichel became the ninth Sabres rookie to record 50 points in a season. He is the first to do so since Derek Plante (1993-94) and the second-youngest to do so, trailing only Phil Housley (1982-83).

YOUNG GUNS

  • Jack Eichel (50 points) and Sam Reinhart (40) are the first pair of Sabres rookies to reach the 35-point mark since Ray Sheppard (65), Pierre Turgeon (42) and Calle Johansson (42) all did so in 1987-88.
  • Eichel (23 goals) and Reinhart (22) are the third pair of rookies in Sabres history to each record 20 goals in the same season, joining Danny Gare (31) and Peter McNab (22) in 1974-75 and Gilbert Perreault (38) and Steve Atkinson (20) in 1970-71.

LOGGING BIG MINUTES

  • Rasmus Ristolainen is ranked 12th in the NHL with an average ice time of 25:13 per game. Only Alexei Zhitnik (four times) has averaged more minutes per game in a full season with the Sabres.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:47) leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:02) ranks 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 23:37 per game in his 80 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 19:07 is the ninth-highest ever recorded by a rookie forward and the highest ever by Sabres rookie forward, topping the next highest (Cody Hodgson- 20 GP, 17:16) by more than a minute. Sam Reinhart (16:44 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.

POSSESSION PROGRESSION

  • The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 32 of 76 games this season, posting a 10-18-4 record in those games. Last season, the team finished the season 5-5-0 in 10 total games when outshooting their opponents.
  • The Sabres have led their opponent in even-strength shot attempts (corsi) in 27 of the team’s 76 games this season, going 11-12-4 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-PIT CONNECTIONS
Former Penguins:

  • Dan Bylsma became the Penguins’ head coach during the 2008-09 season and led the team to a 18-3-0 record to close the regular season and eventually won the Stanley Cup. Overall, he posted a 252-117-32 record in Pittsburgh in 401 games coached from 2008-09 to 2013-14. He also won the Jack Adams award while with the penguins after the 2010-11 season.
  • Matt Moulson was drafted by the Penguins in the ninth round (263rd overall) of 2003 NHL Draft but never suited up for Pittsburgh.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Eric Fehr for the Winnipeg Jets during the 2011-12 season.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with Ian Cole for the St. Louis Blues from 2010-2012 and again during the 2013-14 season.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Nick Bonino for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • He and Justin Schultz are both from Kelowna, British Columbia.
  • Played with Sidney Crosby and Marc-Andre Fleury for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Patric Hornqvist at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played with Matt Cullen for the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Eric Fehr for the Winnipeg Jets during the 2011-12 season.

David Legwand:

  • Legwand and Jeff Zatkoff were both born in Detroit, Michigan.
  • Played alongside Patric Hornqvist for the Nashville Predators from 2008-2013.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Justin Schultz for the University of Wisconsin (WCHA) during the 2011-12 season.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Justin Schultz for Team Canada at the 2013 World Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Sidney Crosby at the 2015 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Olli Maata at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior Championships.

NHL Draft:           

  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall by Colorado) and Brian Dumoulin (51st overall by Carolina) were both second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Beau Bennett (20th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Olli Maata (22nd overall) were both first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (188), Kane (171), Foligno (170)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (152), Ristolainen (124), McCabe (101)
Shots: Kane (271), Eichel (221), Ristolainen (188)

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: 4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 3/30, 17/24
71-80: 2-2-1 (5), 12/12, 2/16, 16/18

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-3; 101-105 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)
March 12 vs. CAR: W, 3-2 (GWG-Eichel, 4:59)
March 16 vs. MTL: L, 3-2 (GWG-Byron, 3:15)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 67-57 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)
March 7 at TOR: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)

UPCOMING MILESTONES (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Chad Johnson … 3 games … 100 career games played
Zemgus Girgensons … 4 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Mark Pysyk … 2 goals … 3 goals (career high)
Assists
Josh Gorges … 2 assists … 100 career assists
Marcus Foligno … 2 assists … 14 assists (career high)
Ryan O’Reilly … 3 assists … 39 assists (career high)
Points
Ryan O’Reilly … 1 point … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Hudson Fasching … 1st NHL game … March 26 vs. WPG
Hudson Fasching … 1st NHL goal … March 26 vs. WPG
Casey Nelson … 1st NHL game … March 26 vs. WPG
Casey Nelson … 1st NHL assist … March 26 vs. WPG

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