Game Preview: 3/31/16 vs. TOR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 29
Buffalo 4 at Pittsburgh 5 (SO)
Goals: Moulson, R. O’Reilly, McCabe, Bogosian
Goalie: Johnson (42 saves/46 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 3/3; Shots: Pittsburgh 46 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 335)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 77 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 40 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 18 games
Jason Kasdorf (lower body, March 16) – 7 games
Robin Lehner (ankle, March 18) – 6 games
Evander Kane (upper body, March 29) – 1 game

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

REMAINING GAMES
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
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo, 4-1, in Toronto on March 19
  • The Sabres are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 9-0-1 at home
  • This is the 201st game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 110-64-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 67-25-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-10-0 all-time on March 31.
  • March 31, 1971: Eddie Shack records his second hat trick in 10 days as the Sabres defeat the Penguins 6-4 in Pittsburgh.
  • March 31, 1992: The Sabres and Minnesota North Stars combine for 360 penalty minutes, including 188 to the Sabres and 172 to the North Stars. All three totals (for, against and combined) still stand as Sabres franchise records.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Six of the last 10 games between these teams have gone to overtime, including shootouts in five of the last nine.
  • Matt Moulson has recorded 19 points (11+8) in his last 16 games against the Maple Leafs. In 27 career games against Toronto, Moulson has 25 points (16+9).
  • Evander Kane ranks third in the league with 4.2 shots per game.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • The home team has won 21 of the last 24 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • The Sabres are 16-1-1 in their last 18 home games against the Maple Leafs, including wins in their last six.
  • The Maple Leafs haven’t won at First Niagara Center since a 4-3 overtime win on Jan. 29, 2013.
    • Only four players who played in that game are active on their respective rosters today: Marcus Foligno, Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov.
    • Tyler Ennis and James van Riemsdyk (both currently on injured reserve) also played in the game and Jake Gardiner was on Toronto’s roster but did not dress.
    • 1,156 days have passed since Toronto’s last win in Buffalo. The record for most days between Maple Leafs wins in Buffalo since Toronto joined the Eastern Conference in 1998-99 is 1,366 days (Feb. 17, 1999 and Nov. 15, 2002).
  • Toronto’s last regulation win in Buffalo was a 2-1 win on Feb. 16, 2011. The Sabres are 9-0-1 at home against the Maple Leafs since then, the team’s longest home point streak against Toronto in franchise history.
  • Toronto hasn’t won consecutive games in Buffalo since March 21 and Dec. 12, 2008.

20 UNDER 25

  • The Sabres currently have three skaters under the age of 25 with at least 20 goals: Jack Eichel (23), Sam Reinhart (22) and Evander Kane (21).
  • 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 two more goals this season, the Sabres will have four 20-goal scorers in their age 25 seasons* or younger 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.
  • Entering play Wednesday, Eichel was ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (2nd, 23), assists (4th, 27), points (2nd, 50) and shots (1st, 224).
  • 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 11th in the NHL with an average ice time of 25:16 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 23:38 per game in his 81 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 19:08 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 (16:47 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 77 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 77 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-TOR CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Brad Boyes was 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:

  • 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, 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.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Milan Michalek for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2007.

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.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Team Canada alongside Peter Holland at the 2009 World U18 Championship.

NHL Entry Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall) and Jake Gardiner (17th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • 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) and William Nylander (8th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (195), Foligno (175), Kane (171)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (155), Ristolainen (127), McCabe (103)
Shots: Kane (271), Eichel (224), Ristolainen (192)

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: 3-2-2 (8), 19/19, 4/21, 20/22

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 (2-7; 67-58 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)
March 29 at PIT: L, 5-4 (GDG-Letang)

UPCOMING MILESTONES (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Chad Johnson … 2 games … 100 career games played
Zemgus Girgensons … 3 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 … 2 assists … 39 assists (career high)

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
Ryan O’Reilly … 300th NHL point … March 29 at PIT

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