Game Preview: 4/8/16 vs. CBJ

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, April 5
Buffalo 3 at New Jersey 1
Goals: R. O’Reilly, Larsson, Eichel
Goalie: Johnson (18 saves/19 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 5/6; Shots: New Jersey 19 – Buffalo 18

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 353)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 80 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 43 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 21 games
Jason Kasdorf (lower body, March 16) – 10 games
Robin Lehner (ankle, March 18) – 9 games
Evander Kane (upper body, March 29) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/5:
Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL)
4/6: Assigned F Justin Bailey to Rochester (AHL)
4/7: Recalled F Evan Rodrigues and F Cole Schneider from Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAME
Saturday, April 9:
Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BLUE JACKETS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Columbus, 4-0, in Columbus on Feb. 19
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blue Jackets; 5-4-1 at home
  • This is the 23rd game all-time between Buffalo and Columbus; Buffalo has a 9-11-2 series record.
  • The Sabres are 5-6-1 at home against the Blue Jackets all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-5-1 all-time on April 8 (regular season only).
  • April 8, 1973: The Sabres earn the first playoff victory in franchise history, topping Montreal 5-1.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Ryan O’Reilly enters tonight’s game with 10 points (4+6) in 10 games since returning from a lower-body injury that sidelined him for 11 games and 19 points (4+15) in his last 19 games overall.
  • Chad Johnson is 10-2-1 in his last 14 appearances with a .924 save percentage and a 2.21 goals-against average.
  • Johan Larsson has seven points (4+3) in his last seven games, including six (3+3) in his last four, and is on a career-best four-game point streak.
  • Zach Bogosian has four points (1+3) in his last four games.

HOT AGAINST COLUMBUS

  • Jack Eichel and Rasmus Ristolainen each have three points (1+2) in two games against Columbus this season.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has seven points (2+5) in his last seven games against the Blue Jackets.
  • Zemgus Girgensons has four points (2+2) in his last four games against Columbus.
  • Chad Johnson is 4-0-0 in his career against the Blue Jackets with a .922 save percentage and a 1.72 goals-against average.

LOCAL KID MAKES GOOD

  • Williamsville, NY native Cole Schneider is expected to make his NHL debut tonight. He would become the sixth player born in the Buffalo area to appear in a regular-season game for the Sabres, joining Justin Bailey, Marcus Foligno, Patrick Kaleta, Tim Kennedy and Scott Thomas.
  • Aside from these six, 10 other Sabres players in franchise history have been born in New York State:
    • Peter Ciavaglia (Albany); Jerry D’Amigo (Binghamton); Zach Bogosian and Mike Hurlbut (Massena); Tracey Pratt (New York City); Rory Fitzpatrick, Brian Gionta and Derek Whitmore (Rochester); Tim Connolly (Syracuse); Connor Knapp (York)

FINISHING STRONG

  • The Sabres went 7-4-4 (.600) in March, making it the team’s best month since April 2013 (8-4-0).
  • The team is 2-0-0 so far in April 2016. The Sabres have a 36-25-4 (.585) regular-season record in the month of April since the 2005-06 season, marking the team’s best month during that span.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 15th of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will conclude with tomorrow’s season finale at NY Islanders. The Sabres are 6-8-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-7-2 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 (1) and zero points (3).

20 BY 25
The Sabres have four 20-goal scorers this season, each aged 25 or younger: Jack Eichel (24), Sam Reinhart (22), Ryan O’Reilly (21) and Evander Kane (20). It is the first time the Sabres have had four players in their age 25 seasons* or younger score 20 goals 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

SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT

  • Evander Kane leads all Sabres and ranked ninth in the NHL entering play Thursday with 271 shots this season despite missing 15 games to injury. Kane’s 271 shots rank 11th in franchise history and his 4.2 shots per game rank fourth in franchise history behind only Alexander Mogilny (4.68 in 1992-93), Rick Martin (4.43 in 1974-75) and Dave Andreychuk (4.21 in 1991-92).
  • Entering play Thursday, Rasmus Ristolainen ranks third among all Sabres and eighth among all NHL defensemen with 199 shots this season. Only four other Sabres defenseman have logged at least 199 shots in a season: Jocelyn Guevremont (1975-76, 1976-77), Phil Housley (1983-84, 1986-87, 1987-88, 1989-90), Jerry Korab (1974-75, 1977-78 and 1978-79) and John Van Boxmeer (1980-81).
  • Jack Eichel ranks second among all Sabres and leads all NHL rookies with 233 shots this season. Danny Gare (274 in 1974-75) and Rick Martin (266 in 1971-72) were the only two Sabres rookies ever to record more shots than Eichel’s rookie total.
    • Since the league began denoting rookies in 1987-88, only 14 NHL rookies have recorded more shots on goal in a season than Eichel’s 233:
Player Age (as of Feb. 1) Season Team Shots
Alex Ovechkin 20 2005-2006 WSH 425
Teemu Selanne 23 1992-1993 WIN 387
Sidney Crosby 18 2005-2006 PIT 278
Gabriel Landeskog 19 2011-2012 COL 270
Brian Leetch 20 1988-1989 NYR 268
Pavel Bure 20 1991-1992 VAN 268
Sergei Fedorov 21 1990-1991 DET 259
Logan Couture 21 2010-2011 SJS 253
Dion Phaneuf 20 2005-2006 CGY 242
Evgeni Malkin 20 2006-2007 PIT 242
Nathan MacKinnon 18 2013-2014 COL 241
Filip Forsberg 19 2014-2015 NSH 237
Tony Granato 24 1988-1989 NYR 234
Tony Amonte 21 1991-1992 NYR 234
Jack Eichel 19 2015-2016 BUF 233

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel leads the Sabres with 24 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 Thursday, Eichel was ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (2nd, 24), assists (4th, 30), points (2nd, 54) and shots (1st, 233).
  • 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 (54 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 (24 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 23:37 per game in his 84 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 19:04 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 (16:46 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 33 of 80 games this season, posting an 11-18-4 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 28 of the team’s 80 games this season, going 12-12-4 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-CBJ CONNECTIONS
Zach Bogosian:

  • Represented the United States alongside Nick Foligno at the 2009 World Championship.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with Gregory Campbell for Team Canada at the 2003 World Junior Championship.
  • He and David Clarkson were both born in Toronto, Ontario and played together for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2013-2015.

Jack Eichel:

  • Teammates with Seth Jones for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Nick Foligno is Marcus’ older brother. The two were also born in Buffalo.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with David Clarkson for the New Jersey Devils from 2006-2009.
  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Chad Johnson:

  • He and Gregory Campbell played together for the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.
  • Played with Brandon Dubinsky for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.
  • Represented Team Canada alongside Rene Bourque at the 2010 World Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Team Canada alongside Rene Bourque at the 2010 World Championship.

David Legwand:

  • Played with Scott Hartnell for the Nashville Predators from 2000-2007.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Nick Foligno for the Ottawa Senators from 2010-2012. Curtis McElhinney was also a part of the team during the 2010-11 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Seth Jones at the 2014 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Marcus Foligno and David Savard were both chosen in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Savard went 94th overall, while Foligno was selected 10 picks later, at 104th overall.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Ryan Murray (2nd overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen, Seth Jones and Alexander Wennberg were both drafted in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. Jones was the first off the board at No. 4 overall, Ristolainen was selected with the eighth overall pick and Wennberg was taken with the 14th overall pick.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (200), Foligno (187), Kane (171)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (162), Ristolainen (132), McCabe (108)
Shots: Kane (271), Eichel (233), Ristolainen (199)

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: 6-2-2 (14), 30/24, 6/31, 31/34

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)
Goals

Mark Pysyk … 2 goals … 3 goals (career high)
Assists
Josh Gorges … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Marcus Foligno … 1 assist … 14 assists (career high)
Ryan O’Reilly … 1 assist … 39 assists (career high)

RECENT MILESTONES
Chad Johnson … 100th NHL game … April 2 at NYR
Zemgus Girgensons … 200th NHL game … April 5 at NJD
Johan Larsson … 17th point (career high) … April 5 at NJD

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