Game Preview: 10/29/16 vs. FLA


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, October 27
Minnesota 4 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Nilsson (18 saves/21 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 38 – Minnesota 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 21)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 6 games
Jack Eichel (high-ankle sprain, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 6 games
Evander Kane (cracked ribs, Oct. 16) – 5 games
Robin Lehner (illness, Oct. 25) – 2 games

Recalled F Hudson Fasching and D Casey Nelson from Rochester (AHL)
10/24: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)

Sunday, Oct. 30:
Buffalo at Winnipeg, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 1: Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 3: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 7: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo, 7-4, in Buffalo on Feb. 9
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Dec. 20 in Florida
  • The Sabres are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 2-7-1 at home.
  • This is the 89th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 46-35-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-16-4 at home against the Panthers all-time.


  • The Sabres are 5-6-4 all-time on October 29.
  • October 29, 2010: Thomas Vanek appears in his 400th career game and Cody McCormick appears in his 200th NHL game in a 4-3 overtime loss at Atlanta.


  • The Sabres enter today 0-2-2 in their last four games and are looking to avoid their first five-game winless streak since they lost six straight from Dec. 28, 2015 to Jan. 8, 2016.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 13 points (5+8) in his last 10 games against the Panthers, including points in nine of those contests and four two-point games.
  • Sam Reinhart has three goals in his last three games against Florida.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen had four assists in four games against the Panthers last season.
  • Tyler Ennis had a point in each of his two games against the Panthers last season.


  • Ryan O’Reilly ranked third among all NHL forwards with an average ice time of 22:20 entering play Friday. O’Reilly finished the 2015-16 season ranked first among forwards with 21:44 of ice time per game and has averaged 20:43 per game since the beginning of the 2014-15 season, leading all NHL forwards during that timeframe.
  • O’Reilly was ranked fourth in the NHL in faceoff percentage (61.7%) and tied for eighth in the NHL in faceoff wins (87) entering play Friday. He finished in the top 10 in both categories in 2015-16.
  • Entering Friday’s games, Matt Moulson tied to lead all NHL players with four power-play goals.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen entered play Friday tied for the lead among all NHL defensemen with six assists this season and tied for eighth among NHL defensemen with six points.

Today’s game opens up Buffalo’s first of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow afternoon in Winnipeg. The Sabres were 6-9-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-7-2 in the second game last season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in back-to-back sets last season was: four points (1), three points (1), two points (9), one point (1) and zero points (3).

Of the 23 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • Seven were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round Buffalo selections (Ennis, 2008; Girgensons, 2012; Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012) and one was a fourth-round pick (Foligno, 2009)
  • 10 were acquired in trades: Bogosian, Deslauriers, Fasching, Gorges, Kane, Kulikov, Larsson, Lehner, Nilsson, O’Reilly
  • Six were signed as free agents: Franson, Gionta, Grant, Moulson, Nelson, Okposo
  • 19 played in Buffalo at some point last season (12 forwards, six defenseman, one goaltender)
  • Four are new to the Sabres this season: Grant, Kulikov, Nilsson, Okposo
  • Three opened the season on an NHL roster for the first time in their careers: Fasching, Grant, Nelson

Former Sabres:

  • Mark Pysyk was selected by the Sabres in the first round (23rd overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. In 125 games during four seasons with the Sabres, Pysyk recorded 26 points (5+21).
  • Dave Barr served as assistant coach on Dan Bylsma’s coaching staff during the 2015-16 season.

Former Panthers:

  • Dmitry Kulikov played seven seasons in Florida before being acquired by the Sabres on June 25, 2016. Kulikov was the second-ranked defenseman in goals (28), assists (110) and points (138) in 460 games for the Panthers from 2009-2016.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played at the 2015 World Championship with Aaron Ekblad on Team Canada.
  • Shares a birthplace of Edmonton, Alberta with Alex Petrovic.

Cody Franson:

  • Played briefly with Greg McKegg on the Toronto Maple Leafs when McKegg was called up from the AHL during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
  • Played with James Reimer for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2010-2015.

Zemgus Girgensons:

  • Spent the 2011-12 season playing with Michael Matheson for the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL).

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Steven Kampfer for the Houston Aeros (AHL) in 2012-13.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Vincent Trochek at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Keith Yandle at the 2010 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He and Aaron Ekblad share a birth date. O’Reilly was born on Feb. 7, 1991, and Ekblad was born on Feb. 7, 1996. The two also played together for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Was teammates with Greg McKegg during the 2008-09 season with the Erie Otters (OHL).
  • Played alongside Michael Matheson for Team Canada in the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey alongside Aleksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen.
  • Also played with Barkov at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Nicolas Deslauriers (84th overall) and Reilly Smith (69th overall) were both taken in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall by Minnesota) and Alex Petrovic (36th overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Alexander Barkov (2nd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Aaron Ekblad (1st overall) were the top two picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Deslauriers (15), Foligno (15), Ristolainen (13)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (12), Bogosian (12), Larsson/Ristolainen (9)
Shots: Ennis (21), Moulson (19), O’Reilly (17)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 1-3-2 (4), 14/20, 6/27, 16/20

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 102-106 all-time)
Oct. 18 at EDM: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-1; 67-59 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Sam Reinhart … 6 games … 100 NHL games
Jake McCabe … 8 games … 100 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 7 goals … 100 NHL goals
Ryan O’Reilly … 2 assists … 200 NHL assists
Marcus Foligno … 5 points … 100 NHL points

Rasmus Ristolainen … 200th NHL game … Oct. 27 vs. MIN

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