Game Preview: 12/5/16 at WSH


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, December 3
Boston 2 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Kane
Goalie: Lehner (31 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 0/3; Shots: Buffalo 36 – Boston 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 127)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 24 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (knee, Oct. 30; injured reserve) – 17 games
Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain, Nov. 3) – 15 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 12 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Nov. 11; injured reserve) – 11 games
Josh Gorges (foot, Dec. 3) – 1 game

Activated F Jack Eichel from IR
12/1: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
12/2: Recalled D Brendan Guhle from Prince George (WHL) on an emergency basis; Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)
12/5: Recalled D Erik Burgdoerfer from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Dmitry Kulikov on IR

Tuesday, Dec. 6:
Edmonton at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 13: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 16: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 17: Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.


  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Washington on Nov. 25
  • Next meeting: Friday, Dec. 9 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 3-6-1 at home.
  • This is the 154th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has an 87-47-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-26-10 on the road against the Capitals all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-6-2 all-time on December 5.
  • December 5, 1971: Craig Ramsay records the first natural hat trick in Sabres history, leading the team to a 3-1 win at home against the Minnesota North Stars.
  • December 5, 1997: Dominik Hasek makes 38 saves in a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning to record his third of a career-high 13 shutouts during the 1997-98 season.


  • The Sabres enter today’s game with a 4-2-1 record in their last seven games.
  • Buffalo was ranked seventh in the NHL in power play percentage (22.5%) and fifth in team faceoff percentage (51.7%) entering play Sunday.
  • Brendan Guhle made his NHL debut on Saturday vs. Boston, logging 16:20 of ice time and a plus-1 rating. He led all Sabres with seven shot attempts and tied for the team lead with four shots on goal.
  • Kyle Okposo has four points (1+3) in his last three games against the Capitals and 11 points (5+6) in 13 career visits to Washington
  • Cody Franson and Sam Reinhart both have a point (1+1) in each of their last two games against Washington.
  • Evander Kane has six career two-point games against the Capitals.
  • Jack Eichel recorded two assists in his only trip to Washington last season.

Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s third of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow vs. Edmonton. The Sabres are 1-0-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-1-0 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 (0), two points (0), one point (1) and zero points (0).


  • Sam Reinhart has seven points (2+6) in his last six games and enters tonight’s game with points in four straight games, tying his best career stretch.
  • Kyle Okposo has six points (2+5) in his last six games.
  • Jack Eichel has 10 points (4+6) in his last eight games dating back to last season, including four points (3+1) in three games in 2016-17.
  • Evander Kane enters tonight’s game on a three-game point streak (1+2) and is seeking his first four-game streak since he tallied points in eight straight from Feb. 12 to 26.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has three assists in his last three games.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before Dec. 4 games)

  • Foligno: 79 hits (T-6th)
  • Moulson: 6 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Nilsson: .934 SV% (5th), .956 EV SV% (2nd)
  • Okposo: 11 PPP (T-4th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:49 TOI (2nd, forwards), 57.7 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 10 PPA (1st), 26:25 TOI (5th), 10 PPP (T-6th)


  • Jack Eichel returned to the Sabres‘ lineup on Tuesday at Ottawa after missing the team’s first 21 games with a high-ankle sprain. In his first three games of the season, Eichel has recorded four points (3+1).
  • With wins on Tuesday and Thursday, the Sabres improved to 26-14-4 (.636) in Eichel’s career when he records a point and 10-3-1 (.750) when he has at least two.


  • Buffalo’s goaltenders had the fourth-best combined save percentage* (.926) in the league entering play Sunday. They also had the fifth-best save percentage during 5-on-5 play (.935).
  • The Sabres last finished a season with a combined save percentage* above .920 in the 2009-10 season (.924, Ryan Miller/Patrick Lalime/Jhonas Enroth) and have topped the team’s current mark only two times in franchise history: 1998-99 (.930, Dominik Hasek/Dwayne Roloson/Martin Biron) and 1997-98 (.928, Hasek/Steve Shields).

Top Five NHL Goaltending Tandems by Save Percentage*
(as of 12/4)

Minnesota Wild 47 715 668 .934
Montreal Canadiens 51 761 710 .933
Columbus Blue Jackets 48 680 632 .929
Buffalo Sabres 57 770 713 .926
Washington Capitals 48 641 593 .925


Top NHL Goaltending Tandems by 5-on-5 Save Percentage*
(as of 12/4)

Chicago Blackhawks 35 662 627 .947
Montreal Canadiens 34 622 588 .945
Minnesota Wild 35 596 561 .941
Washington Capitals 34 533 499 .936
Buffalo Sabres 39 602 563 .935

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

Former Capitals:

  • Terry Murray played for Washington during the 1981-82 campaign, his final season in the NHL. He went on to serve as a Capitals assistant coach from 1983 to 1988 before being named Washington’s head coach. Murray posted a 163-134-28 record as bench boss in Washington from 1989 to 1994.

Local Players:

  • Brooks Orpik grew up in Amherst, New York.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Matt Niskanen for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2010-2014 and Brooks Orpik from 2009-2014.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Brett Connolly for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Karl Alzner for Team Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Brooks Orpik at Boston College from 1998-2001. The Golden Eagles won the NCAA National Championship in 2001.
  • Teammates with Lars Eller for the Washington Capitals from 2010-2014.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Played with Dmitry Orlov for Russia at the 2008 World U-18 Championship.
  • Teammates with Alex Ovechkin for Russia at the 2010, 2011 and 2015 World Championships.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Nicklas Backstrom for Team Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Marcus Johansson at the 2010 World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Taylor Chorney at the 2007 World Junior Championship and the 2010 World Championship.
  • Played with T.J. Oshie for the United States at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships. Matt Niskanen was also a part of the team in 2009.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Brett Connolly for Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Played with Paul Carey for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.
  • Teammates with Daniel Winnik for the Colorado Avalanche from 2010-2012.

NHL Draft:

  • Evander Kane (4th overall) and Marcus Johansson (24th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Dimitry Orlov (55th overall) were second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tom Wilson (16th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen, (8th overall) and Andre Burakovsky (23rd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Jakub Vrana (13th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Foligno (79), Ristolainen (56), Gorges (53)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (44), Gorges (43), McCabe (31)
Shots: Okposo (66), O’Reilly (62), Reinhart (59)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 2-2-0 (4), 11/12, 4/14, 7/12

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-2; 102-107 all-time)
Oct. 18 at EDM: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-3; 68-61 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)

Dan Bylsma … 4 wins … 300 NHL wins
Games Played
Marcus Foligno … 9 games … 300 NHL games
Cody Franson … 7 points … 200 NHL points

Marcus Foligno … 100th NHL point … Dec. 1 vs. NYR
Brendan Guhle … 1st NHL game … Dec. 3 vs. BOS

Leave a Reply