Game Preview: 12/6/16 vs. EDM

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, December 5
Buffalo 2 at Washington 3 (OT)
Goals: Girgensons, Okposo
Goalie: Lehner (30 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 33 – Washington 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 134)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 25 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (knee, Oct. 30; injured reserve) – 18 games
Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain, Nov. 3) – 16 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 13 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Nov. 11; injured reserve) – 12 games
Josh Gorges (foot, Dec. 3) – 2 games
Taylor Fedun (shoulder, Dec. 5) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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 (retroactive to 11/10)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, Dec. 20: Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
OILERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Oilers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Edmonton, 6-2, in Edmonton on Oct. 16
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Oilers; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 73rd game all-time between Buffalo and Edmonton; Buffalo has a 23-38-11 series record.
  • The Sabres are 13-15-8 at home against the Oilers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-11-3 all-time on December 6.
  • December 6, 1970: Roger Crozier stops 24 shots to record the first shutout in franchise history, a 1-0 Sabres victory over the Minnesota North Stars at the Aud.
  • December 6, 1973: Jim Lorentz records two goals and four assists to lead the Sabres to an 8-4 victory over the Rangers at the Aud.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 4-2-2 record in their last eight games.
  • Buffalo is ranked ninth in the NHL in power play percentage (21.7%) and sixth in team faceoff percentage (51.8%).
  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 7-1-3 record in their last 11 home games against Western Conference opponents.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have defeated the Oilers twice in a season for the first time since going 2-1-0 in the season series in 1985-86. Buffalo has not swept the season series against Edmonton since 2011-12, when the Sabres earned a win in the lone game between the teams for the seventh consecutive season (2005-06 to 2011-12; no matchups in 2007-08).
  • The Sabres are 8-4-1 with a plus-16 goal differential (44-28) in their last 13 games against Edmonton.

STRIKING OIL

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 21 points (9+12) in his last 19 games against the Oilers. He enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak against the Oilers (5+4) that includes at least a goal in each of the four games.
  • Kyle Okposo has tallied 10 points (6+4) in nine career games against Edmonton.
  • Brian Gionta has recorded seven points (3+4) in his last six games against the Oilers.
  • Cody Franson has recorded two assists against the Oilers three different times in his career and has six assists in his last six games against Edmonton.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled five points (1+4) in his last five games against the Oilers.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded an assist in each of his last two games against Edmonton.
  • Robin Lehner is 2-1-1 in four career games against the Oilers with a .934 save percentage and a 1.97 goals-against average.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s third of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 3-2 overtime loss at Washington. The Sabres are 1-0-2 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).

WHO’S HOT?

  • Kyle Okposo (3+4) and Sam Reinhart (2+5) each have seven points in their last seven games.
  • Jack Eichel has 10 points (4+6) in his last nine games dating back to last season, including four points (3+1) in four games in 2016-17.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has four points (2+2) in his last four games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has four assists in his last four games.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS

  • Foligno: 81 hits (T-5th)
  • Moulson: 6 PPG (T-5th)
  • Nilsson: .934 SV% (5th), .956 EV SV% (3rd)
  • Okposo: 11 PPP (T-5 th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:52 TOI (2nd, forwards), 58.1 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 10 PPA (T-1st), 26:34 TOI (5th), 10 PPP (T-2nd, defensemen), 13 A (T-6th, defensemen)

RETURN OF THE JACK

  • Jack Eichel returned to the Sabres‘ lineup on Nov. 29 at Ottawa after missing the team’s first 21 games with a high-ankle sprain. In his first four games of the season, Eichel has recorded four points (3+1).
  • With wins on Nov. 29 and Dec. 1, 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.

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE

  • Buffalo’s goaltenders have the fifth-best combined save percentage* (.925) in the league. They also have 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 three times in franchise history: 1998-99 (.930, Dominik Hasek/Dwayne Roloson/Martin Biron), 1997-98 (.928, Hasek/Steve Shields), 1996-97 (.926, Hasek/Shields/Andrei Trefilov).

Top Five NHL Goaltending Tandems by Save Percentage*

Team GA SA SV SV%
Minnesota Wild 48 744 696 .935
Montreal Canadiens 55 792 737 .931
Columbus Blue Jackets 49 698 649 .930
Washington Capitals 50 674 624 .926
Buffalo Sabres 60 803 743 .925

 

Top NHL Goaltending Tandems by 5-on-5 Save Percentage*

Team GA SA SV SV%
Chicago Blackhawks 36 691 655 .948
Montreal Canadiens 36 648 612 .944
Minnesota Wild 36 623 587 .942
Washington Capitals 36 563 527 .936
Buffalo Sabres 41 627 586 .935

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

BUF-EDM CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo Drafted Andrej Sekera in 3rd round (71st overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft and he went on to play seven seasons in blue and gold. The defenseman had 92 points (17+75) and a plus-6 rating in 339 games for the Sabres.
  • Drafted by the Sabres in the first round (13th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Zack Kassian played in 27 games for the Sabres during the 2011-12 season. He had seven points (3+4) in 27 games.

Former Oilers:

  • Anders Nilsson played for the Oilers during the 2015-16 season, posting a 10-12-2 record with a .901 save percentage and a 3.14 goals-against average.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Mark Letestu for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-2011.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Matt Hendricks for the United States during the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Milan Lucic for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) from 2004-2007.

Brian Gionta:           

  • Played with Benoit Pouliot for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2011.

Evander Kane:

  • He and Milan Lucic were both born in Vancouver, British Columbia. They were also teammates for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) during the 2006-07 season.

International Teammates:

  • 2007 World Junior Championship (Canada): Cody Franson and Kris Russell.
  • 2009 World Junior Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle.
  • 2010 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Jordan Eberle and Kris Russell.
  • 2011 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Jordan Eberle.
  • 2011 World Junior Championship (Canada): Marcus Foligno and Zack Kassian.
  • 2012 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.
  • 2013 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Eberle.
  • 2014 World Junior Championship (Canada): Sam Reinhart and Connor McDavid.
  • 2015 World Championship (United States): Jack Eichel and Matt Hendricks,
  • 2015 World Junior Championship (Canada): Sam Reinhart and Connor McDavid.
  • 2015 World Championship (Sweden): Anders Nilsson and Oscar Klefbom.
  • 2016 World Championship (United States): Jake McCabe and Matt Hendricks.
  • 2016 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly, Sam Reinhart, Connor McDavid and Cam Talbot.
  • 2016 World Cup (North America): Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

NHL Draft:

  • Evander Kane (4th overall by Atlanta) and Zack Kassian (13th overall by Buffalo) were both selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) was taken one pick before Leon Draisaitl (3rd overall) in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Connor McDavid (1st overall) were the top two picks in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (81), Ristolainen (67), Gorges (53)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (47), Gorges (43), McCabe (34)
Shots: Okposo (69), O’Reilly (68), Reinhart/Ristolainen (60)

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: 2-2-1 (5), 13/15, 4/17, 9/15

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-3; 102-108 all-time)
Oct. 18 at EDM: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)

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)
Wins

Dan Bylsma … 4 wins … 300 NHL wins
Games Played
Marcus Foligno … 8 games … 300 NHL games
Points
Cody Franson … 7 points … 200 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Marcus Foligno … 100th NHL point … Dec. 1 vs. NYR
Brendan Guhle … 1st NHL game … Dec. 3 vs. BOS
Erik Burgdoerfer … 1st NHL game … Dec. 5 at WSH
William Carrier … 1st NHL assist … Dec. 5 at WSH

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