Game Preview: 12/9/16 vs. WSH

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 6
Edmonton 3 at Buffalo 4 (OT)
Goals: Kane (2), Gionta, Ristolainen
Goalie: Nilsson (34 saves/37 shots)
PP: 2/4; PK: 2/4; Shots: Edmonton 37 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 141)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 26 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (knee, Oct. 30; injured reserve) – 19 games
Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain, Nov. 3) – 17 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 14 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Nov. 11; injured reserve) – 13 games
Josh Gorges (foot, Dec. 3) – 3 games
Taylor Fedun (shoulder, Dec. 5) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/5:
Recalled D Erik Burgdoerfer from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Dmitry Kulikov on IR (retroactive to 11/10)
12/8: Assigned D Erik Burgdoerfer to Rochester (AHL)
12/9: Activated F Nicolas Deslauriers and D Dmitry Kulikov from IR; Assigned D Brendan Guhle to Prince George (WHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Dec. 22: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo 3-2 (OT) in Washington on Dec. 5
  • The Sabres are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 5-2-3 at home.
  • This is the 155th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has an 87-47-20 series record.
  • The Sabres are 46-21-9 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-4-4 all-time on December 9.
  • December 9, 1981: Tony McKegney scores his second NHL hat trick as the Sabres top the Colorado Rockies 7-1 at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • December 9, 1992: Alexander Mogilny scores his second of seven hat tricks in the 1992-93 season, leading Buffalo to a 5-2 win against Boston and keeping the Sabres unbeaten in eight straight home games against the Bruins.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • After going 0-1-1 in the first two matchups this season, the Sabres need a win tonight to avoid their first season sweep against the Capitals since 2012-13.
  • Buffalo’s last shutout against Washington – a 3-0 victory at home – came seven years ago today.
  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 5-2-2 record in their last nine games.
  • Buffalo was ranked third in the NHL in power play percentage (23.0%) and fourth in team faceoff percentage (52.0%) entering play Thursday.
  • Kyle Okposo has five points (2+3) in his last four games against the Capitals.
  • Evander Kane has six career two-point games against the Capitals.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has 11 points (4+7) in his last 10 games dating back to last season, including five points (3+2) in five games in 2016-17.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has seven points (1+6) his last five games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has six points (2+4) in his last five games.
  • Evander Kane has five points (3+2) in his last five games, including points in three straight home games.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before Dec. 8 games)

  • Carrier: 23 hits/60 (3rd)
  • Foligno: 84 hits (T-5th)
  • Moulson: 6 PPG (T-6th)
  • Nilsson: .957 EV SV% (1st), .932 SV% (6th)
  • Okposo: 11 PPP (T-5th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:57 TOI (2nd, forwards), 58.6 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 10 PPA (T-1st), 26:41 TOI (5th), 11 PPP (T-5th), 15 A (T-4th, 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 five games of the season, Eichel has recorded five points (3+2).
  • The Sabres have a 3-1-1 record this season with Eichel in the lineup and have improved to 27-14-4 (.644) 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 (.936).
  • 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*
(as of 12/8)

Team GA SA SV SV%
Minnesota Wild 50 781 731 .936
Columbus Blue Jackets 49 698 649 .930
Montreal Canadiens 58 823 765 .930
Washington Capitals 53 708 655 .925
Buffalo Sabres 63 840 777 .925

 

Top NHL Goaltending Tandems by 5-on-5 Save Percentage*
(as of 12/8)

Team GA SA SV SV%
Chicago Blackhawks 36 713 677 .950
Minnesota Wild 38 654 616 .942
Montreal Canadiens 39 671 632 .942
Washington Capitals 38 593 555 .936
Buffalo Sabres 42 653 611 .936

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

BUF-WSH CONNECTIONS
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.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (84), Ristolainen (71), Carrier (55)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (51), Gorges (43), McCabe (36)
Shots: Okposo (71), O’Reilly (69), Ristolainen (63)

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: 3-2-1 (7), 17/18, 6/21, 11/19

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-3; 103-108 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)
Dec. 6 vs. WSM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)

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 … 3 wins … 300 NHL wins
Games Played
Marcus Foligno … 7 games … 300 NHL games
Points
Cody Franson … 7 points … 200 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
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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