Game Preview: 12/13/16 vs. LAK


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Friday, December 9
Washington 4 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Okposo
Goalie: Lehner (25 saves/28 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/5; PK: 1/3; Shots: Washington 29 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 146)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 27 games
Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain, Nov. 3) – 18 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 15 games
Taylor Fedun (shoulder, Dec. 5) – 3 games
Derek Grant (illness, Dec. 9) – 1 game

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)

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.
Friday, Dec. 23: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Kings this season.
  • Last meeting: Los Angeles defeated Buffalo 2-0 in Los Angeles on Feb. 27
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 16 in Los Angeles
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Kings; 9-1-0 at home
  • This is the 120th game all-time between Buffalo and Los Angeles; Buffalo has a 58-42-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-16-9 at home against the Kings all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-10-3 all-time on December 13.
  • December 13, 1972: The Sabres defeat the Boston Bruins 7-3 in a game which featured 154 penalty minutes, including 76 by the Sabres alone. Among the penalties was the infamous fight that featured Sabres defenseman Jim Schoenfeld crashing through the zamboni doors with Bruins forward Wayne Cashman.
  • December 13, 2008: Thomas Vanek scores the 10,000th goal in franchise history in a 4-2 win at New Jersey.


  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 5-3-2 record in their last 10 games, including a 4-1-1 record in their last six home games.
  • Buffalo is 8-1-3 in its last 12 home games against Western Conference opponents.
  • The Sabres are 57-19-16 (.707) all-time in home games against the Pacific Division, including an 11-0-3 record in the last 14 games. No Pacific Division team has won a game in regulation in Buffalo since the Edmonton Oilers topped the Sabres 3-2 on Nov. 7, 2014.
  • Buffalo was ranked fourth in the NHL in power play percentage (22.8%) and sixth in team faceoff percentage (51.7%) entering play Monday.
  • Evander Kane and Ryan O’Reilly both have nine points (4+5) in their last nine games against Los Angeles.

With the exception of the 2011 NHL Premiere* meeting between these teams, the home team has won the last 12 games between the Sabres and the Kings. The last time one of these teams won in the other team’s arena was a 5-1 Sabres victory on Oct. 23, 2003, when the Sabres snapped a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in road games against the Kings that dated back to March 13, 1996 (6-2 Sabres win).

*The Sabres topped the Kings, 4-2, in a road game on Oct. 8, 2011, but the game was held in Berlin, Germany as part of the 2011 NHL Premiere series.


  • The Sabres are 13-1-1 (one tie) in their last 15 home games against the Kings, dating back to a 2-0 Sabres win on Dec. 17, 1993. During this stretch, the Sabres have outscored the Kings 61-22 on home ice.
  • The Kings have not won a game in Buffalo since their 4-1 win at HSBC Arena on Feb. 21, 2003.
  • The Sabres are 7-0-0 at home against Los Angeles since the last Kings win in Buffalo, outscoring the visitors by a combined 33-9 margin in those contests. With a win tonight, the Sabres would extend the longest home-winning streak against the Kings in franchise history.


  • Rasmus Ristolainen has nine points in his last nine games (1+8), including eight (1+7) his last six.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has seven points (2+5) in his last six games.
  • Jack Eichel has 11 points (4+7) in his last 11 games dating back to last season, including five points (3+2) in six games in 2016-17.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before Dec. 12 games)

  • Carrier: 21 hits/60 (3rd)
  • Foligno: 86 hits (8th)
  • Moulson: 6 PPG (T-7th)
  • Nilsson: .957 EV SV% (1st), .932 SV% (7th)
  • Okposo: 12 PPP (T-6th)
  • O’Reilly: 22:04 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 58.3 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 11 PPA (T-1st), 26:49 TOI/GP (5th), 12 PPP (T-6th), 16 A (T-4th, defensemen)


  • 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 six games of the season, Eichel has recorded five points (3+2).
  • The Sabres have a 3-2-1 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.


  • Buffalo’s goaltenders had the sixth-best combined save percentage* (.924) in the league entering play Monday. They also had the sixth-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 four 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), 2009-10 (.924, Miller/Lalime/Enroth)

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

Former Kings: 

  • Dan Bylsma played for Los Angeles from 1995-2000 and had 30 points (9+21) in 220 games during his five seasons for the Kings.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers was the Kings’ third-round draft selection (84th overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He never played for the Kings and was traded to Buffalo on March 5, 2014 along with Hudson Fasching in exchange for Brayden McNabb.
  • Matt Moulson spent two seasons with the Kings and recorded 10 points (6+4) in 29 games.
  • Terry Murray served as the Kings’ head coach from 2008-2011, posting a 139-106-30 mark behind the bench for the Kings.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Jeff Zatkoff while he was a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2013-14 season.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States at the 2015 World Championship with Trevor Lewis.

Justin Falk:

  • Was a member of the Minnesota Wild along with Devin Setoguchi and Tom Gilbert from 2011-2013.

Brian Gionta:

  • Was a member of the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2013 along with Peter Budaj.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Jeff Carter for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Was a member of the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2013 along with Peter Budaj.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with Devin Setoguchi for the Winnipeg Jets during the 2013-14 season.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Was a member of the Florida Panthers along with Teddy Purcell during the 2015-16 season.
  • Played with Tom Gilbert for the Florida Panthers during the 2013-14 season.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played for the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season with Devin Setoguchi and Tom Gilbert.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played alongside Jordan Nolan and Jake Muzzin for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) during the 2009-10 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Was a member of the United States NTDP during the 2009-10 season with Nick Shore and Derek Forbort.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season along with Teddy Purcell.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Was a member of the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2011 along with Peter Budaj.
  • Played with Jake Muzzin and Tyler Toffoli for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played alongside Trevor Lewis and Jeff Zatkoff at the 2007 World Junior Championship for the United States.
  • Represented the United States at the 2009 World Championship alongside Dustin Brown.
  • Played with Matt Greene for the United States at the 2010 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Kyle Clifford (35th overall) were all selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Tyler Toffoli (47th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tanner Pearson (30th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Foligno (86), Ristolainen (73), Carrier/Gorges (55)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (51), Gorges (44), McCabe (36)
Shots: Okposo (73), O’Reilly (72), Ristolainen (67)

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: 3-3-1 (7), 21/19, 7/26, 12/22

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)

Dan Bylsma … 3 wins … 300 NHL wins
Games Played
Marcus Foligno … 6 games … 300 NHL games
Cody Franson … 7 points … 200 NHL points


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