Game Preview: 12/16/16 vs. NYI


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, December 13
Los Angeles 3 at Buffalo 6
Goals: Eichel (2), O’Reilly, Gionta, Kane, Reinhart
Goalie: Lehner (30 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 0/0; Shots: Los Angeles 33 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 150)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 28 games
Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain, Nov. 3) – 19 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 16 games
Taylor Fedun (shoulder, Dec. 5; injured reserve) – 4 games

Placed D Taylor Fedun on IR (retroactive to 12/3)

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.
Tuesday, Dec. 27: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.


  • This is first of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York 4-3 (OT) in Buffalo on April 9
  • Next meeting: Friday, Dec. 23 in New York
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 163rd game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has a 79-60-23 series record.
  • The Sabres are 43-26-12 at home against the Islanders all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-11-1 all-time on December 16.
  • December 16, 1976: Rick Martin scores three times in the second period to record his 18th hat trick as a member of the Sabres in a 7-2 Buffalo win against the New York Rangers.
  • December 16, 2011: Drew Stafford scores his 100th NHL goal in a 5-4 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.


  • Eight of the last nine games between these teams in Buffalo (and 13 of the last 17 overall) have been decided by a single goal.
  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 6-3-2 record in their last 11 games, including a 5-2-1 record in their last eight home games.
  • Buffalo was ranked fourth in the NHL in power play percentage (22.6%), sixth in team faceoff percentage (51.6%) and ninth in goals against per game (2.57) entering play Thursday.
  • Matt Moulson has six points (5+1) in seven career games against the Islanders.
  • Brian Gionta recorded three points (2+1) in three games against the Islanders last season.


  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 11 points (1+10) in his last 10 games, including 10 (1+9) his last seven. He is currently on his third career four-game point streak and would have a new career-best with a point tonight.
  • Kyle Okposo has 11 points (4+7) in his last 10 games
  • Ryan O’Reilly has eight points (3+5) in his last seven games.
  • Jack Eichel has 14 points (6+8) in his last 12 games dating back to last season, including eight points (5+3) in seven games in 2016-17.
  • Evander Kane has six points (4+2) in his last seven games, including five (4+1) in his last five home games.

Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Thursday tied for 14th among all NHL skaters with 18 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 30.5 percent of his teammates’ goals*. It was the third-highest such percentage in the league before Thursday’s games, trailing only Erik Karlsson (35.0%) and Connor McDavid (33.8%).
    • This would rank as the second-highest percentage in franchise history, behind only Pat LaFontaine (33.7%) in 1992-93.
  • Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
    • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of the Sabres’ next 21 goals to fall behind this pace.

*Teammate goals are defined as total team goals minus the player’s goals and shootout-winners.

Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s fourth of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Carolina. The Sabres are 1-0-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-1-0 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 (1), two points (0), one point (1) and zero points (0).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before Dec. 15 games)

  • Eichel: 14 PTS/GP (4th), 2.28 G/60 (4th)
  • Foligno: 87 hits (8th)
  • Moulson: 6 PPG (T-8th)
  • Okposo: 12 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:50 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 58.5 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 11 PPA (T-2nd), 26:39 TOI/GP (5th), 12 PPP (T-10th), 18 A (T-3rd, 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 seven games of the season, Eichel has recorded eight points (5+3).
  • The Sabres have a 4-2-1 record this season with Eichel in the lineup and have improved to 28-14-4 (.652) in Eichel’s career when he records a point and 11-3-1 (.767) when he has at least two.


  • Buffalo’s goaltenders had the sixth-best combined save percentage* (.923) in the league entering play Thursday. They also had the sixth-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 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 Sabres:

  • Jaroslav Halak was a member of the Sabres for six days during the 2013-14 season. He was acquired from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 28 before being dealt to the Washington Capitals on March 5, and did not appear in a game during his brief stint in Buffalo.

Former Islanders:

  • Matt Moulson played for the Islanders from 2009-2013, registering 223 points (118+105) in 223 games.
  • Anders Nilsson was a third-round (62nd overall) selection by the Islanders in the 2009 NHL Draft. During the course of two seasons with the team, Nilsson appeared in 23 games and had a 9-9-2 record with a .898 save percentage and a 3.05 goals-against average.
  • Kyle Okposo was selected by New York in the first round (7th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft. Okposo spent nine years in the Islanders organization and compiled 369 points (139+230) in 529 games.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Teammates with Andrew Ladd for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2010-2015.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Played with Thomas Hickey for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2011-2013. Jean-Francois Berube was also a member of the team from 2012-14.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Anders Lee and Brock Nelson the 2015 World Championship.

Justin Falk:

  • Was a member of the Minnesota Wild organization from 2009-2013 along with Cal Clutterbuck.
  • Played for the Calgary Hitmen (WHL) during the 2004-05 season along with Andrew Ladd.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan and Casey Cizikas for Team Canada for the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Nikolay Kulemin for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2014.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens from 2006-2010.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Kane, John Tavares and Thomas Hickey all played for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with John Tavares for Team Canada at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Cal Clutterbuck was also a member of the 2011 team.
  • Played with Andrew Ladd for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2010-2015. The two also represented Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Represented Russia at the 2010 World Championship alongside Nikolay Kulemin.
  • Was teammates with Dennis Seidenberg for the Florida Panthers during the 2009-10 season.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Cal Clutterbuck for the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Brock Nelson for the United States at the 2014 and 2016 World Championships.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan for Team Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Andrew Ladd at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. John Tavares was also a member of the 2012 team.

NHL Draft:

  • Matt Moulson (263rd overall) and Jaroslav Halak (271st overall) were both chosen in the ninth round of the 2003 NHL Draft.
  • Zach Bogosian and Josh Bailey were both first-round selections in the 2008 NHL Draft. Bogosian was picked third overall and Bailey was the ninth pick.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), John Tavares (1st overall), Calvin de Haan (12th overall) and Nick Leddy (16th overall) were all taken in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Marcus Foligno (104th overall), Casey Cizikas (92nd overall) and Jean-Francois Berube (95th overall) were all drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Foligno (87), Ristolainen (78), Carrier (59)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (53), Gorges (46), McCabe (37)
Shots: O’Reilly (76), Okposo (74), 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: 4-3-1 (9), 27/22, 7/27, 12/22

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-3; 103-108 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: 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. EDM: 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 … 2 wins … 300 NHL wins
Games Played
Marcus Foligno … 5 games … 300 NHL games
Cody Franson … 7 points … 200 NHL points


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