Game Preview: 12/31/16 at BOS


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, December 29
Buffalo 4 at Detroit 2
Goals: Foligno, Okposo
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/37 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/6; PK: 4/5; Shots: Boston 38 – Buffalo 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 171)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 35 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 23 games
Ryan O’Reilly (appendix, Dec. 27) – 2 games
William Carrier (hand) – 0 games

Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL)

Tuesday, Jan. 3:
Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 5: Buffalo at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 7: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 10: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 12: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.


  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo 4-2 in Buffalo on Dec. 29
  • The Sabres are 2-4-4 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 4-3-3 on the road.
  • This is the 285th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 121-119-44 series record.
  • The Sabres are 48-71-21 on the road against the Bruins all-time.


  • The Sabres are 13-12-5 all-time on December 31.
  • December 31, 1987: The Sabres trade Paul Cyr and a 10th-round draft pick in 1988 (Eric Fenton) to the New York Rangers for Mike Donnelly and a fifth-round pick in 1988 (Alexander Mogilny).
  • December 31, 1993: Alexander Mogilny appears in his 300th NHL game and Dominik Hasek stops 39 of 40 shots as the Sabres defeat the Rangers, 4-1, at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • December 31, 1997: Michael Peca scores two shorthanded goals in a 3-0 win over Ottawa. Peca still shares the franchise record for most shorthanded goals scored in one game by a single player with Alexei Zhitnik, Bob Sweeney and Don Luce.


  • Robin Lehner has faced Boston more times than any other NHL team. In 16 career games against the Bruins, he has logged a .924 save percentage and a 2.72 goals-against average.
  • Kyle Okposo has totaled 23 points (5+18) in 26 career games against the Bruins, including six points (2+4) in his last five visits to Boston.
  • Evander Kane has 11 goals (and three assists) in 23 career games against Boston.


  • Tonight’s game is the second in a home-and-home series between the Sabres and Bruins that began with a 4-2 Bruins win in Buffalo on Thursday night.
  • The Sabres and Bruins have previously played 21 home-and-home series, with the Sabres going 10-6-5 (three ties) in the home games and 9-6-6 (three ties) in the road games. Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (5), three points (5), two points (7), one point (0), zero points (4).
  • The Sabres have played in 159 previous home-and-home series in franchise history, going 90-45-24 (.642) in the home games and 56-74-29 (.443) in the road games in previous series. The team is 70-59-30 (.535) all-time in the first game of these series and 76-60-23 (.550) in the second. Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (31), three points (25), two points (65), one point (16), zero points (22).


  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 15 points (3+12) his last 13 games.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a career-best five-game point streak (2+4).
  • Evander Kane has four goals in his last four road games.
  • Robin Lehner has posted a .930 save percentage in his last five games, including a .919 mark or better in each game. He logged a season high with 40 saves on Tuesday at Detroit.

Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Friday tied for 17th among all NHL skaters with 21 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 29.2 percent of his teammates’ goals*. Entering play Friday, it was the third-highest such percentage in the league, trailing only Connor McDavid (31.9%) and Erik Karlsson (31.3%).
    • 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 his teammates’ next 22 goals to fall behind Housley’s pace.

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

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before Dec. 30 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.3% PP% (7th), 51.0% FO% (9th)
  • Foligno: 106 hits (10th)
  • Moulson: 7 PPG (T-5th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:31 TOI/GP (3rd, forwards), 57.0 FO% (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 13 PPA (2nd), 26:38 TOI (5th), 14 PPP (T-9th), 21 A (5th, defensemen), 24 PTS (T-5th, defensemen)

Buffalo’s goaltenders entered play Friday with the sixth-best combined save percentage* (.923) in the league. They also had the sixth-best save percentage during 5-on-5 play (.934).

  • 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).
  • They 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) and 2009-10 (.924, Miller/Lalime/Enroth).

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

Former Sabres:

  • Tim Schaller spent two seasons with the Sabres, splitting his time between Buffalo and Rochester. He appeared in 35 games for the Sabres over his two seasons, logging five points (2+3).
  • Dominic Moore appeared in 18 games for the Sabres in 2008-09, racking up four points (1+3).

Local Players:

  • Jack Eichel was born in North Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Represented the United States with David Backes at the 2009 World Championship.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Teammates with Colin Miller for the Manchester Monarchs during the 2013-14 season.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Brandon Carlo at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Torey Krug for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.

Hudson Fasching:

  • Represented the United States alongside Brandon Carlo at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Canada with Brad Marchand at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Brian Gionta:

  • Teammates with Dominic Moore for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Skated alongside Dominic Moore for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

Derek Grant:

  • Played with Torey Krug for Michigan State University (NCAA) from 2009-2011.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Was a member of the Florida Panthers with Jimmy Hayes from 2013-2015.
  • Teammates with Dominic Moore for the Florida Panthers during part of the 2009-10 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States with Jimmy Hayes at the 2014 World Championship.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with David Backes on the St. Louis Blues during the 2015-16 season.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Skated alongside David Backes as members of the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada alongside Brad Marchand at the 2016 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Ryan Spooner (45th overall) were both second-round selections in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and David Pastrnak (25th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Foligno (106), Ristolainen (98), Carrier (72)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (69), Gorges (58), McCabe (48)
Shots: Okposo (89), O’Reilly (85), Ristolainen (79)

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: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 1-3-1 (3), 11/19, 3/16, 13/17

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-3; 104-108 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)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 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)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Jack Eichel … 5 games … 100 NHL games
Zach Bogosian … 7 games … 500 NHL games
Justin Falk … 9 games … 200 NHL games
Cody Franson … 9 games … 500 NHL games
Matt Moulson … 10 games … 600 NHL games
Cody Franson … 6 points … 200 NHL points
Kyle Okposo … 8 points … 400 NHL points

Dan Bylsma … 300th NHL win … Dec. 27 at DET

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