Game Preview: 1/20/17 vs. DET


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, January 17
Buffalo 3 at Toronto 4
Goals: Okposo, Kane, Carrier
Goalie: Lehner (13 saves/16 shots); Nilsson (15 saves/16 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 0/1; Shots: Toronto 32 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 220)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 44 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Dec. 29; injured reserve) – 10 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 8 games
Josh Gorges (hip, Jan. 7) – 6 games

Assigned F Justin Bailey and G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)
1/16: Recalled F Cal O’Reilly from Rochester (AHL); Activated F Tyler Ennis from IR
1/19: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)

Saturday, Jan. 21:
Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 26: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 31: Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 2: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.


  • This is third of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Detroit 4-3 in Detroit on Dec. 27, 2016
  • Next meeting: Monday, March 20 in Detroit
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 2-6-2 at home.
  • This is the 132nd game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 56-57-18 series record.
  • The Sabres are 35-19-10 at home against the Red Wings all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-9-1 all-time on January 20.
  • January 20, 1971: Don Luce scores the game’s only goal as Roger Crozier (29 saves) and Dunc Wilson (36 saves) combine to stop 65 of 66 shots in a 1-0 Sabres win vs. Vancouver.
  • January 20, 2013: Thomas Vanek records five points (2+3) and Steve Ott scores a goal in his Sabres debut in a 5-2 Sabres win vs. Philadelphia.


  • If they dress, Matt Moulson (600th game) and Justin Falk (200th game) will each reach a career milestone tonight.
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres wins in four straight home games since the team won six in a row at home from Nov. 28 to Dec. 15, 2014.
  • The Sabres have scored the first goal in each of their last five games. With the first goal tonight, they will have done so in six straight for the first time since they did so from Jan. 10 to Jan. 20, 2016.
  • Four of William Carrier’s six points this season have come in the last six games, including three of his four goals.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has seven assists in his last seven games against the Red Wings.
  • Tyler Ennis has four points (2+2) in four games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2014-15 season.
  • Brian Gionta has at least a point (1+3) in each of his last three games against the Red Wings.
  • Jack Eichel has four points (3+1) in his last four games against Detroit.


  • After the team’s win on Dec. 27 at Detroit, the Sabres are looking for wins in consecutive matchups with the Red Wings for the first time since March 6, 1994 and Nov. 1, 1995.
  • A win would also give the Sabres two wins in a season against the Red Wings for the first time since they won both matchups in the 1989-90 season.
  • With at least a point tonight, the Sabres would have points in three straight matchups with the Red Wings for the first time since Oct. 13, 2009 to Feb. 26, 2011 (1-0-2).

Evander Kane
has scored each of his 12 goals this season in his last 21 games, including a team-high 11 even-strength goals. In the period since scoring his first goal of the season on Dec. 3 vs. Boston:

  • He has not gone three consecutive games without scoring a goal.
  • He is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters in goals (12).
  • He is tied for the league lead in even-strength goals (11).
  • He ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per 60 minutes (1.84).

All rankings before Jan. 19 games


  • Ryan O’Reilly has eight points (2+6) in his last eight home games.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game with points in five straight home games (1+6), the longest home point streak of his career.
  • Jack Eichel has nine points (6+3) in 11 home games this season, including three two-goal outings.
  • Anders Nilsson is 5-1-1 at home this season, with a .941 save percentage and a 1.84 goals-against average in those games.

Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s eighth of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will continue tomorrow night at Montreal. The Sabres are 3-2-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-4-1 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 (2), two points (1), one point (1) and zero points (2).

In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points per game totals from 2015-16.



Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart


.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.43 (36)

.20 (17)


.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.30 (25)

.43 (35)


.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.74 (61)

.64 (52)


2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (335)

2.1 (175)

(82-game pace in parentheses)


  • Rasmus Ristolainen entered play Thursday tied for 29th among all NHL skaters with 24 assists.
  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 23.5 percent of his teammates’ goals*. 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 10 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 Jan. 19 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.1% PP% (8th)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 146 hits (6th)
  • Nilsson: .936 EV SV% (6th), .924 SV% (6th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:31 TOI/GP (4th, forwards), 57.0 FO% (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 15 PPA (4th), 26:42 TOI (5th), 16 PPP (T-3rd, defensemen), 24 A (7th, defensemen)

Former Sabres:

  • Thomas Vanek was a member of the Sabres for just over eight seasons from 2005-2013. Drafted by Buffalo in the first round (5th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Vanek finished his career with the Sabres ranked 10th in franchise history in points (497), fifth in goals (254), 13th in assists (243), fourth in power-play goals (106) and fourth in game-winning goals (41).
  • Steve Ott played for Buffalo for parts of two seasons from 2012-2014. Appearing in a total of 107 games with the club, Ott registered 44 points (18+26).
  • Terry Murray played one season for the Red Wings, totaling seven assists and 10 penalty minutes in 23 games during the 1976-77 campaign.

Local Players:

  • Riley Sheahan was born in St. Catharines, Ontario.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Dylan Larkin in the United States NTDP from 2012-2014. They also represented the United States at the 2015 World Junior Championship and World Championship and played together for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Thomas Vanek for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2013-14 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Steve Ott for Team Canada at the 2010 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Justin Adbelkader and Danny DeKeyser for the United States at the 2014 World Championship.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played with Jonathan Ericsson for Team Sweden at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Represented Sweden alongside Gustav Nyquist at the 2014 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Steve Ott for the St. Louis Blues for part of the 2015-16 season.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Justin Abdelkader at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Frans Nielsen for the New York Islanders from 2007-2016. Thomas Vanek was also a part of the team during part of the 2013-14 season.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Teammates with Anthony Mantha for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Tomas Tatar (60th overall) were all second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Anthony Mantha (20th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Dylan Larkin (15th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.

Foligno (146), Ristolainen (116), Carrier (88)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (96), McCabe (64), Gorges (62)
Shots: Okposo (107), Kane (102), O’Reilly (101)

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: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 1-3-0 (2), 11/14, 2/10, 8/11

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-4; 104-109 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)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)

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

Justin Falk … 1 game … 200 NHL games
Matt Moulson … 1 game … 600 NHL games
Nicolas Deslauriers … 9 games … 200 NHL games
Kyle Okposo … 2 points … 400 NHL points
Cody Franson … 5 points … 200 NHL points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 points … 100 NHL points

Cody Franson … 500th NHL game … Jan. 17 at TOR

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