Game Preview: 1/24/17 at NSH


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, January 21
Buffalo 3 at Montreal 2 (OT)
Goals: Gionta, Franson, Bogosian
Goalie: Lehner (36 saves/38 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 38 – Montreal 38

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 229)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 46 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Dec. 29; injured reserve) – 12 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 10 games
Josh Gorges (hip, Jan. 7) – 8 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Jan. 21) – 1 game

Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
1/20: Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)

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.
Saturday, Feb. 4: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 6: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Predators this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Nashville 4-1 in Nashville on Nov. 28, 2015
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 28 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Predators; 6-4-0 on the road.
  • This is the 22nd game all-time between Buffalo and Nashville; Buffalo has an 8-10-3 series record.
  • The Sabres are 7-4-0 on the road against the Predators all-time.


  • The Sabres are 10-8-0 all-time on January 24.
  • January 24, 1978: The Buffalo Sabres host the NHL All-Star game at Memorial Auditorium. Sabres forward Rick Martin scores to tie the game late in the third period and Gilbert Perreault scores the game-winning goal in overtime.


  • After Buffalo’s 4-1 win the last time these teams met, the Sabres are looking to win consecutive games against the Predators for the first time since Dec. 21, 2006 and Feb. 27, 2008.
  • The Sabres are 8-3-2 against the Western Conference this season, including points in each of their last six games (5-0-1) against the West.
  • Buffalo is 4-2-1 against the Central Division in 2016-17. With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in three straight matchups against Central Division opponents for the first time since the team won four straight from Oct. 10 to Dec. 27, 2009.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 11 points (2+9) in nine games since returning from an absence due to an appendectomy. He recorded two points in five of those nine games, including each of the last two.
    • O’Reilly has 18 points (6+12) in 19 road games this year, including 10 points (2+8) in his last 10.


  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with overtime wins in each of their last two games for the first time since Nov. 13 and 15, 2010.
  • The Sabres haven’t had three consecutive games decided by an overtime goal since the team went 2-0-1 in three games from Nov. 11 to 15, 2010.
  • An overtime or shootout win tonight would give Buffalo three consecutive post-regulation wins for just the second time in franchise history, after the team won in overtime on Nov. 5, 10 and 11, 2006.


  • Ryan O’Reilly enters tonight’s game on a five-game point streak against the Predators, having tallied six points (2+4) during that span.
  • Evander Kane has seven points (1+6) in his last six games against the Predators, including four assists in his last three visits to Nashville.
  • Kyle Okposo has totaled six points (2+4) in seven career games against the Predators.
  • Cody Franson has three assists in his last four games against Nashville.
  • Robin Lehner hasn’t faced Nashville since Nov. 20, 2014, but has a 1-0-1 record and a .938 save percentage in two career appearances against the Predators.

Evander Kane
has scored each of his 12 goals this season in his last 23 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 eighth among all NHL skaters in goals (12).
  • He is tied for the league lead in even-strength goals (11).

All rankings before Jan. 23 games

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)

.40 (33)

.22 (18)


.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.36 (30)

.41 (34)


.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.76 (62)

.63 (52)


2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (338)

2.2 (182)

(82-game pace in parentheses)


  • Rasmus Ristolainen entered play Monday tied for 29th among all NHL skaters with 25 assists.
  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 23.8 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 six 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. 23 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.4% PP% (T-5th)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 154 hits (T-4th)
  • Nilsson: .938 EV SV% (3rd), .925 SV% (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:35 TOI/GP (4th, forwards), 57.8 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 16 PPA (T-3rd), 26:58 TOI (5th), 17 PPP (T-3rd, defensemen), 25 A (T-7th, defensemen)


Former Sabres:

  • Derek Grant played in 35 games for the Sabres this season and recorded three assists before being claimed off of waivers by Nashville on Jan. 11, 2017.

Former Predators:

  • Cody Franson was drafted by the Predators in the third round (79th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft and went on to have 54 points (15+39) in 164 games for Nashville from 2009-2011 and in 2014-15.
  • Cal O’Reilly was drafted by the Predators in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft and posted 35 points (11+24) in 85 games for Nashville.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached James Neal for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2010-2014.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played with Ryan Ellis and P.K. Subban for Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Justin Falk:

  • Played with Ryan Johansen for the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2014-2016.

Taylor Fedun:

  • Teammates with Matt Irwin for the San Jose Sharks during the 2014-15 season.
  • Played with Yannick Weber for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2015-16 season.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Represented Team Canada alongside Ryan Ellis and Ryan Johansen at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Canada alongside James Neal at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Brian Gionta:

  • Teammates with P.K. Subban for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2014. Yannick Weber was also a member of the team from 2009-2013.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Ryan Ellis and P.K. Subban for Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside James Neal at the 2011 World Championship.

Robin Lehner:

  • Teammates with Calle Jarnkrok for Sweden at the 2009 World U-18 Championship and the 2011 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Mike Fisher for the Ottawa Senators during the 2010-11 season.
  • He and Derek Grant were teammates for the Ottawa Senators from 2012-2014 and for the Binghamton Senators (AHL) from 2010-2013.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Craig Smith at the 2014 World Championship.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played with Matthias Ekholm for Team Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championship. They also played together at the 2014 and 2015 World Championships.
  • Teammates with Calle Jarnkrok for Team Sweden at the 2014 World Championship.
  • Represented Sweden alongside Filip Forsberg at the 2015 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Teammates with Colin Wilson for the United States at the 2008 World Junior Championship. They also played together at the 2009 World Championship.
  • Represented the United States alongside Craig Smith at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played with Harry Zolnierczyk for the New York Islanders during the 2014-15 season.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Cody McLeod for the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2015.
  • Played with P.K. Subban for Canada at the 2013 World Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Ryan Ellis at the 2016 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada alongside Ryan Ellis at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • He and Juuse Saros played together for Team Finland at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Pekka Rinne for Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Tyler Ennis (26th overall) and Colin Wilson (7th overall) were all chosen in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall) and Ryan Ellis (11th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Marcus Foligno (104th overall) was chosen two picks after Mattias Ekholm (102nd overall) and six picks after Craig Smith (98th overall) in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Filip Forsberg (11th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Foligno (154), Ristolainen (121), Carrier (92)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (102), McCabe (64), Gorges (62)
Shots: Okposo (114), Kane (111), O’Reilly (107)

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: 3-3-0 (6), 17/18, 4/17, 12/16

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-4; 106-109 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)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)

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

Nicolas Deslauriers … 9 games … 200 NHL games
Kyle Okposo … 1 point … 400 NHL points
Cody Franson … 3 points … 200 NHL points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 points … 100 NHL points

Justin Falk … 200th NHL game … Jan. 20 vs. DET
Matt Moulson … 600th NHL game … Jan. 20 vs. DET

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