Game Preview: 1/26/17 at DAL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 24
Buffalo 5 Nashville 4 (OT)
Goals: Eichel (2), Girgensons, Gionta, Okposo
Goalie: Lehner (35 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/3; Shots: Nashville 39 – Buffalo 37

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 233)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 47 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 11 games
Josh Gorges (hip, Jan. 7; injured reserve) – 9 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Jan. 21) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/20:
Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)
1/24: Activated D Dmitry Kulikov from IR; Placed D Josh Gorges on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, Feb. 7: San Jose at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at STARS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Stars this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Dallas 4-1 in Buffalo on Jan. 16
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Stars; 3-7-0 on the road.
  • This is the 120th game all-time between Buffalo and Dallas; Buffalo has a 56-46-17 series record.
  • The Sabres are 23-31-6 on the road against the Stars all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-9-1 all-time on January 26.
  • January 26, 1983: The Sabres get goals from seven different players in a 7-3 win at home against the Montreal Canadiens.
  • January 26, 2016: Jack Eichel scores twice and Robin Lehner records 34 saves and his second career assist in his return to Ottawa as the Sabres top the Senators 3-2.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With wins in their last three games, the Sabres are looking for their first four-game winning streak since Dec. 9 to 15, 2014.
  • After a win when these teams met 10 days ago in Buffalo, the Sabres are looking to win consecutive matchups with the Stars for the first time since they won five in a row from Oct. 13, 2003 to March 10, 2010. The team’s last win in Dallas came during that stretch, on Jan. 15, 2009.
  • The Sabres are 9-3-2 against the Western Conference this season, including points in each of their last seven games (6-0-1) against the West.
  • Buffalo is 5-2-1 against the Central Division in 2016-17. With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in four straight matchups against Central Division opponents for the first time since Oct. 10 to Dec. 27, 2009.

SHINING AGAINST THE STARS

  • Matt Moulson has 14 points (8+6) in 14 career games against the Stars.
  • Kyle Okposo has 10 points (6+4) in nine career games against Dallas.
  • Tyler Ennis has eight points (4+4) in seven games against the Stars since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Anders Nilsson is 1-1-0 in two career games against Dallas with a .957 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Cody Franson enters tonight’s game on his first three-game point streak (1+3) since Oct. 2015. A point tonight would give him points in four straight for the first time since he had points in a career-best nine consecutive games in Nov. 2014.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 11 points (2+9) in 10 games since returning from an absence due to an appendectomy. He recorded two points in five of those 10 games.
  • Jack Eichel has 13 points (7+6) in his last 14 games, including three multi-point games in his last five.
  • After scoring in each of the Sabres’ last two games, Brian Gionta has at least a point in each of his last four road games, tallying five points (3+2) in those games.
  • Evander Kane has points (1+3) in three straight road games entering tonight’s contest.

SUDDEN LIFE

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with overtime wins in each of their last three games for just the second time in franchise history, after the team won in overtime on Nov. 5, 10 and 11, 2006. The team has never won four straight games in overtime or a shootout.
  • If tonight’s game goes to overtime, it will be the first time the Sabres have been tied after regulation in four straight games since the team went 2-0-2 (three shootouts) from March 10 to 17, 2012.
  • The Sabres have had four consecutive games decided by an overtime goal only once in franchise history, when the team went 1-0-3 in four games from March 11 to 17, 2004.

FAMILY AFFAIR
With Cal and Ryan O’Reilly on one bench and Jamie and Jordie Benn on the other, this will be the sixth game of the 2016-17 season featuring two sets of brothers facing off against each other. The Vancouver Canucks (Daniel and Henrik Sedin) and Calgary Flames (Dougie and Freddie Hamilton) are the other teams represented.

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 12 goals this season in his last 24 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 is tied for 10th* among all NHL skaters in goals (12) and is ranked second* in even-strength goals (11).
*All rankings before Jan. 25 games

SOPHOMORE SURGE

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

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.46 (38)

.21 (17)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.35 (28)

.43 (35)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.81 (66)

.64 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (337)

2.2 (180)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN

  • Rasmus Ristolainen entered play Wednesday tied for 32nd among all NHL skaters with 25 assists.
  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.7 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 16 goals to fall below 20 percent.

*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. 25 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.1% PP% (7th)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st), .46 G/GP (9th)
  • Foligno: 159 hits (5th)
  • Nilsson: .938 EV SV% (3rd), .925 SV% (8th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (3rd, forwards), 57.6 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 16 PPA (T-3rd), 27:01 TOI (4th), 17 PPP (T-3rd, defensemen), 25 A (T-8th, defensemen)

BUF-DAL CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Lindy Ruff served as head coach of the Sabres for 14-plus seasons (1997-2013), compiling a record of 571-432-162 in 1,165 games. Ruff is the Sabres’ all-time franchise leader in wins, guiding the team to eight postseason appearances, including a trip to the 1999 Stanley Cup Final. He was awarded the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in 2006. Ruff also played for the Sabres from 1979-89, appearing in 608 games, recording 285 points (102+183) and serving as team captain for three seasons.
  • James Patrick spent seven seasons (2006-2013) as an assistant coach for the Sabres. He also spent six seasons with the Sabres as a player (1998-2004) and registered 74 points (23+51) in 345 games.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Teammates with Kari Lehtonen for the Atlanta Thrashers during the 2008-09 season.
  • Played with Johnny Oduya for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2009-2012.

Taylor Fedun:     

  • Played one game with Adam Cracknell for the Vancouver Canucks on January 15, 2016.
  • Played three games with Antti Niemi for the San Jose Sharks during the 2014-15 season.
  • Played four games with Ales Hemsky for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2013-14 season.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Cody Eakin for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship that was held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Dan Hamhuis for the 2009-10 season with the Nashville Predators.

Brian Gionta:

  • He and Johnny Oduya both played for the New Jersey Devils from 2006-2009.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with Jason Spezza for Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Played with Johnny Oduya for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2009-2012.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Played alongside Jiri Hudler for a portion of the 2015-16 season with the Florida Panthers.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Jason Spezza for the Ottawa Senators from 2010-2014. Ales Hemsky was also on the team for part of the 2013-14 season.
  • Represented Sweden alongside John Klingberg and Patrik Nemeth at the 2011 World Junior Championship.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played alongside Lauri Korpikoski for a portion of the 2015-16 season with the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Represented Sweden alongside John Klingberg at the 2015 World Championship.

Cal O’Reilly:

  • Played the 2013-14 season for the Phoenix Coyotes along with Lauri Korpikoski.
  • Played parts of three seasons with Dan Hamhuis for the Nashville Predators from 2008-2011.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Cody Eakin for Team Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Represented Team Canada at the 2013 World Championship with Dan Hamhuis.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played alongside Cody Eakin during the 2010-11 season with the Kootenay Ice.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Teammates with Esa Lindell for Team Finland at the 2012 World U18 Championship and the 2016 World Championship.

2009 World Junior Championship:

  • Tyler Ennis, Evander Kane and Jamie Benn all won the gold medal with Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

2012 World Championship:

  • Evander Kane, Ryan O’Reilly, Jamie Benn and Patrick Sharp all represented Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

2015 World Championship:

  • Tyler Ennis and Ryan O’Reilly were teammates with Cody Eakin, Dan Hamhuis, Tyler Seguin and Jason Spezza for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Nicolas Deslauriers and Cody Eakin were both selected in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Deslauriers was taken 84th overall by Los Angeles, and Eakin was selected one pick later at 85th overall by Washington.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (159), Ristolainen (122), Carrier (92)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (103), McCabe (64), Gorges (62)
Shots: Kane (119), Okposo (119), O’Reilly (110)

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: 4-3-0 (8), 22/22, 4/19, 14/19

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-4; 107-109 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)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

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 … 8 games … 200 NHL games
Points
Cody Franson … 1 point … 200 NHL points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 points … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Justin Falk … 200th NHL game … Jan. 20 vs. DET
Matt Moulson … 600th NHL game … Jan. 20 vs. DET
Kyle Okposo … 400th NHL point … Jan. 24 at NSH

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