Game Preview: 2/2/17 vs. NYR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 31
Buffalo 2 at Montreal 5
Goals: Kulikov, Gionta
Goalie: Lehner (30 saves/35 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 39 – Montreal 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 241)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 49 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 13 games
Josh Gorges (hip, Jan. 7; injured reserve) – 11 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Jan. 21) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Feb. 9: Anaheim at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
RANGERS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York 4-1 in New York on Jan. 3
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 3-6-1 at home
  • This is the 177th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 81-62-33 series record.
  • The Sabres are 48-28-13 at home against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-7-2 all-time on February 2.
  • February 2, 1975: Jerry Korab and Peter McNab each score two goals in the Sabres’ 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Scouts as Buffalo records 58 shots on goal against Scouts goaltender Denis Herron.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres will look to avoid losing three straight games in regulation for just the second time this season (last: Nov. 12 to 17).
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres four straight wins against the Rangers and a season sweep against the Rangers for the first time since they swept the 2006-07 season series.
  • Kyle Okposo has 15 points (4+11) in his last 13 games against the Rangers, including at least a point in his last six (2+7).
  • Brian Gionta has 15 points (7+8) in his last 16 games against the Rangers, including at least a point in each of his last five (2+4).
  • Jack Eichel has at least a point in each of his five career games against the Rangers, totaling seven points (3+4) in those games.
  • Sam Reinhart has four points (1+3) in four career games against the Rangers, including three assists so far this season.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Evander Kane has 10 points (5+5) in his last 10 games and enters tonight’s game with points in each of his last four, having totaled seven points (2+5) in those four games. With a point tonight, he would have his longest point streak since February 2013 (eight games).
  • Brian Gionta enters tonight’s game on his first four-game point streak (3+1) since he had points in five straight from Nov. 6 to 16, 2010.
  • Cody Franson has five points (1+4) in his last five games.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
With an average of 3.23 goals for per game during the month of January, the Sabres had their most productive month offensively since January 2013. Note: Averages below exclude shootout goals.

Last Five Months in Which the Sabres Averaged 3+ Goals Per Game

Month

G/GP

Monthly League Rank in G/GP

Record

April 2011

3.80

2nd

4-0-1 (.900)

March 2012

3.19

4th

10-4-2 (.688)

April 2012

3.33

T-6th

1-1-1 (.500)

January 2013

3.29

7th

3-3-1 (.500)

January 2017

3.23

8th

7-5-1 (.577)

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 14 goals this season in his last 26 games, including a team-high 13 even-strength goals. In the period since scoring his first goal of the season on Dec. 3 vs. Boston, he is tied for fifth among all NHL skaters in goals (14), tied for the league lead in even-strength goals (13) and ranks sixth in shots on goal (96).
*All rankings before Feb. 1 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)

.43 (35)

.20 (17)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.32 (26)

.41 (33)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.75 (62)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.3 (349)

2.2 (179)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Wednesday tied for 37th among all NHL skaters with 25 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.6 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 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 2/1 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.7% PP% (5th)
  • Eichel: 4.3 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 168 hits (T-4th)
  • Nilsson: .935 EV SV% (7th), .923 SV% (9th)
  • R. O’Reilly: 21:39 TOI/GP (4th, forwards), 58.1 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 16 PPA (T-3rd), 27:03 TOI (5th), 17 PPP (T-4th, defensemen), 25 A (T-8th, defensemen)

BUF-NYR CONNECTIONS
Former Rangers:

  • Justin Falk spent part of the 2013-14 season with the Rangers, playing in 21 games for New York, where he compiled two points (0+2).

Local Players:

  • Adam Clendening was born in Niagara Falls, New York.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Brady Skjei at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Justin Falk:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) from 2005-2007.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Marc Staal at the 2007 World Junior Championship for Team Canada.
  • Played for the Nashville Predators with Kevin Klein from 2009-2011.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Marc Staal at the 2010 World Championship for Team Canada.
  • Represented Canada at the 2011 World Championship along with Rick Nash.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Brandon Pirri for the Florida Panthers from 2013-2016.
  • Kulikov (1990) and Oscar Lindberg (1991) were both born on Oct. 29.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played alongside Mika Zibanejad for the Ottawa Senators from 2011-2015.
  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators during the 2014-15 season along with Matt Puempel.

Matt Moulson:

  • Was a member of the New York Islanders from 2010-2013 along with Michael Grabner.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season and again during the 2013-14 season.
  • Was a member of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season along with Adam Clendening.

Cal O’Reilly:

  • Was a member of the Nashville Predators from 2008-2011 with Kevin Klein.
  • Played for the Utica Comets (AHL) during the 2014-15 season along with Adam Clendening.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Nick Holden for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders from 2010-2015.
  • Represented the United States with Chris Kreider at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Shares a hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota with Ryan McDonagh.

2011 World Junior Championship:

  • The 2011 Swedish World Junior Championship team is well represented between the Sabres and Rangers. Robin Lehner appeared on the team along with Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg. Lehner and Lindberg also appeared together in the 2009 World U18 Championship.

2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award:

  • Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey were both finalists for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Eichel won the award, while Vesey was a runner-up.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Michael Grabner (14th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Chris Kreider (19th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Brandon Pirri (59th overall) were all taken in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) was selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft along with Brady Skjei (28th overall).

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (168), Ristolainen (130), Carrier (95)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (110), McCabe (64), Gorges (62)
Shots: Kane (125), Okposo (122), Eichel (119)

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: 4-5-0 (8), 27/31, 6/24, 19/25

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
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 points … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Cody Franson … 200th NHL point … Jan. 31 at MTL

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