Game Preview: 2/6/17 at NJD

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 4
Ottawa 0 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Okposo, O’Reilly, Reinhart, Foligno
Goalie: Lehner (37 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/0; PK: 2/2; Shots: Ottawa 37 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 249)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 51 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 15 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4) – 1 game
Zach Bogosian (ribs, Feb. 4) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/4:
Activated D Josh Gorges; Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Cal O’Reilly to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Sunday, Feb. 12: Vancouver at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 14: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME

SABRES at DEVILS

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 4-2 in New Jersey on Nov. 12
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-3-3 on the road.
  • This is the 151st game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has a 74-50-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-25-15 on the road against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-8-4 all-time on February 6.
  • February 6, 1972: Jim Lorentz and Rick Martin each score a pair of goals as the Sabres defeat the Boston Bruins 8-2 at the Aud. Lorentz would finish the game with four points.
  • February 6, 1986: Dave Andreychuk scores a franchise-record five goals and adds one assist in an 8-6 win at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Anders Nilsson is 4-1-1 in seven career appearances against the Devils, with a .953 save percentage and a 1.98 goals-against average. Nilsson has played more games against New Jersey than against any other opponent and earned his first NHL win with a 24-save shutout against the Devils on March 4, 2012.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 10 points (5+5) in 10 games against the Devils since the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
  • Tyler Ennis has seven points (4+3) in his last six games against New Jersey.
  • Jack Eichel had three points (2+1) in three games against the Devils in 2015-16.
  • With 12 shootouts in the 32 matchups since the beginning of 2007-08 season, the Sabres have played more shootouts against the Devils than any other non-divisional opponent, going 7-5 in those shootouts.
  • 11 of the last 24 games between the Sabres and Devils have been settled in overtime or a shootout, including eight of the last 16.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Robin Lehner is 5-1-1 with a .928 save percentage so far in 2017.
  • Evander Kane has 10 points (5+5) in his last 12 games. Kane hasn’t gone three games without recording a point since mid-November.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 13 points (3+10) in 14 games since returning from an absence due to an appendectomy.
  • Cody Franson has six points (2+4) in his last seven games, including four points (1+3) in his last four road games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged four two-point games in his last nine outings.

STREAKING ON THE ROAD

  • Evander Kane has eight points (3+5) in his last five road games. With a point tonight, he’d have points in six straight road games for the first time in his career.
  • With seven points (4+3) in his last six road games, Brian Gionta is riding his longest road point streak since he posted points in a career-best eight straight road games from March 21 to April 18, 2006.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s ninth of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will continue in Buffalo tomorrow night vs. San Jose. The Sabres are 4-2-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-4-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (1), one point (1) and zero points (2).

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 14 goals this season in his last 28 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 eighth among all NHL skaters in goals (14), ranks second in even-strength goals (13) and ranks fifth in shots on goal (107).

*All rankings before Feb. 5 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)

.40 (33)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.37 (30)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.77 (63)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (336)

2.2 (182)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Sunday tied for 39th among all NHL skaters with 26 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.5 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 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 2/5 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.3% PP% (5th)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 177 hits (T-3rd)
  • Nilsson: .935 EV SV% (5th), .923 SV% (8th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:39 TOI/GP (4th, forwards), 57.8 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 16 PPA (T-3rd), 27:08 TOI (3rd), 17 PPP (T-4th, defensemen), 26 A (9th, defensemen)

BUF-NJD CONNECTIONS
Former Devils:

  • Brian Gionta played for the Devils from 2001-2009, tallying 312 points (152+160) in 473 games. Selected by New Jersey in the third round (82nd overall) of the 1998 NHL Draft, Gionta won a cup with the Devils in 2003 and currently holds the club’s single-season franchise record in goals (48), which he set during the 2005-06 campaign.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached the Pittsburgh Penguins where Ben Lovejoy was a member of the team from 2008-2013.

Jack Eichel:

  • Was a part of the United States National Team Development Program with Kyle Palmieri during the 2008-09 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Represented Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship alongside Taylor Hall.
  • Shares a hometown of Edmonton, Alberta with Vernon Fiddler.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Michael Cammalleri for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2012.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Michael Cammalleri for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2012.
  • Was a member of the Kelowna Rockets during the 2000-01 season along with Vernon Fiddler.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Team Sweden alongside Jacob Josefson at the 2009 World U18 Championship.

Robin Lehner;

  • Represented Team Sweden alongside Jacob Josefson at the 2009 World U18 Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Was a member of Team Canada with Travis Zajac at the 2011 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Was a part of the United States National Team Development Program with Reid Boucher from 2009-2011.
  • Represented the United States alongside Keith Kinkaid at the 2016 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Was a member of the Los Angeles Kings with Michael Cammalleri during the 2007-08 season.
  • Played alongside P.A. Parenteau for the New York Islanders from 2010-2012.
  • Teammates with Kyle Quincey for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2008-09 season.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played for the Edmonton Oilers organization along with Taylor Hall during the 2015-16 season.
  • Represented Sweden at the 2015 World Championship alongside Jacob Josefson. The two were also members of the Swedish World Junior team in 2010.
  • Played for the New York Islanders with P.A. Parenteau during the 2011-12 season.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Was a member of Team Canada with Taylor Hall for the 2013, 2015 and 2016 World Championships.
  • Teammates with P.A. Parenteau for the Colorado Avalanche from 2012-2014.
  • Played with Kyle Quincey for the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2012.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played alongside Andy Greene for the United States at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Represented the United States with Kyle Palmieri at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played for the New York Islanders with P.A. Parenteau from 2010-2012.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada with Taylor Hall at the 2016 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall), Jacob Josefson (20th overall) and Kyle Palmieri (26th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Devante Smith-Pelly (42nd overall) was both second-round selections in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Jake McCabe (44th overall) and Damon Severson (60th overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Pavel Zacha (6th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (177), Ristolainen (136), Carrier (96)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (115), McCabe (66), Gorges (63)
Shots: Kane (136), Okposo (127), Eichel (123)

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: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 1-0-0 (2), 4/0, 0/0, 2/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-5; 107-110 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)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)

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 … 6 games … 200 NHL games
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 points … 100 NHL points

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

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