Game Preview: 2/12/17 vs. VAN

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 11
Buffalo 3 at Toronto 1
Goals: Kane (2), Reinhart
Goalie: Lehner (43 saves/44 shots)
PP: 1/1; PK: 2/3; Shots: Toronto 44 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 268)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 55 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 19 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 5 games
Zach Bogosian (ribs, Feb. 4; injured reserve) – 5 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9) – 2 games
Cody Franson (foot, Feb. 11) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/6:
Signed D Justin Falk to a one-year contract extension worth $650,000; Claimed F Derek Grant off waivers from Nashville; Assigned Grant to Rochester (AHL)
2/9: Recalled F Derek Grant and F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL); Placed F William Carrier and D Zach Bogosian on IR
2/10: Assigned F Evan Rodrigues to Rochester (AHL)
2/11: Recalled F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Feb. 14:
Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 16: Colorado at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 18: St. Louis at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 19: Chicago at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25: Buffalo at Colorado, 10 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CANUCKS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
  • Last meeting: Vancouver defeated Buffalo 2-1 in Vancouver on Oct. 20, 2016
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 7-3-0 at home.
  • This is the 118th game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 48-50-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 31-19-8 at home against the Canucks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-8-6 all-time on February 12.
  • February 12, 1983: Craig Ramsay (broken foot) sees his consecutive games played streak end at 776 games, missing his first game in nearly 10 years.
  • February 12, 2008: Thomas Vanek scores his first career hat trick, leading the Sabres to a 5-1 win at Ottawa.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The home team has won 12 of the last 14 games between these teams, including each of the last six. The Canucks have only won once in their six visits Buffalo since 2003, posting a 3-0 win on Oct. 17, 2013.
  • Tyler Ennis has recorded a point in five of his seven career games against the Canucks (3+2).
  • Brian Gionta has five points (2+3) in his last four games against Vancouver.
  • Since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, Kyle Okposo has tallied eight assists in six games against the Canucks.
  • In his only previous meeting with the Canucks on Oct. 18, 2015, Anders Nilsson stopped 33 of 34 shots (.971) to earn a win in Vancouver.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Tonight is the Sabres’ third game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 12-2-3 in its last 17 home games against Western Conference opponents and 10-5-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 59-20-16 (.705) all-time in home games against the Pacific Division, including a 13-1-3 record in the last 17 games.
  • The Sabres, who lost at home to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night, will look to avoid losing two straight home games to Pacific Division opponents for the first time since Oct. 13 and Nov. 7, 2014.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Robin Lehner is 6-3-1 with a .933 save percentage so far in 2017.
  • Kyle Okposo has points in nine of his last 13 games, including each of his last five (2+3). With a point tonight, he have points in six straight for the first time since Nov. 12 to 25, 2015.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 14 points (5+9) in his last 13 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Evander Kane has 11 points (6+5) in his last 10 games.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a three-game point streak and has totaled four points (1+3) in those games.

 

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 15 points (5+10) in his last 13 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 16 points (7+9) in 16 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres have gone 4-for-6 on the power play in their last three games and finished last night’s game ranked first in the league with a 23.8% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%).
  • The team’s current power play percentage would rank as the fourth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 24.4% mark in 1979-80. It would be the 22nd-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 10th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-1 win last night in Toronto. The Sabres are 5-3-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-4-1 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 (2), one point (1) and zero points (2).

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 18 goals this season in his last 32 games, including a team-high 17 even-strength goals. In the period since scoring his first goal of the season on Dec. 3 vs. Boston, he is tied for fourth among all NHL skaters in goals (18), leads the league lead in even-strength goals (17) and ranks third in shots on goal (124).

*All rankings as of the end of last night’s game

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)

.38 (31)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.47 (39)

.42 (34)
P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.85 (70)

.64 (52)
SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (330)

2.2 (179)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished last night’s game tied for 41st among all NHL skaters with 27 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.1 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 below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 33.8% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 187 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 3.5 S/GP (9th)
  • Lehner: .925 SV% (7th), .934 EV SV% (6th)
  • Moulson: 9 PPG (T-9th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (7th), .922 SV% (10th)
  • Okposo: 19 PPP (T-7th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:38 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 17 PPA (T-3rd), 27:05 TOI (4th), 18 PPP (T-1st, defensemen)

BUF-VAN CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Ryan Miller spent parts of 11 seasons as a member of the Sabres from 2002-2014. Drafted by Buffalo in the fifth round of the 1999 NHL Draft (138th overall), Miller compiled a record of 284-186-56 over a total of 540 games, earning franchise-record totals in games played and wins.
  • Though he never played for Buffalo, Alex Biega was drafted by the Sabres in the fifth round (147th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He posted 66 points (13+53) and a plus-24 rating in 198 games for the Portland Pirates and Rochester Americans (AHL) while he was a part of the Sabres’ organization.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Brandon Sutter for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2012-2014.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Alex Biega for the Rochester Americans from 2011-2013.

Derek Grant:

  • Played with Markus Granlund for the Calgary Flames in 2015-16.

Zemgus Girgensons:

  • Played with Alex Biega for the Rochester Americans during the 2012-13 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada alongside Alexandre Burrows at the 2012 World Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Played with Jacob Markstrom for the Florida Panthers from 2010-14. Jack Skille was also a member of the team from 2010-2013.

Anders Nilsson

  • Represented Sweden alongside Jacob Markstrom at the 2010 World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the United States alongside Jack Skille at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Markus Granlund at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada alongside Alexandre Burrows at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played for Team Canada alongside Erik Gudbranson at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Ben Hutton and Christopher Tanev at the 2016 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Reinhart was born in West Vancouver.
  • Represented Canada alongside Bo Horvat at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Ben Hutton and Christopher Tanev at the 2016 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian, Tyler Ennis and Luca Sbisa were all selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Bogosian went third overall to Atlanta, Sbisa was selected by Philadelphia 19th overall and Ennis was chosen 26th overall.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Bo Horvat (9th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (187), Ristolainen (142), Carrier (96)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (128), McCabe (75), Gorges (70)
Shots: Kane (153), Eichel (137), Okposo (135)

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: 3-2-0 (6), 15/12, 4/7, 11/16

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 108-110 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)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (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

Nicolas Deslauriers … 3 games … 200 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 8 games … 400 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 5 goals … 100 NHL goals
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 4 points … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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