Game Preview: 2/16/17 vs. COL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 14
Buffalo 3 at Ottawa 2
Goals: O’Reilly, Moulson, Bailey
Goalie: Lehner (39 saves/41 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Ottawa 41 – Buffalo 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 280)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 57 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 21 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 7 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 4 games
Cody Franson (foot, Feb. 11) – 3 games
Evander Kane (illness, Feb. 14) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/10:
Assigned F Evan Rodrigues to Rochester (AHL)
2/11: Recalled F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL)
2/12: Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Sunday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
AVALANCHE AT SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Avalanche and Sabres
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Colorado 4-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 14, 2016
  • The Sabres are 1-5-4 in their last 10 games vs. the Avalanche; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 140th game all-time between Buffalo and Colorado; Buffalo has a 60-55-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-21-11 at home against the Avalanche all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-4-4 all-time on February 16.
  • February 16, 2004: Miroslav Satan scores a career-high four goals, including his 250th NHL goal and 500th NHL point, leading the Sabres to a 7-2 victory vs. Atlanta.
  • February 16, 2012: Thomas Vanek scores his 225th NHL goal in a 7-2 loss at Philadelphia, passing Miroslav Satan for seventh-most goals in team history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won back-to-back games against the Avalanche for the first time since they won three straight from Mar. 24, 2003 to Dec. 4, 2005. The team last won consecutive home games against Colorado as part of a three-game streak from March 28, 1995 to Nov. 14, 1996.
  • Robin Lehner started both games against the Avalanche for the Sabres last season, stopping 67 of 70 total shots (.957).
  • Jack Eichel (1+1), Evander Kane (2+0) and Ryan O’Reilly (0+3) each had points in both games against the Avalanche last season.
  • Tyler Ennis has four assists in his last four games against Colorado.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Kyle Okposo has points in 11 of his last 15 games, including each of his last seven (3+4). With a point tonight, he would tie his career-best mark of eight games, originally set from March 7 to 21, 2009 and matched from Dec. 17, 2013 to Jan. 2, 2014.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 18 points (5+13) in his last 20 games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 15 points (5+10) in his last 15 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 11 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has five points (1+4) in his last five games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in five of his last seven games (1+4).

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 16 points (5+11) in his last 14 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 13 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 16 points (7+9) in 17 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.
  • Kyle Okposo (3+1) and Rasmus Ristolainen (1+3) each enter tonight’s game on four-game home point streaks.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Tonight is the Sabres’ fourth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 12-3-3 in its last 18 home games against Western Conference opponents and 10-6-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 10-5-3 in their last 18 games against the Central Division, including a 4-1-2 record in home games. A win tonight would give Buffalo wins in three straight home games against Central Division opponents for the first time since January 1997.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Wednesday ranked second in the league with a 23.1% success rate on the power play, trailing only Toronto (23.5%).
  • 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 sixth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 39th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 18 goals this season in his last 33 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 in even-strength goals (17) and ranks fourth in shots on goal (126).

*All rankings before 2/15 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)

.36 (30)

.21 (17)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.47 (39)

.42 (35)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.83 (68)

.63 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

3.9 (323)

2.2 (183)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Wednesday tied for 31st among all NHL skaters with 29 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.3 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.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/15 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.1% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 3.9 S/GP (2nd)
  • Foligno: 198 hits (3rd)
  • Lehner: .924 SV% (7th), .933 EV SV% (8th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (8th)
  • Okposo: 19 PPP (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.8 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 17 PPA (T-3rd), 27:07 TOI (4th), 18 PPP (T-1st, defensemen), 29 A (8th, defensemen)

BUF-COL Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo selected Mikhail Grigorenko in the first round (12th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft and he had 14 points (6+8) in 68 games for the Sabres.
  • Nikita Zadorov had 16 points (4+12) in 67 games for the Sabres after they selected him in the first round (16th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Former Avalanche:

  • Colorado selected Ryan O’Reilly in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He went on to play 427 games from 2009 to 2015 and had 246 points (90+156).

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Jarome Iginla for part of the 2012-13 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Jarome Iginla were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Justin Falk

  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Columbus Blue Jackets for part of the 2014-15 season.
  • Was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2014-2016 along with Cody Goloubef and Fedor Tyutin.

Cody Franson

  • Teammates with Joe Colborne for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2013.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played alongside Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Derek Grant

  • Played for the Calgary Flames during the 2015-16 season along with Joe Colborne.
  • Teammates with Patrick Wiercioch for the Ottawa Senators from 2012-2014.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) from 2001-2004.
  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Robin Lehner:

  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators from 2010-2015 alongside Patrick Wiercioch.

Matt Moulson:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the New York Islanders from 2009-2011.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season along with Blake Comeau.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the New York Islanders alongside Blake Comeau from 2007-2012.

Evan Rodrigues:

  • Played at Boston University from 2011-2013 with Matt Nieto.

International Teammates:

  • 2009 World Junior Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Tyler Ennis and Cody Goloubef.
  • 2010 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane, Francois Beauchemin, Rene Bourque and Matt Duchene.
  • 2011 World Junior Championship (Canada): Marcus Foligno and Tyson Barrie.
  • 2011 World Championship (Canada): Evander Kane and Matt Duchene.
  • 2011 World Championship (Russia): Dmitry Kulikov and Fedor Tyutin.
  • 2013 World Championship (Canada): Ryan O’Reilly and Matt Duchene.
  • 2015 World Championship (Canada): Tyler Ennis, Ryan O’Reilly, Tyson Barrie, Matt Duchene and Nathan MacKinnon.

NHL Draft:

  • Brian Gionta (82nd overall) and Francois Beauchemin (75th overall) were third-round picks in the 1998 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Matt Duchene (3rd overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers (82nd overall) and Tyson Barrie (64th overall) were both third-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall) were first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall), Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall) and Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) were all first-round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Mikko Rantanen (10th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (198), Ristolainen (146), Carrier (96)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (130), McCabe (80), Gorges (75)
Shots: Kane (155), Eichel (142), Okposo (138)

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: 4-3-0 (8), 20/18, 4/12, 18/24

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 … 2 games … 200 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 6 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 9 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 points … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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