Game Preview: 2/18/17 vs. STL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, February 16
Colorado 0 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Reinhart, Kane
Goalie: Lehner (23 saves/23 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 0/0; Shots: Buffalo 32 – Colorado 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 285)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 58 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 22 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 8 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 5 games
Cody Franson (foot, Feb. 11) – 4 games
Derek Grant (shoulder, Feb. 18) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/12:
Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, March 2: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
BLUES AT SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blues this season.
  • Last meeting: St. Louis defeated Buffalo 4-1 in St. Louis on Nov. 15.
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blues, 1-9-0 at home.
  • This is the 116th game all-time between Buffalo and St. Louis; Buffalo has a 45-54-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 30-22-6 at home against the Blues all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-4-4 all-time on February 18.
  • February 18, 1971: Ron Anderson and Phil Goyette both contribute three points in a 6-6 tie with Pittsburgh as the Sabres erase a 3-0 deficit following the first period.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is the seventh of eight afternoon games (3 p.m. ET or earlier) for the Sabres this season. The team is 4-2-0 in the first six and was 6-3-2 in 11 afternoon games last season.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap a nine-game winless streak (0-8-1) against the Blues that includes a four-game losing streak at home. Their last win against the Blues was a 5-3 victory in St. Louis on Dec. 27, 2009. No Sabres – and only three Blues (Patrik Berglund, David Perron and Alexander Steen) – who played in that game remain on the teams’ rosters today.
  • Kyle Okposo has nine points (3+6) in his last seven games against the Blues.
  • Robin Lehner is 3-2-0 all-time against the Blues with a 2.69 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (5+14) in his last 21 games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 16 points (5+11) in his last 16 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 12 points (7+5) in his last 12 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (2+4) in his last six games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in six of his last eight games (1+5).

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 17 points (5+12) in his last 15 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 17 points (7+10) in 18 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (1+4) enters today’s game on a five-game home point streak.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Today is the Sabres’ fifth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 13-3-3 in its last 19 home games against Western Conference opponents and 11-6-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 11-5-3 in their last 19 games against the Central Division, including a 5-1-2 record in home games.
  • A win today would give Buffalo wins in four straight home games against Central/Norris Division opponents for the first time since the team won four straight against the Norris Division from Nov. 25, 1988 to Jan. 12, 1989.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Friday ranked first in the league with a 23.3% 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 sixth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 37th-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 19 goals this season in his last 34 games, including a team-high 18 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is tied for second among all NHL skaters in goals (19), leads the league in even-strength goals (18) and ranks second in shots on goal (134).

*All rankings before 2/17 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)

.35 (29)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.49 (40)

.41 (34)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.84 (69)

.64 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

3.9 (321)

2.3 (185)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Friday tied for 29th among all NHL skaters with 30 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.7 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 13 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/17 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.3% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 3.9 S/GP (2nd)
  • Foligno: 203 hits (3rd)
  • Lehner: .926 SV% (6th), .934 EV SV% (4th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (8th)
  • Okposo: 19 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 18 PPA (T-3rd), 27:03 TOI (4th), 19 PPP (2nd, defensemen), 30 A (T-7th, defensemen)

BUF-STL Connections
Former Blues:

  • Anders Nilsson spent part of the 2015-16 season with the Blues, appearing in three games and compiling a .909 save percentage and 2.76 goals-against average. The Blues traded Nilsson to the Sabres on July 2, 2016.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Robert Bortuzzo as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2011-2014.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Jaden Schwartz for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Carl Gunnarsson for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2014.
  • Played with Carter Hutton for the Nashville Predators during the 2014-15 season.

Brian Gionta:

  • Gionta (1979) and Alex Pietrangelo (1990) were both born on Jan. 18.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship alongside Alex Pietrangelo.
  • He and Jay Bouwmeester were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada with Alex Pietrangelo at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Skated alongside Jay Bouwmeester as members of Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Represented Russia in the 2011 and 2015 World Championships with Vladimir Tarasenko.
  • Teammates with Scottie Upshall for the Florida Panthers from 2011-2015.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played with Nail Yakupov for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season.
  • Represented Sweden alongside Carl Gunnarsson at the 2010 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada at the 2012 World Championship with Jay Bouwmeester.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Patrik Berglund (25th overall) were both first-round selections of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Tyler Ennis (26th overall) and Alex Pietrangelo (4th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Magnus Paajarvi (10th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Nail Yakupov (1st overall) were taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (203), Ristolainen (149), Gorges (97)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (131), McCabe (81), Gorges (76)
Shots: Kane (159), Eichel (145), Okposo (139)

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: 5-3-0 (10), 22/18, 5/15, 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 … 5 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 8 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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