Game Preview: 2/19/17 vs. CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 18
St. Louis 2 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Baptiste, Kane, O’Reilly
Goalie: Lehner (37 saves/39 shots)
PP: 1/6; PK: 3/3; Shots: St. Louis 39 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 291)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 59 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 23 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 9 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 6 games
Derek Grant (shoulder, Feb. 18; injured reserve) – 1 game
Sam Reinhart (illness, Feb. 18) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/12:
Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR
2/18: Recalled F Nicholas Baptiste from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Derek Grant on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Saturday, March 4: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BLACKHAWKS AT SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 4-3 (OT) in Chicago on Jan. 5.
  • The Sabres are 0-8-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks, 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 119th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-50-15 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-17-8 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-8-2 all-time on February 19.
  • February 19, 1984: Bill Hajt scores the 4,000th goal in franchise history.
  • February 19, 1991: Christian Ruuttu scores the 6,000th goal in franchise history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With wins in their last three games, the Sabres are looking for their first four-game winning streak since Dec. 9 to 15, 2014.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap a 10-game winless streak (0-8-2) against the Blackhawks that includes a four-game losing streak at home. Their last win against the Blackhawks was a 2-1 victory in Buffalo on Dec. 11, 2009.
  • With at least a point tonight, Buffalo would have points in consecutive games against Chicago for the first time since the team went unbeaten in four straight from Dec. 13, 2002 to Dec. 15, 2007 (3-0-1).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (7+12) in his last 19 games against the Blackhawks, including at least a point in each of his three games against Chicago as a member of the Sabres.
  • Marcus Foligno has three goals in his last three games against Chicago.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has four assists in his last four games against the Blackhawks.
  • Robin stopped 37 of 39 shots (.949) in his only career start against Chicago on March 2, 2012.
  • If he dresses, Nicolas Deslauriers will appear in his 200th NHL game.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 20 points (6+14) in his last 22 games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 17 points (5+12) in his last 17 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 14 points (8+6) in his last 13 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (2+4) in his last six games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in seven of his last nine games (1+6), including points in each of his last four.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 18 points (6+12) in his last 16 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 18 points (7+11) in 19 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (1+5) enters today’s game on a six-game home point streak.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Today is the Sabres’ sixth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 14-3-3 in its last 20 home games against Western Conference opponents and 12-6-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 12-5-3 in their last 20 games against the Central Division, including a 6-1-2 record in home games.
  • A win today would give Buffalo wins in five straight home games against Central/Norris Division opponents for the first time since the team won five straight against the Norris Division from Dec. 31, 1986 to March 22, 1987.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres finished yesterday’s game ranked second in the league with a 23.0% 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 40th-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 11th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-2 win last night vs. St. Louis. The Sabres are 6-3-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-5-1 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 (3), one point (1) and zero points (2).

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 20 goals this season in his last 35 games, including a team-high 19 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is ranked second among all NHL skaters in goals (20), leads the league in even-strength goals (19) and ranks second in shots on goal (135).

*All rankings as of conclusion of yesterday’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)

.34 (28)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.50 (41)

.41 (34)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.84 (69)

.64 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (330)

2.3 (185)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished yesterday’s game tied for 24th among all NHL skaters with 31 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.0 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 15 goals to fall below 20 percent.

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.0% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 204 hits (3rd)
  • Lehner: .926 SV% (4th), .935 EV SV% (4th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (8th)
  • Okposo: 20 PPP (T-8th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:43 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 58.0 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 18 PPA (T-1st), 27:02 TOI (4th), 20 PPP (T-8th), 31 A (T-5th, defensemen)

BUF-CHI Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Draft, Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a Sabre, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games. Campbell was selected as an NHL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.

Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Toews at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Richard Panik for the Toronto Maple Leafs for part of the 2014-15 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Brian Campbell for the Florida Panthers from 2011-2016.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Dennis Rasmussen for Team Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (204), Ristolainen (151), Gorges (99)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (134), McCabe (81), Gorges (78)
Shots: Kane (160), Eichel (153), Okposo (141)

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: 6-3-0 (12), 25/20, 6/21, 21/27

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 … 1 game … 200 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 4 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 7 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Ristolainen … 100th NHL point … Feb. 18 vs. STL
Nicholas Baptiste … 1st NHL assist … Feb. 18 vs. STL

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