Game Preview: 2/26/17 at ARI


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, February 25
Buffalo 3 at Colorado 5
Goals: Reinhart. Foligno, Rodrigues
Goalie: Lehner (25 saves/29 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Colorado 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 300)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 61 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 25 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 11 games

Assigned F Justin Bailey, F Nicholas Baptiste and F Evan Rodrigues to Rochester (AHL)
2/24: Recalled F Justin Bailey and F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL); Activated F Zemgus Girgensons from IR; Assigned F Derek Grant to Rochester
2/26: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)

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.
Sunday, March 5: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7: San Jose at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Coyotes this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Arizona 2-1 in Arizona on Jan. 18, 2016
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 2 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Coyotes; 8-2-0 on the road.
  • This is the 75th game all-time between Buffalo and Arizona/Winnipeg; Buffalo has a 44-21-9 series record.
  • The Sabres are 20-14-2 on the road against the Coyotes/Jets all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-8-6 all-time on February 26.
  • February 26, 1987: Wilf Paiement records the 99th hat trick in Sabres history in a 4-3 win against the visiting St. Louis Blues.
  • February 26, 1995: Dominik Hasek plays his 100th game as a member of the Sabres against the New York Rangers.


  • Buffalo is 10-1-1 in its last 12 games against Arizona, including a 5-0-1 record since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • With a point tonight, the Sabres would have points in seven straight games against the Coyotes/Jets for the first time since they won a series-best seven straight games against the Jets from March 20, 1989 to March 13, 1991.

The Sabres have won their last six games in Arizona, with the last loss taking place on Jan. 21, 2008. It is the longest road winning streak the Sabres have had against the Coyotes/Jets franchise. Buffalo is 9-4-0 in 13 road games against the Coyotes since they relocated from Winnipeg prior to the 1996-97 season.


  • Brian Gionta has 10 points (4+6) in his last 10 games against the Coyotes.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has nine points (4+5) in his last nine games against the Coyotes, including at least a point in each of the last six matchups and each of the five road games during that stretch.
  • Kyle Okposo has eight points (3+5) in eight career games against the Coyotes.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has five points (2+3) in four career matchups with Arizona, including at least a point in each game.
  • Zemgus Girgensons has totaled four points (1+3) in three career games against the Coyotes, including at least a point in each of the three.
  • Tyler Ennis has four points (3+1) in four career games against the Coyotes.
  • Jack Eichel has three points (1+2) in two career games against Arizona.


  • Jack Eichel has logged 19 points (5+14) in his last 19 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 15 points (9+6) in his last 15 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has seven points (3+4) in his last seven games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in nine of his last 11 games (1+8). He enters tonight’s game on a career-best six-game point streak.


  • Tonight is the Sabres’ fifth game in a seven-game stretch against Western Conference teams. Buffalo is 2-2-0 in the first four games.
  • The Sabres are 12-8-2 in all games against the Western Conference this season and 10-5-2 in their last 17 games against the Pacific Division.


  • The Sabres finished last night’s game ranked third in the league with a 22.6% 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 ninth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 22.6% mark in 1993-94. It would be the 49th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 12th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 5-3 loss at Colorado. The Sabres are 6-4-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-6-1 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 (4), one point (1) and zero points (2).

Evander Kane
has scored each of his 21 goals this season in his last 37 games, including a team-high 20 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is tied for second among all NHL skaters in goals (21), leads the league in even-strength goals (20) and is tied for fifth in shots on goal (142).

*All rankings before as on the conclusion of last night’s game.

In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.



Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart


.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.33 (27)

.24 (19)


.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.53 (43)

.41 (33)


.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.85 (70)

.64 (53)


2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (326)

2.3 (186)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

Rasmus Ristolainen
finished last night’s game tied for 21st among all NHL skaters with 33 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.8 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 21 goals to fall below 20 percent.

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.6% PP% (3rd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (2nd)
  • Foligno: 210 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 20 EVG (T-6th)
  • Lehner: .925 SV% (7th), .931 EV SV% (10th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (5th), .922 SV% (9th)
  • Okposo: 20 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:37 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 20 PPA (1st), 26:56 TOI (4th), 20 PPP (T-7th), 33 A (T-5th, defensemen)

BUF-ARI Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Jamie McGinn recorded 27 points (14+13) in 63 games for the Sabres during the 2015-16 season.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Alex Goligoski for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2008-2011.

Justin Bailey:

  • Teammates with Tobias Rieder for the Kitchener Rangers (OHL) during the 2012-13 season.
  • Played with Anthony DeAngelo for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) during the 2014-15 season.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Teammates with Alexander Burmistrov during the 2010-11 season for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Connor Murphy at the 2015 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Represented Canada alongside Mike Smith at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • He and Peter Holland both played for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2013-2015.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Ryan White for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2014.

Josh Gorges

  • Played with Kyle Chipchura for the Montreal Canadiens from 2007-2010.
  • Played with Ryan White for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2014.

Evander Kane:

  • He and Luke Schenn played for Team Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.
  • Teammates with Alexander Burmistrov during the 2010-11 season for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Connor Murphy at the 2013 World Junior Championship and at the 2014 and 2016 World Championships.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Alex Goligoski at the 2012 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada alongside Mike Smith at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships.
  • Teammates with Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.
  • He and Luke Schenn played for Team Canada at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Max Domi and Anthony Duclair for Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship where Canada won the gold medal and Reinhart and Domi were named to the tournament All-Star team.
  • Teammates with Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Evander Kane (4th overall) was taken two picks before Oliver Ekman-Larsson (6th overall) in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Jake McCabe (44th overall) and Jordan Martinook (58th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Max Domi (12th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Foligno (210), Ristolainen (154), Gorges (100)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (137), McCabe (82), Gorges (79)
Shots: Kane (167), Eichel (159), Okposo/Ristolainen (144)

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: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 0-1-0 (0), 3/5, 1/4, 2/2

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

Tyler Ennis … 2 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 5 games … 500 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists


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