Game Preview: 3/4/17 vs. TBL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 2
Arizona 3 at Buffalo 6
Goals: Foligno (2), O’Reilly, Eichel, Kane, Reinhart
Goalie: Lehner (19 saves/22 shots)
PP: 2/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 41 – Arizona 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 310)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 64 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 28 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 14 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/26:
Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
2/28: Acquired D Mat Bodie from NY Rangers in exchange for F Daniel Catenacci
3/1:
Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, March 5:
Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, March 7: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 10: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 11: Columbus at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 14: Buffalo at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
LIGHTNING at SABRES

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Tampa Bay defeated Buffalo 4-2 in Tampa on Jan. 12
  • Next meeting: Sunday, April 9 in Tampa
  • The Sabres are 1-9-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 2-6-2 at home.
  • This is the 93rd game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 52-33-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-17-4 at home against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-2 all-time on March 4.
  • March 4, 1972: The Sabres acquire Rene Robert in a trade that completes the French Connection.
  • March 4, 1983: Mal Davis tallies four points and 15 Buffalo players make the score sheet in a 10-2 win vs. Pittsburgh.
  • March 4, 2009: Thomas Vanek plays in his 300th career NHL game, a 5-1 win vs. Montreal.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo’s all-time record of 52-33-7 (.603) against Tampa Bay is the team’s third-best record against any Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only their 87-48-20 (.626) mark against Washington and their 112-66-26 (.613) record against Toronto.
  • The Lightning will be looking to win their fifth consecutive game in Buffalo for the first time in franchise history. The Sabres’ last home win against the Lightning was a 2-1 shootout victory on Dec. 2, 2014.
  • Jack Eichel has four points (2+2) in his last three games against the Lightning.
  • Cody Franson has three points (2+1) in his last three games against the Lightning.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game on a career-best eight-game point streak (2+9).
  • Evander Kane has 17 points (11+6) in his last 18 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 10 of his last 14 games (1+9).
  • Jake McCabe has at least a point in each of his last three games (1+3) and enters tonight seeking his first career four-game point streak.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 22 points (7+15) in his last 19 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 14 points (5+9) in his last 14 home games and hasn’t gone two home games without a point since Dec. 6 and 9.
  • Jack Eichel has 23 points (8+15) in 22 home games this season, including seven multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has eight points (7+1) in his last eight home games.

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel ranks 12th among all NHL skaters with 40 points (15+25) and leads the league with 173 shots on goal.
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel was tied with Patrick Kane for most points since the beginning of February (19) and led all NHL players with 16 assists during that timeframe.
  • Eichel has logged 25 points (7+18) in his last 22 games, including eight multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 11-1-0 this season (and 20-4-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .93 points per game this season ranked him 14th among all players with at least 20 games played this season entering play Friday.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 23 goals this season in his last 40 games.
  • Kane is tied for fifth in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is ranked third among all NHL skaters in goals (23), leads the league in even-strength goals (22) and is ranked fourth in shots on goal (153).
  • Kane’s current pace of .423 even-strength goals per game is the highest by any Sabre with at least 15 games played since Alexander Mogilny’s franchise-best mark in 1992-93 (.636). Only four different players (Mogilny, Rick Martin, Danny Gare and Gilbert Perreault) in franchise history have finished at least one season with a better rate.

*All rankings before 3/3 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)

.24 (20)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.58 (48)

.40 (33)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.93 (76)

.65 (53)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (330)

2.4 (194)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Friday ranked third in the league with a 22.8% 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 seventh-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 44th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
enters play Friday tied for 23rd among all NHL skaters with 34 assists this season.

  • 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 14 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/3 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.8% PP% (3rd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 222 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 22 EVG (T-5th), 3.4 S/GP (10th)
  • Lehner: .921 SV% (9th)
  • Nilsson: .931 EV SV% (10th)
  • Okposo: 22 PPP (T-8th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:37 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.7 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 20 PPA (T-2nd), 26:52 TOI (4th), 21 PPP (T-10th), 33 A (6th, defensemen)

BUF-TBL Connections
Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Canada alongside Braydon Coburn at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Jason Garrison for the Florida Panthers from 2009-2012.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Tyler Johnson for the United States at the 2014 World Championship

Anders Nilsson:

  • Represented Sweden with Victor Hedman at the 2010 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Drouin at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Brayden Point was a member of Team Canada along with Reinhart at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Jonathan Drouin (3rd overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (222), Ristolainen (159), Gorges (109)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (141), McCabe (85), Gorges (83)
Shots: Kane (178), Eichel (173), Ristolainen (156)

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: 1-3-0 (2), 15/16, 3/11, 10/11

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 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)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg)

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

Dmitry Kulikov … 2 games … 500 NHL games
Kyle Okposo … 8 games … 600 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 5 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Jack Eichel … 4 points … 100 NHL points
Evander Kane … 9 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Tyler Ennis … 400th NHL game … Feb. 28 vs. NSH

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