Game Preview: 3/7/17 vs. PHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, March 5
Buffalo 3 at Pittsburgh 4
Goals: O’Reilly, Gionta, Eichel
Goalie: Nilsson (41 saves/45 shots)
PP: 1/5; PK: 3/4; Shots: Buffalo 49 – Pittsburgh 45

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 319)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 66 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 30 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 16 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 2 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/1:
Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, March 16: Buffalo at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
Friday, March 17: Buffalo at Anaheim, 10 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
FLYERS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Philadelphia 4-1 in Buffalo on Jan. 10
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 173rd game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 67-81-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 42-32-10 at home against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-7-5 all-time on March 7.
  • March 7, 1989: The Sabres trade Lindy Ruff to the New York Rangers for a fifth-round draft choice in 1990 (Richard Smehlik).
  • March 7, 2002: Martin Biron turns aside 26 New York Islanders shots to earn the first of two shutouts on back-to-back nights, a feat he would complete with another 26-save performance the following night against Montreal.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won the season series between the teams for the second consecutive year
  • A win would also give the Sabres wins in three consecutive home games against the Flyers for the first time since Oct. 17, 2006 to Dec. 21, 2007.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 12 points (3+9) in 12 career games against the Flyers.
  • Evander Kane has recorded 16 points (6+10) in 18 career games against Philadelphia.
  • Anders Nilsson is 3-0-1 in five career games against the Flyers with a .931 save percentage and 2.11 goals-against average.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game on a career-best 10-game point streak (3+10). It’s the longest active streak in the NHL and the longest by a Sabre since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 straight from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.
  • Evander Kane has 18 points (11+7) in his last 20 games, including nine goals in his last 13.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 11 of his last 16 games (1+10).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded six points (3+3) during his current four-game point streak.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 23 points (8+15) in his last 20 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 14 points (5+9) in his last 15 home games and hasn’t gone two home games without a point since Dec. 6 and 9.
  • Jack Eichel has 24 points (8+16) in 23 home games this season, including seven multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has six points (5+1) in his last six home games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 11 of his last 14 home games (1+10) and hasn’t gone two home games without a point since Dec. 29 and Jan. 7

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for 10th among all NHL skaters with 42 points (16+26) and leads the league with 185 shots on goal.
  • Eichel is tied with Patrick Kane for most points since the beginning of February (21) and leads all NHL players with 17 assists during that timeframe.
  • Eichel has logged 27 points (8+19) in his last 24 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 rank him 14th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings before 3/6 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 23 goals this season in his last 42 games.
  • Kane is tied for sixth 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 second in shots on goal (167).
  • Kane’s current pace of .407 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 eight different players in franchise history have finished at least one season with a better rate.

*All rankings before 3/6 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 (29)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.58 (47)

.41 (33)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.93 (77)

.64 (53)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (337)

2.4 (196)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres finished entered play Monday ranked second in the league with a 22.9% 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
entered play Monday tied for 23rd among all NHL skaters with 35 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 15 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/6 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.9% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 235 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 22 EVG (T-6th), 3.6 S/GP (7th)
  • Lehner: .922 SV% (9th)
  • Nilsson: .930 EV SV% (10th)
  • Okposo: 22 PPP (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:43 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 21 PPA (T-1st), 27:00 TOI (3rd), 142 BkS (8th), 22 PPP (T-9th), 35 A (T-6th, defensemen)

BUF-PHI Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Buffalo acquired Michal Neuvirth from the Washington Capitals on March 5, 2014 and the goalie went on to post a 6-19-3 record with a .921 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average in 29 games for the Sabres.

Jack Eichel:

  • Teammates with Shayne Gostisbehere and Sean Couturier for Team North America at the 216 World Cup of Hockey.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played with Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier for Team Canada in the 2011 World Junior Championship, which took place in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Nick Schultz for Team Canada at the 2002 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with Michael Del Zotto for Team Canada at the 2010 World Championship.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Nick Cousins for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) during the 2009-10 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Shayne Gostisbehere at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Andrew McDonald for the New York Islanders from 2009-2013.

Anders Nilsson

  • Teammates with Andrew McDonald for the New York Islanders from 2011-2014.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada alongside Matt Read and Wayne Simmonds at the 2013 World Championship.
  • Played with Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and Brayden Schenn for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Travis Konecny for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship

NHL Draft:

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Tyler Ennis (26th overall) and Michael Del Zotto (20th) overall were all first-round selections in the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall by Atlanta) and Brayden Schenn (5th overall by Los Angeles) were taken in consecutive picks during the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Travis Konecny (24th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (235), Ristolainen (165), Gorges (115)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (142), McCabe (91), Gorges (84)
Shots: Kane (192), Eichel (185), Ristolainen (162)

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: 1-4-1 (3), 19/22, 5/19, 15/17

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 (1-6; 68-64 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)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Dmitry Kulikov … 1 game … 500 NHL games
Kyle Okposo … 8 games … 600 NHL games
Brian Gionta … 10 games … 1,000 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 4 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Jack Eichel … 2 points … 100 NHL points
Evander Kane … 8 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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