Game Preview: 3/10/17 at CBJ

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 7
Philadelphia 6 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Eichel (2), Kane
Goalie: Lehner (24 saves/30 shots)
PP: 2/4; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 34 – Philadelphia 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 324)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 67 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 31 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 17 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 3 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/8:
Assigned F Cal O’Reilly to the Toronto Marlies (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Monday, March 20: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BLUE JACKETS

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
  • Last meeting: Columbus defeated Buffalo 4-1 in Buffalo on April 8, 2016
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 11 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blue Jackets; 4-5-1 on the road
  • This is the 24th game all-time between Buffalo and Columbus; Buffalo has a 9-12-2 series record.
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 on the road against the Blue Jackets all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-9-4 all-time on March 10.
  • March 10, 1976: After entering the third period trailing 6-2, Craig Ramsay, Jim Lorentz and Rene Robert each score within a span of 1:13 before Gilbert Perreault scores twice to lift the Sabres to a 7-6 win at Pittsburgh.
  • March 10, 2012: Marcus Foligno scores his first NHL goal in a 4-3 shootout win at Ottawa

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres have won three of the last four contests played against the Blue Jackets in Columbus.
  • Evander Kane has recorded a point in five straight games against the Blue Jackets entering tonight’s game. He has a total of seven points (4+3) during the course of those five games.
  • Jack Eichel has at least a point in each of his three career games against Columbus, having totaled four points (1+3) in those games.
  • Matt Moulson has four points (1+3) in his last three games against the Blue Jackets.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen recorded three points (1+2) in three games against Columbus last season.
  • Robin Lehner is 4-1-0 in five career games against Columbus with a 1.60 goals against average and a .956 save percentage.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game on a career-best 11-game point streak (5+11). 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.
    • With a point tonight, Eichel would tie Mikael Granlund’s 12-game streak (Jan. 12 to Feb. 4) for the longest point streak in the NHL this season.
  • Evander Kane has 20 points (12+8) in his last 21 games, including 10 goals in his last 14.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 12 of his last 17 games (1+11).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded seven points (3+4) during his current five-game point streak.

HOME-AND-HOME

  • Tonight’s game is the first in a home-and-home series between the Sabres and Blue Jackets that concludes tomorrow night in Buffalo.
  • This home-and-home series between the Sabres and Blue Jackets will be the first ever between the two franchises.
  • The Sabres have played in 160 previous home-and-home series in franchise history, going 90-46-24 (.638) in the home games and 56-75-29 (.441) in the road games in previous series. The team is 70-60-30 (.531) all-time in the first game of these series and 76-61-23 (.547) in the second. Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (31), three points (25), two points (65), one point (16), zero points (23).
  • Buffalo’s last home-and-home series sweep came in the 2014-15 season, as the Sabres beat the Canadiens on Nov. 28 and 29, 2014.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 14th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will conclude tomorrow vs. Columbus. The Sabres are 6-4-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-8-1 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 (2) and zero points (3).

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for eighth among all NHL skaters with 45 points (18+27) and leads the league with 188 shots on goal.
  • Eichel leads the league in points (24) and assists (17) since the beginning of February.
  • Eichel has logged 30 points (10+20) in his last 25 games, including nine multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 11-2-0 this season (and 20-5-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .98 points per game rank him 13th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings before 3/9 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 24 goals this season in his last 43 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 fourth among all NHL skaters in goals (24), leads the league in even-strength goals (22) and is tied for second in shots on goal (171).
  • Kane’s current pace of .400 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).

*All rankings before 3/9 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)

.39 (32)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.59 (48)

.40 (33)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.98 (80)

.63 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (335)

2.4 (197)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Thursday ranked first in the league with a 23.4% 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%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • 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 31st-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Thursday tied for 22nd among all NHL skaters with 36 assists this season.

  • 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 17 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/9 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.4% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 237 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 22 EVG (T-6th), 3.6 S/GP (7th)
  • Nilsson: .920 SV% (10th), .930 EV SV% (9th)
  • Okposo: 22 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.5 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 22 PPA (1st), 26:59 TOI (4th), 146 BkS (8th), 23 PPP (T-8th), 36 A (6th, defensemen), 40 PTS (T-10th, defensemen)

BUF-CBJ Connections
Zach Bogosian:

  • Represented the United States alongside Nick Foligno and Jack Johnson at the 2009 World Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States at the 2015 World Junior Championship with Zach Werenski.
  • Teammates with Seth Jones for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and David Savard were teammates at the 2015 World Championship for Team Canada.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Nick Foligno is Marcus’ older brother. The two were also born in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Sam Gagner for Team Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Nick Foligno for the Ottawa Senators from 2010-2012.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Seth Jones at the 2014 World Championship.
  • Played with Nick Foligno at the 2016 World Championship for the United States.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Jack Johnson for the Los Angeles Kings from 2007-2009. Kyle Quincey was also a member of the team during the 2008-09 season.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Was a member of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season along with Lauri Korpikoski.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Kyle Quincey for the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2012.
  • Represented Team Canada at the 2016 World Championships alongside Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Team Canada at the 2016 World Championships alongside Boone Jenner and Ryan Murray.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Teammates with Jonas Korpisalo at the 2013 World Junior Championship for Finland.

NHL Draft:

  • Marcus Foligno and David Savard were both chosen in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Savard went 94th overall, while Foligno was selected 10 picks later, at 104th overall.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Ryan Murray (2nd overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen, Seth Jones and Alexander Wennberg were all drafted in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft. Jones was the first off the board at No. 4 overall, Ristolainen was selected with the eighth overall pick and Wennberg was taken with the 14th overall pick.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Zach Werenski (8th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (237), Ristolainen (172), Gorges (119)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (146), McCabe (93), Gorges (85)
Shots: Kane (196), Eichel (188), Ristolainen (166)

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: 1-5-1 (3), 22/28, 7/23, 18/20

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 … 9 games … 1,000 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 4 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 6 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL point … 3/7 vs. PHI

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