Game Preview: 3/14/17 at SJS

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 11
Columbus 3 at Buffalo 5
Goals: McCabe, Moulson, Reinhart, Kane, Eichel
Goalie: Nilsson (9 saves/12 shots); Lehner (24 saves/24 shots)
PP: 2/5; PK: 3/3; Shots: Columbus 36 – Buffalo 31

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 334)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 69 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 33 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 19 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 5 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/8:
Assigned F Cal O’Reilly to Toronto (AHL)
3/13: Recalled F Hudson Fasching from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, March 21: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 25: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at SHARKS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Sharks this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated San Jose 5-4 (OT) in Buffalo on Feb. 7
  • The Sabres are 9-0-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Sharks; 6-2-2 on the road
  • This is the 37th game all-time between Buffalo and San Jose; Buffalo has a 24-6-6 series record.
  • The Sabres are 7-5-5 on the road against the Sharks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-9-2 all-time on March 14.
  • March 14, 1971: Ron Anderson scores 55 seconds after the opening faceoff in a 5-0 win at Minnesota.
  • March 14, 2008: Buffalo and Carolina combine for 129 penalty minutes and play just 34:43 at even strength as the Sabres top the Hurricanes 7-1, getting multi-point nights from seven different players.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s first in a three-game road trip against Pacific Division opponents. The Sabres are 6-4-1 against the Pacific Division this season, the team’s best record against any division.
  • The Sabres are currently on a franchise-best 11-game point streak (10-0-1) against the Sharks, dating back to a 3-1 win in Buffalo on Feb. 13, 2010. The previous record was five games (3-0-2), set from March 12, 1998 to Dec. 23, 2000.
  • Buffalo has won each of its five games in San Jose since the Sharks’ last regulation win against the Sabres on Jan. 23, 2010.
  • Brian Gionta has six points (2+4) in his last four games against the Sharks.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has totaled 11 points (4+7) in his last 12 games against San Jose.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 19 games since, Eichel has totaled 26 points (7+19).
  • Evander Kane has 22 points (13+9) in his last 23 games, including 11 goals in his last 16.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 14 of his last 19 games (2+13).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded eight points (3+7) in his last seven games.

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel ranks eighth among all NHL skaters with 47 points (19+28) and leads the league with 194 shots on goal.
  • Eichel leads the league in points (26) and assists (19) since the beginning of February.
  • Eichel has logged 32 points (11+21) in his last 27 games, including 10 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-2-0 this season (and 21-5-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .98 points per game rank him 12th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings before 3/13 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 25 goals this season in his last 45 games.
  • Kane is tied for ninth in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for second among all NHL skaters in goals (25), leads the league in even-strength goals (22) and ranks second in shots on goal (181).
  • Kane’s current pace of .386 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 3/13 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)

.40 (32)

.24 (20)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.58 (48)

.40 (33)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.98 (80)

.64 (53)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (331)

2.4 (195)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Monday ranked first in the league with a 23.7% 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 fourth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 24.4% mark in 1979-80. It would be the 23rd-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Monday tied for 20th among all NHL skaters with 38 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.2 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 20 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/13 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.7% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 245 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 22 EVG (T-9th), 3.6 S/GP (7th)
  • Lehner:.921 SV% (10th)
  • Okposo: 22 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:41 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.8 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 23 PPA (T-1st), 27:00 TOI (4th), 149 BkS (T-7th), 24 PPP (T-8th), 38 A (T-5th, defensemen), 43 PTS (10th, defensemen)

BUF-SJS Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Bob Boughner spent more time with the Sabres than with any other team during his 10-year NHL career. In 177 games for Buffalo, the former defenseman had 13 points (2+11) and 494 penalty minutes.

Former Sharks:

  • Josh Gorges played for the Sharks from 2005-2007, tallying 10 points (1+9) in 96 games played.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Paul Martin for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2010-2014.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Represented the United States alongside Joe Pavelski at the 2009 World Championship.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Teammates with Martin Jones for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2011-2014.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Teammates with David Sclemko for the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL) from 2005-2007.
  • Played with Brent Burns and Martin Jones for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.

Justin Falk:

  • Played with Brent Burns for the Minnesota Wild from 2009-2012.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Joel Ward for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2011.

Brian Gionta:

  • Teammates with Paul Martin for the New Jersey Devils from 2003-2009.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2010 and 2011 World Championships.
  • Represented Canada alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the 2012 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • He and Joel Ward were both born in North York, Ontario.
  • Teammates with Michael Haley for the New York Islanders from 2009-2012.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Michael Haley for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada alongside Marc-Edouard Vlasic at the 2012 World Championship.
  • He and Brenden Dillon played together for Team Canada at the 2013 World Championship.
  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Brent Burns, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton for Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Sam Reinhart:

  • He and Martin Jones were both born in North Vancouver, British Columbia.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played with Joonas Donskoi for Team Finland at the 2012 World Junior Championship and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Entry Draft:

  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tomas Hertl (17th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (245), Ristolainen (174), Gorges (121)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (149), McCabe (96), Gorges (89)
Shots: Kane (206), Eichel (194), Ristolainen (168)

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: 2-6-1 (5), 30/35, 9/29, 22/26

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
Brian Gionta … 7 games … 1,000 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 4 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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