Game Preview: 3/21/17 vs. PIT

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 20
Buffalo 2 at Detroit 1
Goals: Eichel, Moulson
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/35 shots)
PP: 2/2; PK: 4/4; Shots: Detroit 35 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 360)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 73 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 37 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 23 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 9 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 8 games
Justin Falk (calf, March 16) – 3 gamesCody Franson (undisclosed) – 1 game
Taylor Fedun (foot) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/16:
Recalled D Taylor Fedun from Rochester (AHL)
3/20: Recalled D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, March 25:
Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 27: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 2: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Monday, April 3: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PENGUINS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 4-3 in Pittsburgh on March 5
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-8-0 at home
  • This is the 185th game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 65-77-42 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-28-22 at home against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-9-0 all-time on March 21.
  • March 21, 1971: Eddie Shack picks up his second hat trick in as many months as the Sabres defeat the Bruins by a score of 7-5 in Boston. Shack scored two of the goals only 2:22 apart and all three were scored in a span of 15:58.
  • March 21, 1976: The Sabres hold the Kansas City Scouts to eight total shots, including zero in the third period, in a 3-1 win.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have won the season series against the Penguins for the first time since going 2-1-0 against Pittsburgh in 2012-13.
  • A win would also give the Sabres wins in consecutive home matchups with the Penguins for the first time since Buffalo won four in a row from March 26, 2004 to Nov. 17, 2006.
  • Evander Kane has totaled 16 points (5+11) in 16 games against Pittsburgh since the beginning of the 2010-11 season.
  • Zach Bogosian has seven points (3+4) in his seven games against the Penguins since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Matt Moulson has four points (2+2) in five games against the Penguins in the last two seasons.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has points in each of his last four games against Pittsburgh, having tallied six points (2+4) in those games.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 23 games since, Eichel has totaled 29 points (9+20).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded 10 points (4+6) in his last 11 games.
  • Jake McCabe has recorded eight (2+6) of his 19 points in his last 12 games, averaging 21:24 of ice time per game during that stretch.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 129 of 136 shots (.949) in his last four appearances.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 16th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 2-1 win last night at Detroit. The Sabres are 7-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-8-1 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 (6), one point (2) and zero points (3).

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 25 points (8+17) in his last 22 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 29 points (11+18) in 25 home games this season, including nine multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has 10 points (7+3) in his last eight home games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in 13 of his last 16 home games (1+13) 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 eighth among all NHL skaters with 50 points (21+29) and leads the league with 207 shots on goal.
  • Eichel is tied for the league lead in assists (20) and ranks second in points (29) since the beginning of February.
  • Eichel has logged 35 points (13+22) in his last 31 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 .96 points per game rank him 11th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

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

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 25 goals this season in his last 49 games.
  • Kane is tied for 11th in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for fourth among all NHL skaters in goals (25), leads the league in even-strength goals (22) and ranks second in shots on goal (194).

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

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 (33)

.23 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.38 (31)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.96 (79)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (326)

2.3 (191)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 24.0% 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 20th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished last night’s game tied for 21st among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.3 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: 24.0% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 261 hits (2nd)
  • Kane: 3.6 S/GP (8th)
  • Lehner: .922 SV% (8th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-7th)
  • Nilsson: .930 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:40 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (1st), 27:02 TOI (4th), 156 BkS (7th), 25 PPP (8th), 39 A (6th, defensemen)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (261), Ristolainen (185), Gorges (131)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (103), Gorges (99)
Shots: Kane (219), Eichel (207), Ristolainen (176)

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: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 2-1-0 (4), 4/4, 2/5, 6/6

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 (2-6; 69-64 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)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Dmitry Kulikov … 1 game … 500 NHL games
Brian Gionta … 3 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
Brady Austin … 1st NHL game … 3/20 at DET

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