Game Preview: 3/25/17 vs. TOR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 21
Pittsburgh 3 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Reinhart
Goalie: Lehner (31 saves/34 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 3/4; Shots: Pittsburgh 34 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 368)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 74 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 38 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4) – 24 games
Kyle Okposo (ribs, March 4) – 10 games
Dmitry Kulikov (upper body, March 5) – 9 games
Justin Falk (calf, March 16) – 4 games
Cody Franson (undisclosed; March 20) – 2 games
Taylor Fedun (foot; March 20) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/20:
Recalled D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson from Rochester (AHL)
3/23: Assigned F Justin Bailey, D Brady Austin and D Casey Nelson to Rochester (AHL)
3/25: Recalled D Brady Austin from Rochester (AHL); Activated F William Carrier from IR; Assigned F Hudson Fasching to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Wednesday, April 5: Montreal at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth of five meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Toronto 3-1 in Toronto on Feb. 11
  • Next meeting: Monday, April 3 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 8-1-1 at home.
  • This is the 205th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 112-66-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 68-26-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-8-3 all-time on March 25.
  • March 25, 1992: Donald Audette scores twice in 14 seconds as the Sabres improve to 30-16-2 against the Maple Leafs at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. The team would finish with a 32-16-3 record against Toronto at the Aud.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Buffalo chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association has selected Brian Gionta as the Sabres’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
  • Evander Kane has eight points (6+2) in his last eight games against Toronto.
  • Jack Eichel has five points (1+4) in five career games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled three points (1+2) in three games against Toronto this season.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 24 games since, Eichel has totaled 29 points (9+20).
  • Jake McCabe has recorded eight (2+6) of his 19 points in his last 13 games, averaging 21:36 of ice time per game during that stretch.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 160 of 170 shots (.941) in his last five appearances.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • The home team has won 23 of the last 28 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • The Sabres are 17-2-1 in their last 20 home games against the Maple Leafs. Toronto’s win in Buffalo on Nov. 3, 2016 snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Sabres that lasted 1,373 days.
  • Each team has won its last road game the series, marking the first time the Sabres and Maple Leafs have won in each other’s arenas in the same season since 2012-13.
  • The Maple Leafs haven’t won consecutive games in Buffalo since March 21 and Dec. 12, 2008.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 25 points (8+17) in his last 23 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 29 points (11+18) in 26 home games this season, including nine multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has 10 points (7+3) in his last nine home games.

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 50 points (21+29) and leads the league with 216 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 35 points (13+22) in his last 32 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 .94 points per game rank him 12th among all players with at least 20 games played this season.

*All rankings before 3/24 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 25 goals this season in his last 50 games.
  • Kane is tied for 13th in the NHL with 22 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane is tied for sixth among all NHL skaters in goals (25) and leads the league in even-strength goals (22).

*All rankings before 3/24 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 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.55 (45)

.38 (31)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.94 (77)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (334)

2.4 (192)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank second in the league with a 23.9% 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%) 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 21st-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/24 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 23.9% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 264 hits (3rd)
  • Kane: 3.6 S/GP (8th)
  • Lehner: .921 SV% (8th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-7th)
  • Nilsson: .920 SV% (10th), .930 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:39 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (2nd), 26:42 TOI (5th), 156 BkS (7th), 25 PPP (T-8th), 39 A (6th, defensemen)

BUF-TOR Connections
Jack Eichel:

  • Represented team North America alongside Auston Matthews at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The two also played together for the United States National Team Development Program in 2013-14.
  • Played for the United States alongside Connor Carrick at the 2014 World Junior Championship. The two also played together for the United States National TeamDevelopment Program from 2010-2012.
  • Teammates with Jake Gardiner for Team USA at the 2015 World Championship.

Hudson Fasching:

  • Represented the United States alongside Auston Matthews at the 2016 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Connor Carrick for Team USA at the 2014 World Junior Championship and for the United States National Team Development Program in 2011-12.

Evander Kane

  • Shares a hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia with Morgan Rielly.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played alongside Connor Carrick for the United States National Team Development Program in 2010-11.
  • Represented the United States alongside Jake Gardiner at the 2014 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2009-2013.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2011-12 and then again in 2013-14.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played alongside Matt Hunwick for the Colorado Avalanche from 2010-2014.
  • Represented Canada with Morgan Rielly at the 2016 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo

  • Played alongside Matt Martin for the New York Islanders from 2009-2016.
  • Represented the United States with James van Riemsdyk at the 2007 and 2008 World Junior Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada with Morgan Rielly at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Leo Komarov at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Draft

  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall), Jake Gardiner (17th overall) and Tyler Ennis (26th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Nazem Kadri (7th overall) and Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Morgan Rielly (5th overall) and Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and William Nylander (8th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Mitchell Marner (4th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (264), Ristolainen (186), Gorges (131)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (105), Gorges (100)
Shots: Kane (221), Eichel (216), Ristolainen (177)

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: 2-2-0 (4), 5/7, 2/6, 9/10

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 … 2 games … 1,000 NHL games
Kyle Okposo … 8 games … 600 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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