Game Preview: 3/28/17 at CBJ

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 27
Florida 2 at Buffalo 4
Goals: O’Reilly, Bogosian, Gionta, Foligno
Goalie: Lehner (30 saves/32 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 32 – Florida 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 376)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 76 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 40 games
Cody Franson (undisclosed, March 20) – 4 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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

REMAINING GAMES
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.
Saturday, April 8: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 9: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BLUE JACKETS

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Columbus 5-3 in Buffalo on March 11
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blue Jackets; 4-5-1 on the road
  • This is the 26th game all-time between Buffalo and Columbus; Buffalo has a 10-12-2 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 11-9-4 all-time on March 28.
  • March 28, 1982: Fred T. Hunt and Tim Horton are both posthumously inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. The pair became the fourth and fifth members, joining Roger Crozier, Frank Christie and Punch Imlach.
  • March 28, 1999: Alexei Zhitnik scores the 8,000th goal in franchise history in a 4-3 overtime win at home against Pittsburgh.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (4+7) in his last 10 road games.
  • The Sabres are 45-for-52 (86.5%) on the penalty kill in their last 19 games.
  • Evander Kane has nine points (5+4) in his last seven games against the Blue Jackets.
  • Jack Eichel has at least a point in four of his five career games against Columbus, having totaled six points (2+4) in those games.
  • Matt Moulson has six points (2+4) in his last five games against the Blue Jackets.
  • Sam Reinhart has a point in each of his last four games against Columbus (3+1).
  • Jake McCabe (1+1) and Nicolas Deslauriers (0+2) each have a point in both of the Sabres’ meetings with the Blue Jackets so far this season.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 26 games since, Eichel has totaled 34 points (11+23).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has totaled 13 points (6+7) in his last 14 games.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a three-game point streak (1+2).
  • Kyle Okposo recorded two assists in his return the lineup on Saturday vs. Toronto and now has 14 points (4+10) in his last 16 games played.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 222 of 236 shots (.941) in his last six appearances.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 17th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, after last night’s 4-2 win vs. Florida. The Sabres are 8-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-9-1 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 (7), 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 ranks sixth among all NHL skaters with 55 points (23+32) and leads the league with 222 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 40 points (15+25) in his last 34 games, including 12 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 14-2-0 this season (and 22-5-1 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s 1.00 point per game ranks him ninth among all players with at least 20 games played this season.
  • If Eichel finishes the season at a point-per-game pace or better, he will be the eighth player in franchise history to do so in one of his first two full NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin (1971-72), Rene Robert (1972-73), Dave Andreychuk (1983-84), Phil Housley (1983-84), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89), Alexander Mogilny (1990-91) and Thomas Vanek (2006-07).

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 26 goals this season in his last 52 games.
  • Kane is tied for 11th in the NHL with 23 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 (26) and leads the league in even-strength goals (23).

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)

.42 (34)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.58 (48)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

1.00 (82)

.62 (51)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (331)

2.3 (188)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 25.1% 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 third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 12th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 25.1% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 266 hits (4th)
  • Kane: 3.6 S/GP (7th)
  • Lehner: .922 SV% (9th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-8th)
  • Nilsson: .930 EV SV% (9th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:36 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.7 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (T-2nd), 26:42 TOI/GP (5th), 156 BkS (8th), 25 PPP (T-8th), 39 A (T-6th, 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.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Brandon Dubinsky at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Played with Nick Foligno and Jack Johnson at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships.

Sam Reinhart:

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

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Nick Foligno (28th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2006 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 (266), Ristolainen (186), Gorges (137)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (109), Gorges (101)
Shots: Kane (232), Eichel (222), O’Reilly (179)

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: 4-2-0 (8), 14/11, 6/11, 14/16

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

Kyle Okposo … 6 games … 600 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 3 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Dmitry Kulikov … 500th NHL game … 3/25 vs. TOR
Brian Gionta … 1,000th NHL game … 3/27 vs. FLA

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