Game Preview: 4/2/17 vs. NYI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 28
Buffalo 1 at Columbus 3
Goals: Rodrigues
Goalie: Nilsson (26 saves/28 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/2; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 42 – Columbus 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 381)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 77 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 41 games
Cody Franson (undisclosed, March 20) – 5 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 5 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/30:
Signed F C.J. Smith to a two-year, entry-level contract; Assigned D Brady Austin to Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
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.

TODAY’S GAME
ISLANDERS at SABRES

  • This is third and final meeting between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 5-1 in New York on Dec. 23, 2016
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 4-4-2 at home.
  • This is the 165th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 80-61-23 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-26-12 at home against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-3 all-time on April 2.
  • April 2, 2013: Ryan Miller plays his 492nd game in the NHL, breaking Dominik Hasek’s franchise record for most games played by a goaltender.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 49-for-56 (87.5%) on the penalty kill in their last 21 games.
  • Buffalo went 15-for-36 (41.7%) on the power play in 14 games in March, including a 7-for-10 mark in the last five games.
  • Fourteen of the last 19 games between these teams have been decided by a single goal.
  • Robin Lehner is 3-1-2 with a .927 save percentage in six career games against the Islanders.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has not gone two games without a point since Jan. 31 and Feb. 2. In the 27 games since, Eichel has totaled 34 points (11+23).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has totaled 14 points (6+8) in his last 15 games.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game with points in each of his last three games played (1+2).
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 222 of 236 shots (.941) in his last seven appearances.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 28 points (10+18) in his last 25 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 34 points (13+21) in 29 home games this season, including 11 multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane (8+3) and Kyle Okposo (4+7) each have 11 point in their last 11 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has a point in each of his last four home games (2+2).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 18th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will conclude tomorrow night vs. Toronto. The Sabres are 8-6-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-10-1 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 (8), 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 sixth among all NHL skaters with 55 points (23+32) and leads the league with 228 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 40 points (15+25) in his last 35 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 .98 points 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).

*All rankings before 3/31 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 26 goals this season in his last 53 games.
  • Kane is tied for 15th 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).

*All rankings before 3/31 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)

.41 (34)

.23 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.57 (47)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.98 (81)

.62 (51)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (334)

2.3 (188)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 25.3% 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 eighth-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Friday tied for 30th among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.0 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 10 goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/31 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 25.3% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 269 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.7 S/GP (6th)
  • Lehner: .922 SV% (8th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-8th)
  • Nilsson: .929 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:36 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.6 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (T-3rd), 26:42 TOI/GP (5th), 25 PPP (T-10th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-NYI Connections
Zach Bogosian:

  • Teammates with Andrew Ladd for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2010-2015.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Played with Thomas Hickey for the Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2011-2013. Jean-Francois Berube was also a member of the team from 2012-14.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Anders Lee and Brock Nelson the 2015 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Johnny Boychuk were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship with John Tavares.

Justin Falk:

  • Was a member of the Minnesota Wild organization from 2009-2013 along with Cal Clutterbuck.
  • Played for the Calgary Hitmen (WHL) during the 2004-05 season along with Andrew Ladd.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan and Casey Cizikas for Team Canada for the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with Nikolay Kulemin for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2011-2014.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens from 2006-2010.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with John Tavares for Team Canada at the 2010, 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Cal Clutterbuck was also a member of the 2011 team.
  • Played with Andrew Ladd for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets from 2010-2015. The two also represented Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Represented Russia at the 2010 World Championship alongside Nikolay Kulemin.
  • Was teammates with Dennis Seidenberg for the Florida Panthers during the 2009-10 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with Brock Nelson for the United States at the 2014 and 2016 World Championships.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan for Team Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Andrew Ladd at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. John Tavares was also a member of the 2012 team.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Adam Pelech for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

2009 World Junior Championship:

  • Tyler Ennis, Evander Kane, John Tavares and Thomas Hickey all played for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (269), Ristolainen (186), Gorges (137)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (110), Gorges (103)
Shots: Kane (240), Eichel (228), O’Reilly (182)

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: 4-3-0 (8), 15/14, 7/13, 17/19

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 … 5 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
Brian Gionta … 1,000th NHL game … 3/27 vs. FLA

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s