Game Preview: 4/3/17 vs. TOR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, April 2
NY Islanders 2 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Kane, Girgensons
Goalie: Lehner (22 saves/26 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 37 – NY Islanders 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 385)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 78 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 42 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 6 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 2 games

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)
4/3: Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
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
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES

  • This is the fifth and final meeting between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Toronto 5-2 in Buffalo on March 25
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 8-1-1 at home.
  • This is the 206th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 113-66-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 69-26-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-10-2 all-time on April 3.
  • April 3, 1982: Gilbert Perreault records his 1,000th NHL point in a 5-4 win vs. Montreal. Perreault, who finished his Sabres career with 1,326 points, remains the only player to record 1,000 points for the club.
  • April 3, 2006: The Sabres clinch a playoff spot with a 3-2 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.
  • April 3, 2008: Ryan Miller appears in his 76th game of the season, the most ever by a Buffalo goaltender.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 50-for-57 (87.7%) on the penalty kill in their last 22 games.
  • Evander Kane has nine points (7+2) in his last nine games against Toronto.
  • Jack Eichel has eight points (3+5) in six career games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled four points (1+3) in four games against Toronto this season.
  • Tyler Ennis has 19 points (8+11) in 20 games against Toronto since the beginning of the 2011-12 season.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • The home team has won 24 of the last 29 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • The Sabres are 18-2-1 in their last 21 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 a road game the series this season, 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 28 points (10+18) in his last 26 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 34 points (13+21) in 30 home games this season, including 11 multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane (9+3) has 12 points in his last 12 home games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 18th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began yesterday against the Islanders. The Sabres are 8-7-3 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 ranked seventh among all NHL skaters with 55 points (23+32) and leads the league with 232 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 40 points (15+25) in his last 36 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 .96 points per game rank 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 as of the conclusion of yesterday’s game.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 27 goals this season in his last 54 games.
  • Kane is tied for 13th in the NHL with 24 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 (27) and leads the league in even-strength goals (24).

*All rankings as of the conclusion of yesterday’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 (19)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.96 (79)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (335)

2.3 (188)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres rank first in the league with a 24.9% 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 third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 13th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished yesterday’s game tied for 31st among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 20.7 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 five goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after yesterday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.9% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 272 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.8 S/GP (5th)
  • Lehner: .921 SV% (10th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-9th)
  • Nilsson: .929 EV SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:36 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (4th), 26:42 TOI/GP (5th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-TOR Connections
Former Maple Leafs:

  • Cody Franson was acquired by the Maple Leafs on July 3, 2011 when he was traded from the Nashville Predators. Franson spent four seasons with the Maple Leafs, racking up 115 points (20+95) in 236 games.

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.

Alexander Nylander:

  • Is the brother of William Nylander. The two represented Sweden at the 2016 World Junior Championship.

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.
  • Auston Matthews (1st overall) and Alexander Nylander (8th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2016 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (272), Ristolainen (189), Gorges (138)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (156), McCabe (111), Gorges (105)
Shots: Kane (248), Eichel (233), O’Reilly (183)

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: 4-4-0 (8), 17/18, 7/17, 18/20

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)
Goals

Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 3 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 2 points … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL game … April 2 vs. NYI
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL point (assist) … April 2 vs. NYI

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