Game Preview: 4/5/17 vs. MTL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, April 3
Toronto 4 at Buffalo 2
Goals: O’Reilly, Eichel
Goalie: Lehner (2 saves/5 shots)/Nilsson (39 saves/40 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/3; Shots: Toronto 45 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 389)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 79 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 43 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 7 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 3 games
Anders Nilsson (undisclosed, April 5) – 0 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)
4/5: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)

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

TONIGHT’S GAME
CANADIENS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Montreal defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Montreal on Jan. 31
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 3-5-2 at home
  • This is the 275th game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 125-110-39 series record.
  • The Sabres are 71-39-26 at home against the Canadiens all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-5-0 all-time on April 5.
  • April 5, 1980: Mike Ramsey scores his first NHL goal in a 9-1 win at Pittsburgh.
  • April 5, 2013: Ryan Miller sets the Sabres’ career saves record, passing Dominik Hasek with his 13,309th save in a 4-2 win vs. Ottawa.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 52-for-60 (86.7%) on the penalty kill in their last 23 games.
  • Buffalo is 25-15-6 all-time in the final home game of the season.
  • Evander Kane (2+4) and Cody Franson (1+5) each have six points in their last six games against Montreal.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 13 points (4+9) in 14 career games against the Canadiens.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 29 points (11+18) in his last 27 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 35 points (14+21) in 31 home games this season, including 11 multi-point outings.
  • Evander Kane has 12 points (9+3) in his last 13 home games.

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 56 points (24+32) and leads the league with 239 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 41 points (16+25) in his last 37 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 .97 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 before 4/4 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 27 goals this season in his last 55 games.
  • Kane is tied for 14th 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 before 4/4 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)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.55 (45)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.97 (79)

.62 (51)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (338)

2.3 (187)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres ranked first in the league with a 24.8% success rate on the power play entering play Tuesday.
  • 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
entered play Tuesday tied for 31st among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 20.5 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 six goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/4 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.8% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 276 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.8 S/GP (5th)
  • Moulson: 11 PPG (T-10th)
  • Nilsson: .933 EV SV% (6th), .923 SV% (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:34 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (4th), 26:37 TOI/GP (5th), 158 BkS (T-10th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-MTL Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Paul Byron was drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft. With Buffalo, he appeared in eight games during the 2010-11 season and recorded two points (1+1).
  • Brian Flynn played in parts of three seasons for Buffalo, totaling 41 points (17+24) in 159 games.
  • Torrey Mitchell played 60 games for the Sabres during parts of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He had 14 points (7+7) and 30 penalty minutes during his time in Buffalo.

Former Canadiens:

  • Brian Gionta played for the Canadiens from 2009-2014, registering 173 points (97+76) in 303 games played.  He also served as the team’s captain from 2010-2014.
  • Josh Gorges was a member of the Canadiens from 2006-2014, registering 88 points (13+75) over 464 games played.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Al Montoya for the Winnipeg Jets from 2012-2014. The two also played together for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Brendan Gallagher were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Cody Franson:

  • He and Shea Weber were both born in Sicamous, British Columbia.
  • Represented Canada alongside Carey Price at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Shea Weber for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) from 2001-2004.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Brendan Gallagher for the Vancouver Giants during the 2008-09 season.
  • Played with Al Montoya for the Winnipeg Jets from 2012-2014.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Represented Russia alongside Alexei Emelin and Alexander Radulov at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Played with Al Montoya for the Florida Panthers from 2014-2016.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Alex Galchenyuk at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship. Max Pacioretty and Jeff Petry were also a part of the 2014 World Championship squad.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Al Montoya for the New York Islanders from 2010-2012.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Max Pacioretty and Jeff Petry for the United States at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played with Al Montoya for the New York Islanders from 2010-2012.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Won the gold medal with Team Canada alongside Brendan Gallagher at the 2016 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won the gold medal with Team Canada alongside Brendan Gallagher at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Team Finland alongside Artturi Lehkonen at the 2014 World Junior Championship, where the team won the gold medal on Ristolainen’s overtime goal.

NHL Draft:

  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall), Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall) and Stefan Matteau (29th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Michael McCarron (25th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (276), Ristolainen (190), Gorges (138)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (158), McCabe (113), Gorges (107)
Shots: Kane (252), Eichel (239), O’Reilly (184)

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: 4-5-0 (8), 19/22, 7/18, 20/23

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 … 2 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
Alexander Nylander … 1st NHL game … April 3 vs. TOR

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