Game Preview: 10/20/17 vs. VAN

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, October 17
Buffalo 4 at Vegas 5 (OT)
Goals: O’Reilly (2), Reinhart, Kane
Goalie: Johnson (26 saves/31 shots)
PP: 3/5; PK: 4/5; Shots: Buffalo 34 – Vegas 31

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 24)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Justin Falk (undisclosed, Oct. 5; injured reserve) – 7 games
Evan Rodrigues (hand, Oct. 5; injured reserve) – 7 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Oct.5; injured reserve) – 7 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body, Oct. 17; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
10/15: Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL); placed D Zach Bogosian on IR
10/20: Recalled D Taylor Fedun from Rochester (AHL); placed F Jacob Josefson on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Oct. 21: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 24: Detroit at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 25: Buffalo at Columbus, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 28: San Jose at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 2: Buffalo at Arizona, 10 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CANUCKS AT SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
  • Last meeting: Vancouver defeated Buffalo 4-2 in Buffalo on Feb. 12
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Jan. 25 in Vancouver
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 7-3-0 at home.
  • This is the 119th game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 48-51-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 31-20-8 at home against the Canucks all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-7-2 all-time on October 20.
  • October 20, 1976: Gilbert Perreault scores twice and Gerry Desjardins stops all 29 Vancouver shots as the Sabres shut out the Canucks by a score of 4-0.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • If he dresses, tonight will be Kyle Okposo’s 600th NHL game. Okposo has nine points (1+8) in nine career games against the Canucks.
  • Chad Johnson is 1-0-1 in two career starts against the Canucks (both last season) with a .940 save percentage and a 0.96 goals-against average
  • The home team has won 12 of the last 15 games between these teams, including five of the last six.
  • The Canucks have only won twice in their seven visits Buffalo since 2003 and are looking for consecutive wins in Buffalo for the first time since March 3 and Dec. 4, 1996.
  • The Sabres need a win tonight to avoid losing four straight matchups with the Canucks for the first time since the team lost six straight from March 10, 1991 to March 1, 1993.

HISTORIC HELPERS
With two assists on Tuesday at Vegas, Jason Pominville passed Dale Hawerchuk for eighth on the franchise’s all-time assists leaderboard with 276 career assists as a member of the Sabres. Pominville trails Don Luce by 34 assists for seventh on the list.

TERRIFIC TRIO

  • Jack Eichel has recorded a point on six goals with each of his linemates, Evander Kane and Jason Pominville, through seven games this season. Entering play Thursday, Eichel/Kane and Eichel/Pominville both tied as the fifth-most prolific scoring combinations in the NHL.
  • With at least nine points each, every member of the trio has recorded a point on at least half of the team’s goals and all three entered play Thursday ranked in the top 20 in the league in scoring.
  • With four multi-point games each, Eichel and Pominville entered Thursday’s games tied for second in the league. Kane (3) was tied for seventh-most.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s second of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Boston. The Sabres are 0-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-0-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (0).

A NEW LOOK
Buffalo had a franchise-record 10 players in the opening night lineup who weren’t on the team’s roster in 2016-17: Antipin, Beaulieu, Griffith, Johnson, Josefson, Nolan, Pominville, Pouliot, Scandella and Tennyson. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the most new players an NHL team has had in its opening night lineup since the 2011-12 Florida Panthers (11).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 10/19 games)

  • Eichel: 7 EVP (T-6th), 7 A (T-8th)
  • Kane: 2 SHG (1st), 39 S (T-1st), 5 G (T-6th), 10 PTS (T-6th)
  • O’Reilly: 162 FO (2nd), 102 FOW (1st), 2 PPG (T-6th), 63.0% FO% (7th)
  • Pominville: 7 EVP (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:58 TOI (1st)

BUF-VAN CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Though he never played for Buffalo, Alex Biega was drafted by the Sabres in the fifth round (147th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He posted 66 points (13+53) and a plus-24 rating in 198 games for the Portland Pirates and Rochester Americans (AHL) while he was a part of the Sabres’ organization.
  • Anders Nilsson spent the 2016-17 season with the Sabres, posting a 10-10-4 record with a 2.67 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage that ranked 10th in the NHL.
  • Thomas Vanek was a member of the Sabres for just over eight seasons from 2005-2013. Drafted by Buffalo in the first round (5th overall) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Vanek finished his career with the Sabres ranked 10th in franchise history in points (497), fifth in goals (254), 13th in assists (243), fourth in power-play goals (106) and fourth in game-winning goals (41).

Victor Antipin:

  • Represented Russia alongside Alexander Burmistrov at the 2016 World Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Thomas Vanek for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2013-14 season.

Seth Griffith:

  • Teammates with Thomas Vanek for the Florida Panthers during part of the 2016-17 season.

Chad Johnson:

  • He and Michael Del Zotto were teammates for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Alexander Burmistrov for the Atlanta Thrashers (2010-11) and the Winnipeg Jets (2011-2013).
  • Represented Canada alongside Michael Del Zotto at the 2010 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Anders Nilsson for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. Thomas Vanek was also on the team during part of the 2013-14 season.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played for Team Canada alongside Erik Gudbranson at the 2009 World U18 Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Ben Hutton and Christopher Tanev at the 2016 World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Teammates with Thomas Vanek for the Minnesota Wild from 2014-2016.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Played with Derek Dorsett and Michael Del Zotto for the New York Rangers during the 2013-14 season.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Reinhart was born in West Vancouver.
  • Represented Canada alongside Bo Horvat and Derrick Pouliot at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Played for Team Canada alongside Jake Virtanen at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Ben Hutton and Christopher Tanev at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Markus Granlund at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Marco Scandella:

  • Teammates with Thomas Vanek for the Minnesota Wild from 2014-2016.

NHL Draft:

  • Chad Johnson (125th overall) and Alex Biega (147th overall) were fifth-round picks in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Marco Scandella (55th overall) and Jacob Markstrom (31st overall) were both second-round picks in the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) and Sven Baertschi (13th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall), Derrick Pouliot (8th overall) and Brendan Gaunce (26th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • The fifth round of the 2012 NHL Draft saw Seth Griffith (131st overall) and Ben Hutton (147th overall) go off the board.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Bo Horvat (9th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Jake Virtanen (6th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • The first round of the 2015 NHL Draft saw both Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Brock Boeser (23rd overall) go off the board.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (22), Kane (16), Beaulieu/Girgensons/Larsson/Pouliot (11)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (13), Scandella (10), Ristolainen (10)
Shots: Kane (39), Eichel (19), O’Reilly (19)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 1-4-2 (4), 18/28, 5/27, 21/26

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 108-112 all-time)
Oct. 17 at VGK: L, 5-4 (GWG-Perron)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-1; 69-65 all-time)
Oct. 5 vs. MTL: L, 3-2 (GDG-Drouin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Kyle Okposo … 1 game … 600 career games played
Jordan Nolan … 3 games … 300 career games played
Assists
Matt Moulson … 7 assists … 200 career assists
Points
Sam Reinhart … 8 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Jason Pominville … 276th assist with Buffalo (8th in franchise history) … Oct 17 at VGK

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