Game Preview: 12/5/17 at COL


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, December 2
Buffalo 1 at Pittsburgh 5
Goals: Pominville
Goalie: Johnson (24 saves/28 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 5/6; Shots: Buffalo 33 – Pittsburgh 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 128)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 9 games
Jacob Josefson (ankle, Nov. 28; injured reserve) – 3 games

11/30: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL); Activated D Matt Tennyson; Placed Tennyson on waivers
12/1: Assigned D Matt Tennyson and G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL); Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Jacob Josefson on IR
12/2: Recalled F Hudson Fasching from Rochester (AHL)
12/4: Acquired F Scott Wilson from Detroit in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft; Recalled F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Kyle Criscuolo to Rochester; Placed F Matt Moulson on waivers

Friday, Dec. 8: Buffalo at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 10: Buffalo at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 12: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 14: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 15: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Avalanche this season.
  • Last meeting: Colorado defeated Buffalo 5-3 in Colorado on Feb. 25
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Avalanche; 3-5-2 on the road.
  • This is the 142nd game all-time between Buffalo and Colorado; Buffalo has a 61-56-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 23-35-13 on the road against the Avalanche all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-6-3 all-time on December 5.
  • December 5, 1971: Craig Ramsay records the first natural hat trick in Sabres history, leading the team to a 3-1 win at home against the Minnesota North Stars.
  • December 5, 1976: The Sabres defeat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 in the first meeting between the teams after the Kansas City Scouts’ relocation to Colorado.
  • December 5, 1997: Dominik Hasek makes 38 saves in a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning to record his third of a career-high 13 shutouts during the 1997-98 season.


  • The home team has won the last five games between these teams. Neither team has won in the other’s arena since Colorado’s 5-1 win in Buffalo on Dec. 20, 2014.
  • The Sabres last won a game in Colorado on Dec. 4, 2005, having gone 0-4-2 in the six games since then.
  • Robin Lehner has started all four games against the Avalanche since he joined the Sabres, stopping 115 of 122 shots faced in those games (.943).
  • Jack Eichel (1+3), Ryan O’Reilly (0+4) and Sam Reinhart (3+1) each have four points in four career games against the Avalanche.
  • Benoit Pouliot has seven points (3+4) in his last eight games against Colorado, including a point in each of the last three (2+1).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has four points (1+3) in his last five games against the Avalanche, including an assist in each meeting last season.
  • Evan Rodrigues had a point in both of his previous meetings with the Avalanche (1+1).

On Monday, the Sabres acquired forward Scott Wilson from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Buffalo’s fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

  • Wilson totaled 26 points (8+18) in his first full NHL season in 2016-17 and appeared in 20 playoff games with the Penguins in 2017, helping the team to its second consecutive Stanley Cup win.
  • Prior to joining Pittsburgh full-time for the 2016-17 season, Wilson totaled 77 points (41+36) in 90 regular-season AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He led the league with 22 goals at the time of his last recall to Pittsburgh in February 2016.

The Sabres recalled Evan Rodrigues from Rochester on Monday.

  • Since returning from a hand injury that sidelined him for the first six weeks of the season, Rodrigues leads all Amerks skaters with 1.25 points per game (5+5 in eight games) this season, doubling his rate from the 2016-17 AHL season.
  • Rodrigues tallied six points (4+2) in 30 games with the Sabres last season.

Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Evander Kane has scored 40 goals in 97 games. Entering play Monday, those 40 goals tied for 24th in the league during that span and his 33 even-strength goals tied for 11th.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/4 games)

  • Eichel: 2 SHP (T-4th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-1st), 3 SHP (T-1st), 122 S (2nd)
  • O’Reilly: 407 FOW (1st), 667 FO (2nd), 61.0% FO% (2nd)
  • Ristolainen: 26:47 TOI/GP (3rd)

Former Sabres:

  • Nikita Zadorov had 16 points (4+12) in 67 games for the Sabres after they selected him in the first round (16th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Though he didn’t play a game for the Sabres, J.T. Compher was selected by Buffalo in the second round (35th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Former Avalanche:

  • Colorado selected Ryan O’Reilly in the second round (33rd overall) in the 2009 NHL Draft. He went on to play 427 games for the Avalanche from 2009 to 2015, totaling 246 points (90+156).

Victor Antipin:

  • Played with Vladislav Kamenev for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL from 2013-15.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Sven Andrighetto in Montreal from 2014 to 2017.
  • Teammates with Mark Barberio in Montreal from 2015 to 2017.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager of the Pittsburgh Penguins when Blake Comeau played the 2014-15 season in Pittsburgh.

Justin Falk:

  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Columbus Blue Jackets for part of the 2014-15 season.
  • Was a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2014 to 2016 with Cody Goloubef and Fedor Tyutin.

Josh Gorges:

  • Teammates with Blake Comeau for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) from 2001 to 2004.
  • Played with Rene Bourque for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011 to 2014.

Phil Housley:

  • Was the Predators’ assistant coach while Gabriel Bourque played for the team from 2013 to 2016 and Colin Wilson played for Nashville from 2013 to 2017. Vladislav Kamenev also appeared in two games for Nashville in the 2016-17 season.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Carl Soderberg on the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.

Robin Lehner:

  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators from 2010 to 2015 alongside Patrick Wiercioch.

Matt Moulson:

  • Teammates with Jonathan Bernier on the Manchester Monarchs from 2007 to 2009.

Jordan Nolan:

  • Teammates with Jonathan Bernier in Los Angeles from 2011 to 2013.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the New York Islanders alongside Blake Comeau from 2007 to 2011.
  • Teammates with Colin Wilson for the United States at the 2008 World Junior Championship. They also played together at the 2009 World Championship with Zach Bogosian.

Davis Payne:

  • Was the head coach of the St. Louis Blues when Erik Johnson was with St. Louis from 2009 to 2011.
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Jonathan Bernier played with the Kings in 2012-13.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Nail Yakupov in Edmonton from 2014 to 2016.
  • Played with Mark Barberio in Tampa Bay during the 2012-13 season.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Was teammates with Mikko Rantanen as a member of TPS (SM-liiga) in the 2012-13 season.

Evan Rodrigues:

  • Played at Boston University from 2011 to 2013 with Matt Nieto.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall), Erik Johnson (1st overall), Jonathan Bernier (11th overall) and Semyon Varlamov (23rd overall) were all first-round selections in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Matt Duchene (3rd overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Nail Yakupov (1st overall) were first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall), Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall) and Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) were all first-round draft picks in the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Mikko Rantanen (10th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall), Duncan Siemens (11th overall) and Gabriel Landeskog (2nd overall) were taken in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Zach Bogosian (3rd overall) was selected four picks before Colin Wilson (7th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Patrik Nemeth (41st overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft.

Hits: Ristolainen (53), Kane (51), McCabe (48)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (39), Scandella (38), Ristolainen (31)
Shots: Kane (122), Eichel (86), O’Reilly (68)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 3-5-2 (8), 26/36, 5/36, 29/35
11-20: 2-6-2 (6), 20/35, 5/28, 23/27
21-30: 1-6-0 (2), 10/23, 0/22, 14/19

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-3; 109-114 all-time)
Oct. 17 at VGK: L, 5-4 (GWG-Perron)
Oct. 21 at BOS: W, 5-4 (GWG-O’Reilly)
Nov. 11 at MTL: L, 2-1 (GWG-Pacioretty)
Nov. 14 at PIT: L, 5-4 (GWG-Sheary)

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

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Buffalo Sabres … 4 home wins … 1,000 regular-season home wins
Games Played
Ryan O’Reilly … 3 games … 600 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 6 games … 200 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 9 games … 300 career games played
Matt Moulson … 7 assists … 200 career assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Marco Scandella … 6 points … 100 career points

Zemgus Girgensons … 300th NHL game … Dec. 1 vs. PIT
Marco Scandella … 400th NHL game … Dec. 2 at PIT

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