Game Preview: 12/8/17 at CHI


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, December 5
Buffalo 4 at Colorado 2
Goals: Pouliot, McCabe, Kane, Eichel
Goalie: Lehner (35 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 4/6; Shots: Colorado 37 – Buffalo 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 131)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 11 games
Jacob Josefson (ankle, Nov. 28; injured reserve) – 4 games
Nathan Beaulieu (illness, Dec. 5) – 1 game

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
12/5: Assigned F Matt Moulson to Ontario (AHL)

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.
Tuesday, Dec. 19: Boston at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.


  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 5-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 19
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 17, 2018 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 0-8-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 120th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-51-15 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-33-7 on the road against the Blackhawks all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-5-4 all-time on December 8.
  • December 8, 1974: Gary Bromley needs just 14 saves in a 5-0 shutout victory against the Minnesota North Stars.


  • Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s second of a three-game Western Conference trip that began with a 4-2 win at Colorado on Tuesday. The trip will conclude with a meeting with the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap an 11-game winless streak (0-9-2) against the Blackhawks that includes a seven-game winless streak (0-6-1) in Chicago.
  • Buffalo’s last win against the Blackhawks was a 2-1 victory at home on Dec. 11, 2009. Their last road win in Chicago came on Jan. 10, 2007.


  • Jason Pominville has nine points (3+6) in his last nine games against Chicago.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has five assists in his last five games against the Blackhawks.
  • Marco Scandella has an assist in each of his last four games against Chicago.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has four points (2+2) in four games against the Blackhawks since joining the Sabres.

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 skated 14:19 in his Sabres debut on Tuesday at Colorado.

  • 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. He logged 14:33 in his NHL season debut at Colorado on Tuesday.

  • 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 41 goals in 98 games. Entering play Thursday, those 41 goals tied for 20th in the league during that span and his 34 even-strength goals tied for ninth.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/7 games)

  • Eichel: 2 SHP (T-4th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-1st), 3 SHP (T-1st), 126 S (2nd)
  • O’Reilly: 424 FOW (1st), 61.2% FO% (1st), 693 FO (2nd), 2 SHP (T-4th)
  • Ristolainen: 27:00 TOI/GP (2nd)

Former Sabres:

  • Cody Franson played two seasons for the Sabres from 2015-2017, recording 36 points (7+29) in 127 games.

Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.
  • Phil Housley spent most of two seasons with the Blackhawks and tallied 68 points (41+47) in 137 games for Chicago from 2001-2003.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Ryan Hartman at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with John Hayden and Nick Schmaltz for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
  • He and Brandon Saad were teammates for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Hudson Fasching:

  • Represented the United States alongside Ryan Hartman at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with John Hayden and Nick Schmaltz for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Artem Anisimov for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.
  • Played with Lance Bouma for the Calgary Flames during the 2016-17 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with Lance Bouma for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) from 2006-2009.
  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Tommy Wingels at the 2014 World Championship

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2008 World Championship.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Played with Richard Panik for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2012-13 season.
  • Teammates with Jordan Oesterle for the Edmonton Oilers from 2014-2017.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) was taken four picks after Jonathan Toews (3rd overall) in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Richard Panik (52nd overall) were all selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) was taken three picks before Connor Murphy (20th overall) in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Ryan Hartman (30th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • The first round of the 2014 NHL Draft saw both Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Nick Schmaltz (20th overall) go off the board.

Hits: Ristolainen (55), McCabe (52), Kane (52)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (44), Scandella (40), Ristolainen (32)
Shots: Kane (126), Eichel (89), O’Reilly (72)

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: 2-6-0 (4), 14/25, 0/25, 18/25

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 … 2 games … 600 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 5 games … 200 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 games … 300 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Marco Scandella … 6 points … 100 career points

Marco Scandella … 400th NHL game … Dec. 2 at PIT

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