Game Preview: 12/15/17 vs. CAR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, December 14
Buffalo 1 at Philadelphia 2
Goals: O’Reilly
Goalie: Lehner (25 saves/27 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Philadelphia 27 – Buffalo 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 143)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 15 games
Jacob Josefson (ankle, Nov. 28; injured reserve) – 8 games
Nathan Beaulieu (illness, Dec. 5) – 5 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Dec. 19: Boston at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 22: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 23: Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 27: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 29: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
HURRICANES at SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Buffalo on Nov. 18
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Dec. 23 in Carolina
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 5-5-0 at home.
  • This is the 200th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina/Hartford; Buffalo has a 102-72-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 58-33-8 at home against the Hurricanes/Whalers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-8-2 all-time on December 15.
  • December 15, 1977: Gilbert Perreault scores a goal in each period to help the Sabres beat the St. Louis Blues 7-4. It was Perreault’s first of a career-high four hat tricks during the 1977-78 season.
  • December 15, 2010: Buffalo gets two third-period goals from Drew Stafford to seal a 3-2 home win over the Boston Bruins, marking the 1,500th win in franchise history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • If he dresses, tonight will be Sam Reinhart’s 200th NHL game.
  • Jason Pominville has 14 points (6+8) in his last 14 games against Carolina.
  • Chad Johnson is 7-2-0 in his career against the Hurricanes with a .931 save percentage and a 2.10 goals-against average.

 LAST LINE OF DEFENSE

  • Following last night’s game, Robin Lehner’s home numbers rank him in the top five in the league in save percentage (3rd, .931) and goals-against average (2nd, 2.01) among regular goaltenders (min. 300 minutes played at home).
  • Lehner has stopped 174 of 186 shots (.935) in his last five games.
  • In those games, he has also stopped 129 of 135 shots faced during 5-on-5 play (.956), which includes one goal allowed with an opponent’s extra attacker on the ice.

 MUNCHING MINUTES
Rasmus Ristolainen has averaged 27:35 of ice time in his last six games, topping the 30-minute mark on Dec. 5 at Colorado (30:42) and Dec. 8 at Chicago (31:44).

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ristolainen became the first Sabres player to top 30 minutes in consecutive games since Dmitri Kalinin did so on March 15 and 17, 2004.
  • He ranked second in the league with an average of 26:56 of ice time per game this season after last night’s game. The Sabres are 6-1-3 in Ristolainen’s career when the defenseman skates more than 30 minutes.

THE KANE EVENT
Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Evander Kane has scored 42 goals in 102 games. After last night’s game, those 42 goals tied for 20th in the league during that span and his 34 even-strength goals tied for 11th.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s eighth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 2-1 loss at Philadelphia. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-4-1 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 (4), one point (1) and zero points (2).

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

  • Eichel: 2 SHP (T-9th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-1st), 3 SHP (T-1st), 134 S (T-3rd)
  • O’Reilly: 477 FOW (1st), 61.2% FO% (1st), 780 FO (1st), 2 SHP (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:56 TOI/GP (2nd)

BUF-CAR CONNECTIONS
Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Jaccob Slavin for the United States at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented the United States alongside Justin Faulk at the 2015 World Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the 2012 squad.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Marcus Kruger for Team Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • He and Noah Hanifin were teammates for the United States at the 2016 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Justin Williams for the Los Angeles Kings during part of the 2008-09 season.

Jordan Nolan:

  • Played with Justin Williams for the Los Angeles Kings from 2011-2015.

Ryan O’Reilly:     

  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the team in 2012 and Jordan Staal was on the 2013 squad.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Lee Stempniak for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played with Teuvo Teravainen for Finland at the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships. The two were also teammates on the 2012 Finland World U18 Championship squad.
  • Represented Finland alongside Sebastian Aho at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Jordan Staal (2nd overall) were both first-round selections in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Justin Faulk (37th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Teuvo Teravainen (18th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • The second round of the 2012 NHL Draft saw Jake McCabe (44th overall), Phillip Di Giuseppe (38th overall) and Brock McGinn (47th overall) go off the board.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Elias Lindholm (5th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) was taken five picks before Haydn Fleury (7th overall) in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Noah Hanifin (5th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. They also played together for the United States during the 2015 World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (72), McCabe (64), Kane (63)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (51), Scandella (48), Ristolainen (44)
Shots: Kane (134), Eichel (97), O’Reilly (82)

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: 2-6-2 (6), 18/31, 2/32, 24/32
31-40: 1-1-0 (2), 4/4, 1/3, 5/5

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-5; 109-116 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)
Dec. 8 at CHI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Forsling)
Dec. 10 at STL: L, 3-2 (GWG-Tarasenko)

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

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Wins
Buffalo Sabres … 3 home wins … 1,000 regular-season home wins
Games Played
Sam Reinhart … 1 game … 200 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 4 games … 300 career games played
Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Marco Scandella … 4 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Ryan O’Reilly … 600th NHL game … Dec. 10 at STL

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