Game Preview: 12/22/17 vs. PHI


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, December 19
Boston 3 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Lehner (30 saves/31 shots; 2 ENG)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 36 – Boston 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 146)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 17 games

12/18: Assigned F Hudson Fasching to Rochester (AHL)
12/19: Activated F Jacob Josefson from IR

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.
Monday, Jan. 1: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 1 p.m. (at Citi Field in New York)
Thursday, Jan. 4: Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m.


  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 2-1 in Philadelphia on Dec. 14
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Jan. 7 in Philadelphia
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 175th game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 67-83-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 42-33-10 at home against the Flyers all-time.


  • The Sabres are 6-11-3 all-time on December 22.
  • December 22, 1974: Don Luce scores two shorthanded goals and an even strength goal in 3:49 in a 4-0 win at Washington. Luce also picked up an assist on the other Buffalo goal.
  • December 22, 1977: Rene Robert scores the 2,000th goal in franchise history in a 4-2 win at Chicago.


  • Robin Lehner has stopped 204 of 217 shots (.940) in his last six games. In those games, he has also stopped 155 of 162 shots faced during 5-on-5 play (.957), which includes one goal allowed with an opponent’s extra attacker on the ice.
  • Jack Eichel scored his first career hat trick and added an assist on Friday vs. Carolina, tying his career high with four points. His third goal of the game came on his 11th shot, setting a new career best. Eichel now has nine points (4+5) in his last eight games.
  • Evander Kane tied his career high with three assists on Friday vs. Carolina and now has eight points (2+6) in his last eight games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 14 points (4+10) in 14 career games against the Flyers, including at least a point in each of the last four (1+4).

Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s ninth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Carolina. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-4-2 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 (2) and zero points (2).

Entering play Thursday, Robin Lehner’s stats in home games ranked him in the top five in the league in save percentage (2nd, .935) and goals-against average (1st, 1.94) among regular goaltenders (min. 300 minutes played at home).

Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Evander Kane has scored 42 goals in 104 games. Entering play Thursday, those 42 goals tied for 22nd in the league during that span and his 34 even-strength goals tied for 11th.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/21 games)

  • Eichel: 2 SHP (T-10th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-2nd), 3 SHP (T-2nd), 142 S (4th)
  • O’Reilly: 517 FOW (1st), 61.7% FO% (1st), 838 FO (1st), 2 SHP (T-10th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:49 TOI/GP (3rd)

Victor Antipin:

  • Represented Russia alongside Ivan Provorov at the 2017 World Championship.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Dale Weise for the Montreal Canadiens from 2013-2016.

Jack Eichel:

  • Teammates with Shayne Gostisbehere and Sean Couturier for Team North America at the 216 World Cup of Hockey.

Chad Johnson:

  • He and Brian Elliot served as the goaltending tandem for the Calgary Flames during the 2016-17 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Shayne Gostisbehere at the 2013 World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Andrew McDonald for the New York Islanders from 2008-2014.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Represented Canada alongside Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds at the 2013 World Championship.
  • Played with Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Claude Giroux for Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • He and Travis Konecny were teammates at the 2017 World Championship for Team Canada.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Radko Gudas for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2012-13 season.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton and Taylor Leier for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Jori Lehtera at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Claude Giroux (22nd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • The first round of the 2011 NHL Draft saw both Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) and Sean Couturier (8th overall) go off the board.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Scott Laughton (20th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Travis Sanheim (17th overall) were first-round picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall), Ivan Provorov (7th overall) and Travis Konecny (24th overall) all both first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Hits: Ristolainen (75), McCabe (71), Kane (70)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (52), Scandella (52), Ristolainen (48)
Shots: Kane (142), Eichel (112), O’Reilly (85)

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: 1-2-1 (3), 8/12, 1/6, 9/9

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-6; 109-117 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)
Dec. 15 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (GWG-Slavin)

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

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Buffalo Sabres … 3 home wins … 1,000 regular-season home wins
Games Played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 games … 300 career games played
Jake McCabe … 4 games … 200 career games played
Robin Lehner … 8 games … 200 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Marco Scandella … 4 points … 100 career points


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