Game Preview: 12/23/17 at CAR


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Friday, December 22
Philadelphia 2 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Eichel (2), O’Reilly, Kane
Goalie: Lehner (33 saves/35 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 4/5; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Philadelphia 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 147)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 18 games

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

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.
Friday, Jan. 5: Buffalo at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.


  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 5-4 (OT) in Buffalo on Dec. 15
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 5-4-1 on the road.
  • This is the 208th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo has a 105-76-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 45-42-17 on the road against the Hurricanes all-time.


  • The Sabres are 17-10-4 all-time on December 23.
  • December 23, 1989: Phil Housley records five points (1+4) in a 6-5 win over the Quebec Nordiques, earning his share of the Sabres’ record for most points in one game by a defenseman.
  • December 23, 2013: The Sabres top the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime despite dressing only 16 skaters and losing Drew Stafford to a game misconduct in the second period.


  • If he dresses, tonight will be Rasmus Ristolainen’s 300th NHL game.
  • The Sabres are is seeking their first win against the Hurricanes since March 22, 2016.
  • Jason Pominville has 11 points (5+6) in his last eight road games in Carolina.
  • Chad Johnson is 7-2-1 in his career against the Hurricanes with a .922 save percentage and a 2.38 goals-against average.

Tonight’s game is the first of seven consecutive games away from KeyBank Center for the Sabres. This stretch is the fourth time the team has ever played away from home seven times in a row, the longest such stretch in franchise history, and the first time since January 2012. The team’s next game in Buffalo will take place on Jan. 9 vs. Winnipeg.


  • Robin Lehner has stopped 237 of 252 shots (.940) in his last seven games. In those games, he has also stopped 180 of 188 shots faced during 5-on-5 play (.957), which includes two goals allowed with an opponent’s extra attacker on the ice.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (6+5) in his last nine games.
  • Evander Kane has 10 points (3+7) in his last 10 games.

Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s ninth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 4-2 win vs. Philadelphia. The Sabres are 3-6-0 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).

Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Evander Kane has scored 43 goals in 105 games. After last night’s game, those 43 goals tied for 21st the league during that span and his 35 even-strength goals tied for 11th.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings)

  • Eichel: 2 SHP (T-10th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-2nd), 3 SHP (T-2nd), 149 S (4th)
  • O’Reilly: 537 FOW (1st), 61.9% FO% (1st), 867 FO (1st), 2 SHP (T-10th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:52 TOI/GP (3rd)

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.

Jacob Josefson:

  • Played with Marcus Kruger for Team Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Sweden alongside Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask 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.

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.

Hits: McCabe (76), Ristolainen (76), Kane (72)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (54), Scandella (53), Ristolainen (49)
Shots: Kane (149), Eichel (117), O’Reilly (88)

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: 2-2-1 (5), 12/14, 1/8, 13/15

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 … 2 home wins … 1,000 regular-season home wins
Games Played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 game … 300 career games played
Jake McCabe … 3 games … 200 career games played
Robin Lehner … 7 games … 200 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Marco Scandella … 2 points … 100 career points


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