Game Preview: 12/29/17 at NJD


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Wednesday, December 27
Buffalo 2 at NY Islanders 3
Goals: Girgensons, Okposo
Goalie: Lehner (31 saves/34 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 37 – NY Islanders 34

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 149)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 20 games


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.
Sunday, Jan. 7: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 9: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 6-2 in Buffalo on Oct. 9
  • The Sabres are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 3-4-3 on the road.
  • This is the 153rd game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has a 74-52-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-26-15 on the road against the Islanders all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-11-4 all-time on December 29.
  • December 29, 1983: Real Cloutier scores three times in a span of 5:21 in the second period to kick-start the Sabres’ offense in an 8-5 win vs. Quebec.


  • If he dresses, tonight will be Jake McCabe’s 200th career NHL game.
  • Robin Lehner has stopped 268 of 286 shots (.937) in his last eight games. In those games, he has also stopped 202 of 212 shots faced during 5-on-5 play (.953), which includes three goals allowed with an opponent’s extra attacker on the ice.
  • Lehner is also 1-1-3 with a .933 save percentage in his last five road contests.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 14 points (6+8) in his last 11 games.
  • Zemgus Girgensons has scored a goal in each of his last two games and is seeking his first career three-game goal-scoring streak.

Tonight’s game is the third 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.

Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Evander Kane has scored 43 goals in 107 games. Entering play Thursday, those 43 goals tied for 24th in the league during that span and his 35 even-strength goals tied for 12th.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings entering play Thursday)

  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-2nd), 3 SHP (T-2nd), 158 S (3rd)
  • O’Reilly: 550 FOW (1st), 61.9% FO% (1st), 888 FO (2nd)
  • Ristolainen: 26:50 TOI/GP (3rd)

Former Sabres:

  • Drew Stafford was drafted in the first round (13th overall) in the 2004 NHL Draft by the Buffalo Sabres. He played with the Sabres from 2006-2015, playing in 563 regular season games with Buffalo and tallying 322 points (145+177).

Former Devils:

  • Jacob Josefson played for the Devils from 2010-2017 and tallied 60 points (18+42) in 276 games.

Phil Housley:

  • Played in New Jersey during the 1995-96 season for 22 games and compiled 16 points (1+15).

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played on Team USA with Drew Stafford at the 2009 World Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with John Moore for the United States at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Played with Will Butcher for the United States at the 2014 and 2015 World Junior Championships. Steven Santini was also on the 2014 squad.

Justin Falk:

  • Was a member of the 2013-14 New York Rangers with Brian Boyle and John Moore.
  • Played on the Columbus Blue Jackets with Brian Gibbons in 2014-15.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played on the New York Rangers with Brian Boyle from 2009-2011.

Jacob Josefson:

  • Represented Team Sweden alongside Marcus Johansson at the 2009 and 2010 World Junior Championships. They were also teammates in 2008 at the U-18 World Championship and at the U-17 World Championship in 2007.

Evander Kane:

  • Was a member of Team Canada with Travis Zajac at the 2011 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Jimmy Hayes at the 2014 World Championship.
  • Represented the United States alongside Keith Kinkaid and Steven Santini at the 2016 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Was a member of Team Canada with Taylor Hall for the 2013, 2015 and 2016 World Championships.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for Team USA at the 2009 World Championship with Drew Stafford.
  • Played alongside Andy Greene for the United States at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Represented the United States with Kyle Palmieri at the 2012 World Championship.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Was a member of the 2013-14 New York Rangers with Brian Boyle and John Moore.
  • Played with Taylor Hall on the Edmonton Oilers from 2014-2016.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Canada with Taylor Hall at the 2016 World Championship.

Marco Scandella:

  • Represented Team Canada with Taylor Hall at the 2010 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Marco Scandella (55th overall) and Jimmy Hayes (60th overall) were both drafted in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Jacob Josefson (20th overall), John Moore (21st overall), Marcus Johansson (24th overall) and Kyle Palmieri (26th overall) were all first-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) and Stefan Noesen (21st overall) were both drafted in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Jake McCabe (44th overall) and Damon Severson (60th overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Justin Bailey (52nd overall) and Steven Santini (42nd overall) were both second-round selections in the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Pavel Zacha (6th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2015 NHL Draft.

Hits: McCabe (81) Ristolainen (79), Kane (75)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (59), McCabe (57), Ristolainen (50)
Shots: Kane (158), Eichel (121), O’Reilly (89)

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: 2-3-3 (6), 16/21, 1/14, 18/21

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-7; 109-118 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)
Dec. 27 at NYI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barzal)

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
Jake McCabe … 1 game … 200 career games played
Robin Lehner … 6 games … 200 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Marco Scandella … 1 point … 100 career points

Rasmus Ristolainen … 300th NHL game … Dec. 23 at CAR

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