Game Preview: 1/1/18 vs. NYR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, December 29
Buffalo 4 at New Jersey 3 (OT)
Goals: Eichel (2), Josefson, Ristolainen
Goalie: Lehner (35 saves/38 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/2; Shots: New Jersey 38 – Buffalo 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 150)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 21 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Jan. 11: Columbus at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
RANGERS at SABRES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 2-1 (OT) in Buffalo on Feb. 2
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 2-6-2 at home
  • This is the 178th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 81-62-34 series record.
  • The Sabres are 48-28-14 at home against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-6-2 all-time on January 1.
  • January 1, 2008: The Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins at the inaugural Winter Classic at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
  • January 1, 2010: The Sabres erase a 3-0 second-period deficit to top the Atlanta Thrashers 4-3 in overtime, becoming the first team ever to win consecutive games after trailing by three or more goals.
  • January 1, 2011: Drew Stafford scores a hat trick and Jason Pominville ties a career high with four points (2+2) as the Sabres top the Boston Bruins 7-6 (SO) at home in the middle of the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 4-3-4 in their last 11 games, and haven’t gone two straight games without a point since that stretch began with a win on Dec. 5 at Colorado.
  • December tied as the second-most productive month of Jack Eichel’s career (8+8), trailing only his 18-point output (9+9) in March 2017. His totals tied him for second among all NHL players in goals and sixth in points among all NHL players in December entering play Sunday.
  • The Sabres are 3-0-1 in their last four games against the Rangers, the team’s longest point streak against New York since Buffalo went 2-0-3 in the meetings between Feb. 1, 2012 and March 12, 2013.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (7+4) in his last six games. Since beginning that stretch on Dec. 15, Eichel ranks in the top three in the league in several statistical categories (as of 12/31):
    • Goals (1st, 7)
    • Even-Strength Goals (1st, 6)
    • Even-Strength Points (1st, 10)
    • Primary Points (2nd, 9)
    • Shots (2nd, 29)
    • Points (T-3rd, 12)
  • Zemgus Girgensons enters today’s game with points in three straight games for the first time since Nov. 28 to Dec. 2, 2014, tying his best career streak. Girgensons now has points in each of his last four games away from KeyBank Center.
  • Robin Lehner is 4-2-3 with a .935 save percentage in his last nine games and has only one game below .920 during that stretch. Lehner’s .928 save percentage in December ranked fifth among all NHL goaltenders with more than five games played in the month entering play Sunday.
  • Evander Kane has six points (1+5) in his last six games.
  • Kyle Okposo enters today’s game with six points (3+3) in his last 10 games, including a point in each of his last two. He hasn’t gone two games without recording a point since Dec. 2 and 5.

HOT AGAINST THE RANGERS

  • Kyle Okposo has 15 points (4+11) in his last 14 games against the Rangers.
  • Jack Eichel has seven points (3+4) in six career games against the Rangers.
  • Johan Larsson has a point in each of his last three meetings with the Rangers (2+1).

LET’S TAKE THIS OUTSIDE
The Sabres have eight players on their roster who have played in an outdoor regular-season NHL game before today. Benoit Pouliot will join former Sabre Thomas Vanek (Buffalo, Detroit, Minnesota, NY Islanders) as the only other player to appear in at least four outdoor games with four different teams. Pouliot is 3-1-0 in his first four outdoor games with three points (1+2) in those contests.

Sabres with NHL Outdoor Game Experience

Player Date Team Opponent Result G A P +/- PIM S TOI
Beaulieu Jan. 1, 2016 Montreal Boston 5-1 win 0 1 1 2 2 1 16:00
Josefson Jan. 26, 2014 New Jersey NY Rangers 7-3 loss 0 0 0 1 0 1 12:55
Nolan Jan. 25, 2014 Los Angeles Anaheim 3-0 loss 0 0 0 0 0 0 5:28
Okposo Jan. 29, 2014 NY Islanders NY Rangers 2-1 loss 0 0 0 -1 2 4 20:40
Pominville Feb. 21, 2016 Minnesota Chicago 6-1 win 1 2 3 2 0 3 14:45
Pominville Jan. 1, 2008 Buffalo Pittsburgh 2-1 loss (SO) 0 0 0 -1 0 4 20:51
Pominville (Totals – 2 GP) 1 2 3 1 0 7 17:48/GP
Pouliot Feb. 20, 2011 Montreal Calgary 4-0 loss 0 0 0 0 0 1 10:39
Pouliot Jan. 26, 2014 NY Rangers New Jersey 7-3 win 0 1 1 2 0 0 16:45
Pouliot Jan. 29, 2014 NY Rangers NY Islanders 2-1 win 1 0 1 0 0 3 10:59
Pouliot Oct. 23, 2016 Edmonton Winnipeg 3-0 win 0 1 1 1 0 1 16:47
Pouliot (Totals – 4 GP) 1 2 3 3 0 5 13:48/GP
Scandella Feb. 21, 2016 Minnesota Chicago 6-1 win 0 1 1 1 0 1 17:14
Wilson Feb. 25, 2017 Pittsburgh Philadelphia 4-2 win 0 1 1 1 0 2 9:00

HOME AWAY FROM HOME
The Sabres are playing a regular-season home game away from the team’s home arena for the seventh time in franchise history. Buffalo is 1-3-2 in the six previous games.

Sabres Regular-Season Home Games Away From Home Arena

Season Date Opponent Result City
1992-93 March 3, 1993 Vancouver 5-2 loss Hamilton, Ontario
1993-94 Nov. 3, 1993 Pittsburgh 6-2 loss Sacramento, California
2003-04 Nov. 12, 2003 New Jersey 2-2 tie Rochester, New York
2005-06 Oct. 26, 2005 Washington 3-2 loss Rochester, New York
2007-08 Jan. 1, 2008 Pittsburgh 2-1 loss (SO) Orchard Park, New York
2011-12 Oct. 7, 2011 Anaheim 4-1 win Helsinki, Finland

ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Today’s game is the fourth 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.

I LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel is currently on pace to shatter his personal bests in goals (24), assists (33) and points (57) on the strength of top-10 production at even strength (T-7th in NHL in ES goals, 8th in ES points).
  • Eichel’s 14 even-strength goals through 38 games match his total from last season (61 games) and are just two shy of his career-best total from 2015-16 (81 games).
  • Eichel’s 29 even-strength points through 38 games are four shy of his total from last season (61 games) and are just six shy of his career-best total from 2015-16 (81 games).

Jack Eichel’s Production by Season

Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
2015-16 81 24 32 56 16 19 35
2016-17 61 24 33 57 14 19 33
2017-18 38 15 20 35 14 15 29
2017-18 (Pace) 82 32 43 76 30 32 63

 

SETTING THEM UP AND KNOCKING THEM DOWN

  • Of Jack Eichel’s 35 points so far this season, 22 have been goals or primary assists recorded during 5-on-5 play (excludes empty-net goals).
  • Through 38 games, Eichel’s 22 primary points (11+11) during 5-on-5 play have already surpassed his 61-game total from last season (11+10) and are just two shy of his total from his 81-game rookie season (12+12).

2017-18 Primary Points Leaders at 5-on-5 (Through 12/30 games)

Player Team Goals Primary Assists Primary Points
Nikita Kucherov TBL 18 6 24
Patrick Kane CHI 12 10 22
John Tavares NYI 12 10 22
Jack Eichel BUF 11 11 22
Nathan MacKinnon COL 9 12 21
Jakub Voracek PHI 6 15 21

*All primary point stats via NaturalStatTrick.com

ROCKING ROBIN

  • Robin Lehner is 4-2-3 with a .935 save percentage in his last nine games.
  • In those games, he has also stopped 234 of 246 shots faced during 5-on-5 play (.951), which includes three goals allowed with an opponent’s extra attacker on the ice.
  • Lehner is 2-1-3 with a .931 save percentage in his last six contests away from KeyBank Center.
  • Since joining the Sabres in 2015-16, Lehner has posted a .920 save percentage in 109 games, ranking him 10th among all goalies with at least 75 games played during that span entering play Sunday.

THE KANE EVENT
Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Evander Kane has scored 43 goals in 108 games. Entering play Sunday, those 43 goals tied for 24th in the league during the last two seasons and his 35 even-strength goals tied for 12th.

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

  • Eichel: 14 EVG (T-7th), 29 EVP (T-8th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-2nd), 3 SHP (T-2nd), 158 S (4th)
  • O’Reilly: 562 FOW (1st), 62.0% FO% (1st), 907 FO (2nd)
  • Ristolainen: 26:48 TOI/GP (3rd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: McCabe (87) Ristolainen (85), Kane (80)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (62), McCabe (58), Ristolainen (50)
Shots: Kane (158), Eichel (126), O’Reilly (91)

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: 3-3-3 (8), 20/24, 2/17, 19/23

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-7; 110-118 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)
Dec. 29 at NJD: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)

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 … 2 home wins … 1,000 regular-season home wins
Games Played
Robin Lehner … 5 games … 200 career games played
Jacob Josefson … 10 games … 300 career games played
Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 5 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Marco Scandella … 1 point … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Ristolainen … 300th NHL game … Dec. 23 at CAR
Jake McCabe … 200th NHL game … Dec. 29 at NJD

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