Game Preview: 2/15/18 at Ottawa

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 13
Tampa Bay 3 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Reinhart (2), Baptiste, Wilson, O’Reilly
Goalie: Johnson (26 saves/29 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 4/5; Shots: Buffalo 33 – Tampa Bay 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 199)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 14 games
Jake McCabe (thumb, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 4 games
Jack Eichel (high-ankle sprain, Feb. 11) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/11: Recalled F Nicholas Baptiste from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Jake McCabe on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 17: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 19: Washington at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 22: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 25: Boston at Buffalo, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at SENATORS

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Senators this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Ottawa 3-2 in Buffalo on Dec. 12, 2017
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 8, 2018 in Ottawa
  • The Sabres are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Senators; 4-5-1 on the road
  • This is the 135th game all-time between Buffalo and Ottawa; Buffalo has a 66-49-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 30-27-11 on the road against the Senators all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-5-2 all-time on February 15.
  • February 15, 1996: The Sabres acquire Darryl Shannon and Michal Grosek from Winnipeg in exchange for Craig Muni and a 1996 first-round draft pick (Daniel Briere) acquired by the team in a three-team trade in November 1995 involving San Jose and Philadelphia.
  • February 15, 2011: Jhonas Enroth becomes the first goaltender in NHL history to earn his first three career wins via the shootout.
  • February 15, 2015: Zach Bogosian makes his Sabres debut against the Philadelphia Flyers.

I’M SENS-ING A PATTERN

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with points in nine straight meetings with the Senators (7-0-2) for the first time in the all-time series, including the team’s first four-game winning streak against Ottawa since they won in six straight meetings from Dec. 4, 2010 to Nov. 11, 2011.
  • Buffalo won all three road games against Ottawa last season. The Sabres are now on a five-game point streak in visits to Ottawa (4-0-1) that spans the last two seasons and are looking to stretch that streak to six games for the first time in the all-time series.
  • Buffalo and Ottawa have had 18 of their last 24 games decided by a single goal. Seven of those games were decided in overtime or a shootout.
  • The Sabres are 8-6 all-time in shootouts against the Senators. Their 14 shootouts against Ottawa make up the team’s highest total against any opponent.

HOT AGAINST OTTAWA

  • Robin Lehner is 5-0-2 in nine career appearances against his former club with a .955 save percentage and a 1.39 goals-against average. Chad Johnson is 2-2-0 with a .943 save percentage and a 1.59 goals-against average in four career games against the Senators.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 15 points (6+9) in 15 career games against Ottawa, including seven points (4+3) in his last six.
  • Kyle Okposo has 14 points (5+9) in 16 games against Ottawa since the beginning of the 2012-13 season, including at least a point in each of the last four (3+2).
  • Sam Reinhart has posted seven points (4+3) in his last seven games against the Senators.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has eight assists in his last seven games against Ottawa, including at least an assist in each of his last four (0+6).

SCORING IN BUNCHES

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game having scored at least four goals in each of their last four games for the first time since Nov. 27 to Dec. 4, 2015.
    • With four goals tonight, the team would have four or more goals in five consecutive games in a season for the first time since they did it from Feb. 20 to March 2, 2007.
  • The Sabres have also scored at least four goals in three consecutive road games for the first time since March 2012.
    • With four goals tonight, the team would stretch that streak to four straight road games for the first time since Nov. 2006.

ROAD WARRIORS

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with wins in each of the team’s last four road games dating back to Jan. 22. The Sabres have won four straight road games in a season for the first time since the first four road games of the 2011-12 season.
    • A win tonight would give the Sabres five straight road wins for the first time since the team won its 10 road games in 2006-07.
    • With an overtime loss tonight, the Sabres would have points in five straight road games for the first time since the team went 4-0-1 in a five-game span in March 2012.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 10 points (3+7) in his last nine road games, including at least a point in each of his last seven.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled eight points (3+5) in eight road games since the beginning of January, including at least a point in each of his last three.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded five points (2+3) in his last five road games.
  • Scott Wilson enters tonight’s game with at least a point in his last four road games, totaling five points (2+3) in those games.
  • Benoit Pouliot (1+1) and Evan Rodrigues (0+2) each have a point in consecutive road games entering tonight’s contest.
  • Robin Lehner earned a shutout in each of his last two road games, stopping all 63 shots faced in those games.
  • Chad Johnson has stopped 57 of 60 shots faced in his last two road games (.950), earning wins in both of those contests.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Ryan O’Reilly enters tonight’s game with back-to-back three-point games. O’Reilly has been playing at a point-per-game clip in his last 22 games, totaling 10 goals and 12 assists since Dec. 22 vs. Philadelphia.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 16 points (6+10) in his last 13 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen, who enters tonight on a four-game point streak, has 17 points (4+13) in his last 20 games dating back to Dec. 29. Ristolainen’s 17 points during that span tied for fourth among NHL defensemen entering play Wednesday.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded 15 points (3+12) in his last 15 games, including four multi-point games.
  • Casey Nelson, who scored his first NHL goal on Sunday vs. Colorado, has points in four of his last five games (1+3).
  • Evan Rodrigues has tallied four points (1+3) in his last four games.

PLAYING WITH POWER

  • The Sabres have tallied at least one power-play goal in 12 of their last 16 games dating back to Jan. 7 at Philadelphia (and went 0-for-0 on Jan. 11 vs. Columbus), converting at a 33.3 percent clip during that span.
  • Buffalo’s power-play percentage during this stretch led the league entering play Wednesday, as did the team’s 16 power-play goals.
  • During that stretch, the Sabres have five players with at least seven power-play points.
  • Ryan O’Reilly led the league entering play Wednesday with seven power-play goals scored since Jan. 7. Kyle Okposo tied for the league lead 10 nine power-play points during that stretch.
  • O’Reilly has taken 75.8 percent of the team’s power-play faceoffs during that span, going 50-for-72 (69.4%).
  • O’Reilly’s 11 power-play goals this season ranked fourth in the league entering play Wednesday.

DANGEROUS KILLERS

  • The Sabres scored two shorthanded goals on Sunday vs. Colorado, marking the second time this season the team has scored two shorthanded goals in a game (last: Oct. 7 at NY Islanders).
  • Buffalo entered play Wednesday tied for the league lead with nine shorthanded goals this season, the team’s highest total since the 2007-08 season (9).
  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres were the only team with three players who have scored at least two shorthanded goals this season (Kane – 3, Girgensons – 2, Pouliot – 2).
  • Ryan O’Reilly’s four shorthanded assists led the league entering Wednesday’s games, and his four shorthanded points tied for second.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly went 29-for-39 (74.4%) on the draw on Sunday vs. Colorado. The 29 wins set a new career-high mark for O’Reilly, topping his previous high of 26 (Feb. 8 vs. St. Louis).
  • He followed that 29-win performance up by going 25-for-42 (59.5%) on Tuesday vs. Tampa Bay and now holds the nine highest single-game totals in franchise history.
  • Since the NHL began keeping faceoff stats in 1997-98, only five players have won more than 29 faceoffs in a regular-season game:
    • Travis Green (NYI), 11/8/97 – 33
    • Doug Weight (EDM), 11/5/97 – 32
    • Patrice Bergeron (BOS), 2/24/15 – 31
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2/5/02 – 30
    • Sergei Fedorov (DET), 10/25/00 – 30
  • O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (856) and faceoff percentage (61.3%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 856 wins already rank as the sixth-most wins by a Sabre in a season and are on pace to become the second-most by any NHL player in a season:
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2005-06 – 1,268
    • Ryan O’Reilly *pace* (BUF), 2017-18 1,238
    • Adam Oates (WSH), 1999-00 – 1,235
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2001-02 – 1,218
    • Joe Sakic (COL), 2000-01 – 1,214
  • At his current pace, O’Reilly would become just the third player ever to win at least 1,000 faceoffs in a season while maintaining a faceoff percentage of at least 59 percent, joining Rod Brind-Amour (five times) and Patrice Bergeron (two times).

*The NHL began keeping faceoff stats in the 1997-98 season.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/14 games)

  • Girgensons: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-2nd), 206 S (5th), 3 SHP (T-6th)
  • O’Reilly: 856 FOW (1st), 61.3% FO% (1st), 1,397 FO (1st), 4 SHP (T-2nd), 11 PPG (4th)
  • Pouliot: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:28 TOI/GP (3rd)

BUF-OTT CONNECTIONS
Former Senators:

  • Goaltender Robin Lehner was a second-round selection (46th overall) of the Senators in the 2009 NHL Draft. He appeared in 86 games over the course of his time with Ottawa and compiled a 30-36-13 record with a .914 save percentage and a 2.88 goals-against average.

Nicholas Baptiste:

  • He was born in Ottawa and played for the Ottawa Senators Minor Midget AAA team (OEMMHL) from 2009-2011.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Teammates with Mike Hoffman for the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) during the 2009-10 season.
  • Represented Canada alongside Mark Stone at the 2012 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Gabriel Dumont for the Montreral Canadiens from 2012-2015.
  • He and Mike Condon played together for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2015-16 season.

Hudson Fasching:

  • Played with Mike Condon for the United States at the 2016 World Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • Was a member of Team Canada with Dion Phaneuf at the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Tom Pyatt for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2011.

Jacob Josefson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Erik Karlsson at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Johnny Oduya for the Atlanta Thrasers (2009-2011) and the Winnipeg Jets (2011-12).
  • Teammates with Christopher DiDomenico for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Canada with Dion Phaneuf during the 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Matt Duchene was on the club in 2011 and Alexandre Burrows was on the team in 2012.

Johan Larsson:

  • Was a member of Team Sweden during the 2012 World Championship along with Erik Karlsson.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played for the Colorado Avalanche with Matt Duchene from 2009-2015. Craig Anderson was also on the team from 2009-2011.
  • Teammates with Matt Duchene for Team Canada at the 2013, 2015 and 2016 World Championships.
  • Played with Alexandre Burrows and Dion Phaneuf for Canada at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Represented Canada alongside Derick Brassard and Cody Ceci at the 2016 World Championship.
  • He and Matt Duchene represented Canada together at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Nate Thompson for the New York Islanders from 2008-2010.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Tom Pyatt for the Montreal Canadiens from 2009-2011 and again for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2012-13 season. Nate Thompson was also a member of the Lightning during the 2012-13 campaign.
  • Pouliot and Pyatt also represented Canada together at the 2006 World Junior Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Helped represent Canada at the 2016 World Championship with Derick Brassard, Cody Ceci and Matt Duchene.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) was taken one pick after Derick Brassard (6th overall) in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Jacob Josefson (20th overall) and Matt Duchene (3rd overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons and Cody Ceci were back-to-back selections in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft. Girgensons was selected 14th overall while Ceci went 15th overall.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (138), McCabe (111), Kane (110)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (83), McCabe (79), Ristolainen (71)
Shots: Kane (206), Eichel (201), O’Reilly (152)

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: 3-4-3 (9), 24/33, 3/25, 23/28
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 27/31, 10/33, 15/26
51-60: 3-3-1 (7), 22/22, 6/17, 25/31

OVERTIME RESULTS (3-9; 111-120 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)
Jan. 1 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Miller)
Jan. 22 at CGY: W, 2-1 (GWG-Eichel)
Feb. 6 vs. ANA: L, 4-3 (GWG-Henrique)

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

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Points
Zemgus Girgensons … 3 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Jacob Josefson … 300th NHL game … Feb. 10 at Boston
Ryan O’Reilly … 400th NHL point … Feb. 11 vs. Colorado
Casey Nelson … 1st NHL goal … Feb. 11 vs. Colorado

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