Game Preview: 2/24/18 at Washington


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, February 22
Buffalo 3 at Detroit 2 (OT)
Goals: Ristolainen, Kane, Scandella
Goalie: Lehner (35 saves/37 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Detroit 37 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 212)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 18 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 8 games
Jack Eichel (high-ankle sprain, Feb. 11; injured reserve) – 6 games

2/19: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Jack Eichel on IR; Assigned Ullmark to Rochester

Sunday, Feb. 25: Boston at Buffalo, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 28: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 2: Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 5: Toronto at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7: Calgary at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.


  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo 3-2 in Buffalo on Feb. 19
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 3-6-1 on the road.
  • This is the 158th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has an 88-49-20 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-26-11 on the road against the Capitals all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-8-3 all-time on February 24.
  • February 24, 1972: Steve Atkinson scores nine seconds after the opening faceoff as the Sabres defeat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-3 in Buffalo.
  • February 24, 1993: Alexander Mogilny scores four goals for the second time in six games and adds an assist as the Sabres defeat the Detroit Red Wings 10-7 at the Aud.


  • The Sabres are looking for their first win in Washington since Nov. 22, 2014.
  • Kyle Okposo has seven points (4+3) in his last seven games against the Capitals.
  • Jason Pominville has seven points (3+4) in his last eight games against Washington.
  • Benoit Pouliot has five points (4+1) in his last six games against the Capitals.
  • Evander Kane has six career two-point games against Washington and three goals in two matchups this season.


  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded 19 points (9+10) in his last 20 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 18 points (6+17) in his last 17 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 20 points (6+14) in his last 24 games dating back to Dec. 29. Ristolainen’s 20 points during that span tied for sixth among NHL defensemen entering play Friday.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded 17 points (4+13) in his last 19 games.
  • Evan Rodrigues has totaled six points (2+4) in his last eight games.
  • Evander Kane has five points (4+1) in his last six games, including three goals in the last two.
  • Marco Scandella has scored twice in Buffalo’s last three games.


  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with points in six straight road games (5-0-1) in the same season for the first time since the team went 6-0-1 in a seven-game span on the road from Feb. 8 to March 6, 2011.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 12 points (4+8) in his last 11 road games.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled eight points (2+6) in his last seven road games.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded six points (2+4) in his last seven road games.
  • Scott Wilson enters tonight’s game with six points (3+3) in his last six road games.
  • Johan Larsson has four points (1+3) in his last four road games.
  • Robin Lehner is 3-0-1 in his last four road games with two shutouts, a .963 save percentage and a 1.22 goals-against average.
  • Chad Johnson has stopped 57 of 60 shots faced in his last two road games (.950), earning wins in both of those contests.


  • The Sabres have tallied at least one power-play goal in 13 of their last 20 games dating back to Jan. 7 at Philadelphia (and went 0-for-0 on Jan. 11 vs. Columbus), converting at a 29.3 percent clip during that span.
  • Buffalo’s power-play percentage during this stretch led the league entering play Friday, and the team’s 17 power-play goals tied for the league lead.
  • During this stretch, the Sabres have five players with at least seven power-play points.
  • Ryan O’Reilly led the league entering play Friday with seven power-play goals scored since Jan. 7. Kyle Okposo and Rasmus Ristolainen tied for second in the league with 10 power-play points during that stretch.
  • O’Reilly has taken 74.3 percent of the team’s power-play faceoffs during that span, going 57-for-84 (67.9%).
  • O’Reilly’s 11 power-play goals this season tied for fourth in the league entering play Friday.


  • The Sabres scored two shorthanded goals on Feb. 11 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 Friday tied for the league lead with nine shorthanded goals this season, the team’s highest total since the 2007-08 season (9).
  • Entering play Friday, 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 Friday’s games, and his four shorthanded points tied for second.


  • Ryan O’Reilly went 29-for-39 (74.4%) on the draw on Feb. 11 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 currently holds the nine highest single-game totals in franchise history.
  • O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (923) and faceoff percentage (60.7%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 923 wins already rank as the fourth-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 1,246
    • 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 2/23 games)

  • Girgensons: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-2nd), 227 S (5th), 3 SHP (T-6th)
  • O’Reilly: 923 FOW (1st), 60.7% FO% (1st), 1,521 FO (1st), 4 SHP (T-2nd), 11 PPG (T-4th)
  • Pouliot: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:32 TOI/GP (3rd)

Former Capitals:

  • Phil Housley played for Washington from 1996 to 1998, posting 71 points (17+54) in 141 games played.
  • Chris Hajt played five games for the Capitals during the 2003-04 season.

Local Players:

  • Brooks Orpik grew up in Amherst, New York and attended Nichols High School.

Victor Antipin:

  • Represented Russia alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov at the 2012 World Junior Championship and the 2016 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Alex Ovechkin for Team Russia at the 2015 and 2016 World Championships.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Represented Canada alongside Brett Connolly and Devante Smith-Pelly at the 2012 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Lars Eller for the Montreal Canadiens from 2012-2016. Devante Smith-Pelly was also on the team from 2014-2016.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Nicklas Backstrom for Team Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

Jacob Josefson

  • He and Devante Smith-Pelly were teammates for the New Jersey Devils from 2016-2017.

Robin Lehner:

  • Teammates with Alex Chiasson for the Ottawa Senators during the 2014-15 season.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Taylor Chorney at the 2007 World Junior Championship and the 2010 World Championship.
  • Played with T.J. Oshie for the United States at the 2009 and 2010 World Championships. Matt Niskanen was also a part of the team in 2009.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Brett Connolly for Canada at the 2009 World U18 Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Matt Niskanen and T.J. Oshie for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Played with Brett Connolly for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2012-13 season.

NHL Draft:

  • Benoit Pouliot (4th overall), Alex Ovechkin (1st overall), T.J. Oshie (24th overall) and Matt Niskanen (28th overall) were all first-round picks in the 2005 NHL Draft.
  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) was selected three picks after Nicklas Backstrom (4th overall) in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall), Alex Chiasson (38th overall) and Dimitry Orlov (55th overall) were second-round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • The 2010 NHL Draft saw both Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Devante Smith-Pelly (42nd overall) go off the board in the second round.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tom Wilson (16th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen, (8th overall) and Andre Burakovsky (23rd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Jakub Vrana (13th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Hits: Ristolainen (151), Kane (120), McCabe (110)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (90), Ristolainen (82), McCabe (79)
Shots: Kane (227), Eichel (201), O’Reilly (165)

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: 3-6-1 (7), 28/32, 6/24, 32/38
61-70: 1-0-0 (2), 3/2, 1/3, 2/3

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-10; 112-121 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)
Feb. 15 at OTT: L, 3-2 (GWG-Hoffman)
Feb. 22 at DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Scandella)

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

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


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