Game Preview: 2/28/18 at Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, February 25
Boston 1 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Pouliot, Okposo, Rodrigues, Scandella
Goalie: Johnson (34 saves/35 shots)
PP: 1/5; PK: 4/4; Shots: Boston 35 – Buffalo 24

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 218)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 20 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 10 games
Jack Eichel (high-ankle sprain, Feb. 11; injured reserve) – 8 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/26: Acquired F Daniel O’Regan, a conditional first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for F Evander Kane; Assigned O’Regan to Rochester (AHL)
2/27: Recalled F Seth Griffith from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, March 8: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 10: Vegas at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay 5-3 in Buffalo on Feb. 13
  • Next meeting: Friday, April 6 in Tampa
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 2-8-0 on the road.
  • This is the 97th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 53-35-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 28-17-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-3 all-time on February 28.
  • February 28, 1971: Steve Atkinson scores three goals against the Minnesota North Stars in a 5-2 win at the Aud. Atkinson, Ron Anderson and Gilbert Perreault all scored in a span of 1:15 in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and clinch the win.
  • February 28, 2000: The Sabres chase Trevor Kidd with four goals on 19 shots, including two from Stu Barnes, on the way to a 5-2 victory at Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 4-0-1 record in their last five games against Atlantic Division opponents and a 7-6-3 record against the division this season.
  • With a win the last time these teams met, the Sabres are looking for consecutive wins against the Lightning for the first time since March 19, 2012 and Feb. 26, 2013.

TOPPING TAMPA

  • The Sabres’ 28-17-3 (.615) record in Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time road record against any Eastern Conference opponent. The team’s next best road record against an Eastern Conference opponent is its 41-27-11 (.589) mark at Washington.
  • Buffalo’s all-time record of 53-35-8 (.594) against Tampa Bay is the team’s third-best record against any Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only their 88-50-20 (.620) mark against Washington and their 113-67-26 (.612) record against Toronto.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 20 points (7+13) in his last 19 games and enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak, his longest streak since he tallied points in a career-best five straight games in December 2016.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 21 points (6+15) in his last 26 games dating back to Dec. 29. Ristolainen’s 21 points during that span ranked eighth among NHL defensemen entering play Tuesday.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded eight points (2+6) in his last eight games.
  • Marco Scandella has scored three goals in his last five games.

ROAD WARRIORS

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 5-1-1 record in their last seven road games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 road games.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled nine points (3+6) in his last eight road games.
  • Chad Johnson has stopped 57 of 60 shots faced in his last two road games (.950), earning wins in both of those contests.

PLAYING WITH POWER

  • The Sabres have tallied at least one power-play goal in 14 of their last 22 games dating back to Jan. 7 at Philadelphia (and went 0-for-0 on Jan. 11 vs. Columbus), converting at a 27.7 percent clip during that span.
  • Buffalo’s 18 power-play goals during this stretch led the league entering play Tuesday.
  • During this stretch, the Sabres have five players with at least seven power-play points.
  • Ryan O’Reilly led the league entering play Tuesday with seven power-play goals scored since Jan. 7. Kyle Okposo tied for third in the league with 11 power-play points during that stretch.
  • O’Reilly’s 11 power-play goals this season tied for fifth in the league before Tuesday’s games.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (962) and faceoff percentage (60.8%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 962 wins already rank as the third-most wins by a Sabre in a season (behind his last two seasons) 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 1,257
    • 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.

DANGEROUS KILLERS

  • 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 Tuesday tied for the league lead with nine shorthanded goals this season, the team’s highest total since the 2007-08 season (9).
  • Ryan O’Reilly’s four shorthanded assists tied for the league lead entering play Tuesday, and his four shorthanded points tied for second.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/27 games)

  • Girgensons: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • O’Reilly: 962 FOW (1st), 60.8% FO% (1st), 1,582 FO (1st), 4 SHP (T-2nd), 11 PPG (T-5th)
  • Pouliot: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:31 TOI/GP (3rd)

BUF-TBL CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Cory Conacher was a member of the Sabres for part of the 2013-14 season, when he posted six points (3+3) in 19 games for Buffalo.

Local Players:

  • Ryan Callahan was born in Rochester, New York and played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.

Justin Falk:

  • Teammates with Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi for the New York Rangers in 2013-14.
  • Played with Tyler Johnson for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) during the 2007-08 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Canada alongside Braydon Coburn at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh on the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played at the 2012 World Championship for Team Sweden alongside Victor Hedman.
  • Was born on July 25, 1992, two years to the day before Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Cory Conacher for the Ottawa Senators from 2012-2014.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Shares a hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota with Ryan McDonagh.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He was born on Feb. 7, 1991, exactly one year after Steven Stamkos.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller and Anton Stralman for the New York Rangers in 2013-14.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Brayden Point was a member of Team Canada along with Reinhart at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Scott Wilson:

  • Teammates with Chris Kunitz for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014-2017.

World Championships:

  • Ryan O’Reilly represented Canada alongside Steven Stamkos in 2013, and again in 2016 World Cup.
  • Chad Johnson, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn all played for Team Canada at the World Championship in 2017.
  • Victor Antipin, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov played together on the Russian team at the World Junior Championship in 2012.
  • Victor Antipin, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov were teammates for Russia at the 2017 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Jacob Josefson (20th overall) and Victor Hedman (2nd overall) were both first round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) and J.T. Miller (15th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall), Slater Koekkoek (10th overall) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th overall) were all first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (160), McCabe (110), Girgensons (105)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (91), Ristolainen (84), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (201), O’Reilly (170), Ristolainen (134)

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: 2-1-0 (4), 8/8, 2/10, 6/8

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)
Points
Zemgus Girgensons … 3 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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