Game Preview: 2/28/18 at Tampa Bay


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

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

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)

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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)

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.

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)
Zemgus Girgensons … 3 points … 100 career points


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