Game Preview: 3/17/18 vs. Chicago

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 15
Toronto 5 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Reinhart, Pominville
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/38 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 2/5; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 40 – Toronto 39

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 253)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 27 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 17 games
Jack Eichel (high-ankle sprain, Feb. 11; injured reserve) – 15 games
Kyle Criscuolo (upper body, March 7) – 4 games
Seth Griffith (upper body, March 8) – 3 games
Kyle Okposo (concussion, March 10) – 2 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body, March 17) – 0 games|
Casey Nelson (lower body, March 17) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/11: Assigned F Justin Bailey and F Danny O’Regan to Rochester (AHL)
3/13: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
3/14: Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, March 19: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 21: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 24: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 26: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
BLACKHAWKS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 3-2 (OT) in Chicago on Dec. 8, 2017
  • The Sabres are 0-7-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 121st game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-51-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-18-8 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-10-3 all-time on March 17.
  • March 17, 1997: Donald Audette scores twice and Rob Ray fights Jeff Odgers to become the 30th player in NHL history to record 2,000 penalty minutes in his career during a 5-1 win at home against Boston.
  • March 17, 2001: Martin Biron makes 42 saves and Chris Gratton scores the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win at Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are looking to snap a 12-game winless streak (0-9-3) against the Blackhawks that includes a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) at home.
  • Buffalo’s last win against the Blackhawks was a 2-1 victory at home on Dec. 11, 2009. Their last road win in Chicago came on 10, 2007.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 26 points (11+15) in his last 26 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 25 points (6+19) in his last 33 games dating back to Dec. 29. Ristolainen’s 25 points during that span tied for eighth among NHL defensemen entering play Friday.
  • Though he missed five games from March 2 to 10, Evan Rodrigues has totaled 11 points (4+8) in his last 12 games played and comes into today’s game with points in a career-best three straight appearances (2+3).
  • Scott Wilson has recorded a point in three of his last four games (1+2).

HOT AGAINST CHICAGO

  • Jason Pominville has 10 points (4+6) in his last 10 games against Chicago.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has five assists in his last six games against the Blackhawks.
  • Marco Scandella has more points against the Blackhawks than he does against any other NHL team, totaling 13 points (2+11) in 22 career matchups.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (7+12) in his last 21 games against the Blackhawks, including four points (2+2) in five games against Chicago since joining the Sabres.

HOT AT HOME

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 21 points (8+13) in 19 home games dating back to the team’s game on Dec. 22 vs. Philadelphia.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 13 points (5+8) in his last 13 home games.
  • Evan Rodrigues has posted eight points (2+6) in his last seven home games, including at least a point in each of his last three (1+4).
  • Jason Pominville has recorded five points (2+3) in his last five home games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied eight points (1+7) in his last 10 home games.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (1,092) and faceoff percentage (61.1%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 1,092 wins already rank as the most wins by a Sabre in a season.
  • O’Reilly’s 1,092 faceoff wins through 69 games played already rank 18th in NHL history and put him on pace to log the most by any NHL player in a season:
    • Ryan O’Reilly *pace* (BUF), 2017-18 1,282
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2005-06 – 1,268
    • 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

  • Buffalo entered play Wednesday tied for third in the league 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 Wednesday, and his four shorthanded points tied for third.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/16 games)

  • Girgensons: 2 SHG (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 1,092 FOW (1st), 61.1% FO% (1st), 1,787 FO (1st), 4 SHP (T-4th), 11 PPG (T-9th)
  • Pouliot: 2 SHG (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:35 TOI/GP (3rd)

BUF-CHI CONNECTIONS
Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.
  • Phil Housley spent most of two seasons with the Blackhawks and tallied 68 points (41+47) in 137 games for Chicago from 2001-2003.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Artem Anisimov for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2008 World Championship.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Jordan Oesterle for the Edmonton Oilers from 2014-2017.

NHL Draft:

  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) was taken three picks before Connor Murphy (20th overall) in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • The first round of the 2014 NHL Draft saw both Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Nick Schmaltz (20th overall) go off the board.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (178), Girgensons (124), McCabe (110)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (98), Ristolainen (95), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (201), O’Reilly (189), Reinhart (155)

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: 5-4-1 (11), 24/31, 6/32, 20/25

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-10; 113-121 all-time)
Oct. 17 at VGK: L, 5-4 (GWG-Perron, 3:52)
Oct. 21 at BOS: W, 5-4 (GWG-O’Reilly, 2:59)
Nov. 11 at MTL: L, 2-1 (GWG-Pacioretty, 3:08)
Nov. 14 at PIT: L, 5-4 (GWG-Sheary, 0:16)
Dec. 8 at CHI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Forsling, 4:55)
Dec. 10 at STL: L, 3-2 (GWG-Tarasenko, 4:24)
Dec. 15 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (GWG-Slavin,2:15)
Dec. 27 at NYI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barzal, 1:08)
Dec. 29 at NJD: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen, 2:37)
Jan. 1 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Miller, 2:43)
Jan. 22 at CGY: W, 2-1 (GWG-Eichel, 1:30)
Feb. 6 vs. ANA: L, 4-3 (GWG-Henrique, 1:36)
Feb. 15 at OTT: L, 3-2 (GWG-Hoffman,1:13)
Feb. 22 at DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Scandella, 4:59)
Feb. 28 at TBL: W, 2-1 (GWG-Pominville, 1:26)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-2; 70-66 all-time)
Oct. 5 vs. MTL: L, 3-2 (GDG-Drouin)
March 8 at OTT: W, 4-3 (GDG-Josefson)
March 10 vs. VGK: L, 2-1 (GDG-Haula)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Jack Eichel … 3 games … 200 career games played
Assists
Jack Eichel … 4 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Zemgus Girgensons … 2 points … 100 career points
Jason Pominville … 10 points … 700 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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