Game Preview: 3/21/18 vs. Arizona

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 19
Nashville 4 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Ullmark (28 saves/32 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 0/0; Shots: Buffalo 35 – Nashville 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 266)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 29 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 19 games
Kyle Criscuolo (upper body, March 7) – 6 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body. March 17) – 2 games
Robin Lehner (undisclosed, March 17) – 2 games
Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed, March 20) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/17: Activated F Jack Eichel from IR
3/18: Assigned F Justin Bailey to Rochester (AHL)
3/19: Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, March 29: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 31: Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
COYOTES at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Coyotes this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Arizona 5-4 in Arizona on Nov. 2, 2017
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Coyotes; 5-3-2 at home.
  • This is the 78th game all-time between Buffalo and Arizona/Winnipeg; Buffalo has a 46-22-9 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-7-7 at home against the Coyotes/Jets all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-10-0 all-time on March 21.
  • March 21, 1971: Eddie Shack picks up his second hat trick in as many months as the Sabres defeat the Bruins by a score of 7-5 in Boston. Shack scored two of the goals only 2:22 apart and all three were scored in a span of 15:58.
  • March 21, 1976: The Sabres hold the Kansas City Scouts to eight total shots, including zero in the third period, in a 3-1 win.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • If he dresses, tonight will be Jack Eichel’s 200th NHL game.
  • Buffalo is 12-2-1 in its last 15 games against Arizona, including a 7-1-1 record since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • The Sabres have points in four straight home games against the Coyotes (3-0-1) and are seeking their first five-game point streak against the franchise since the team won a series-best eight straight home games against the Jets from Feb. 28, 1988 to Nov. 19, 1993.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 29 points (12+17) in his last 28 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 26 points (6+20) in his last 35 games dating back to Dec. 29. Ristolainen’s 26 points during that span tied for eighth among NHL defensemen entering play Tuesday.

COYOTE KILLERS

  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (3+6) in five career games against Arizona, including at least a point in each game. It’s his second-best per-game output against any opponent, trailing only his two points in one career meeting with the Vegas Golden Knights.
    • Eichel has more than nine career points against just one NHL team: Ottawa (11 points in eight games).
  • Kyle Okposo has 12 points (4+8) in 11 career games against the Coyotes, who are one of five teams Okposo has totaled at least a point per game against in his career (Anaheim, Arizona, Edmonton, San Jose, Vancouver).
    • With two points tonight, Okposo’s per-game output against the Coyotes would tie his current best against any opponent (14 points in 12 games against both Edmonton and San Jose).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has seven points (2+5) in seven career matchups with Arizona. The Coyotes are one of two NHL teams that Ristolainen has tallied at least a point per game against in his career, joining Edmonton (12 points in nine games).
  • Chad Johnson is 5-2-0 in seven career games against Arizona with a .924 save percentage and a 1.95 goals-against average. The five wins trail only his seven against Carolina and his six against Toronto for his highest total against any opponent.

HOT AGAINST ARIZONA

  • Jason Pominville has 12 points (1+11) in his last 12 games against the Coyotes.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (7+12) in his last 18 games against the Coyotes, including three points in each of the last two meetings.
  • Benoit Pouliot has totaled 10 points (3+7) in his last 10 games against the Coyotes.
  • Sam Reinhart has three points (1+2) in his last two games against Arizona.

HOT AT HOME

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 23 points (9+14) in 21 home games dating back to the team’s game on Dec. 22 vs. Philadelphia.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 17 points (7+10) in his last 17 home games.
  • Evan Rodrigues has posted eight points (2+6) in his last nine home games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied nine points (1+8) in his last 12 home games.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (1,123) and faceoff percentage (60.8%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 1,123 wins already rank as the most wins by a Sabre in a season.
  • O’Reilly’s 1,123 faceoff wins through 71 games played already rank 15th 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 1,281
    • 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.

I LIKE EICH

  • Despite missing 15 games with a high-ankle sprain, Jack Eichel is currently on pace to top his personal bests in goals (24), assists (33) and points (57) on the strength of improved production at even strength.
  • Eichel’s 16 multi-point games this season through 57 games played have already tied his career best set in 2016-17.
  • With his 17th even-strength goal in his 44th game of the season on Jan. 11 vs. Columbus, Eichel surpassed his career-best total from 2015-16 (81 games). Through 57 games, Eichel now has 19 even-strength goals.
  • With his 36th even-strength point in his 53rd game of the season on Feb. 7 vs. Anaheim, Eichel surpassed his career-best total from 2015-16 (81 games). Through 57 games, he now has 38 even-strength points.

Jack Eichel’s Production by Season

Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
2015-16 81 24 32 56 16 19 35
2016-17 61 24 33 57 14 19 33
2017-18 57 22 32 54 19 19 38
2017-18 (Pace) 67 26 38 63 22 22 45

 

SETTING THEM UP AND KNOCKING THEM DOWN

  • Of Jack Eichel’s 54 points so far this season, 24 have been goals or primary assists recorded during 5-on-5 play (excludes 6-on-5 situations).
  • Through 57 games played, Eichel’s 24 primary points (13+11) during 5-on-5 play have already surpassed his 61-game total from last season (11+10) and tied his career-best total from his 81-game rookie season (12+12).

*All primary point stats via NaturalStatTrick.com

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/20 games)

  • Eichel: 3.70 S/GP (7th)
  • Girgensons: 2 SHG (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 1,123 FOW (1st), 61.0% FO% (1st), 1,846 FO (1st), 4 SHP (T-4th)
  • Pouliot: 2 SHG (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:31 TOI/GP (4th)

BUF-ARI CONNECTIONS
Former Coyotes:

  • Chad Johnson played four games for Arizona during the 2012-13 season, posting a 2-0-2 record with a .954 save percentage and a 1.21 goals-against average.

Justin Falk:

  • Played with Derek Stepan for the New York Rangers during the 2013-14 season.
  • Teammates with Kevin Connauton for the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2014-2016.

Seth Griffith:

  • Teammates with Max Domi for the London Knights (OHL) from 2011-2013.
  • Played with Zac Rinaldo for the Boston Bruins during part of the 2015-16 season. He and Zac were also teammates for the London Knights (OHL) during the 2009-10 campaign.
  • He and Jason Demers were teammates for the Florida Panthers during the 2016-17 season.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Derek Stepan for the New York Rangers during the 2010-11 season.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Nick Cousins for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) during the 2009-10 season.

Jordan Nolan:

  • Played with Nick Cousins for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) during the 2009-10 season.
  • He and Brad Richardson were teammates for the Los Angeles Kings from 2011-2013.
  • Teammates with Luke Schenn for the Los Angeles Kings during part of the 2015-16 season.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Alex Goligoski at the 2012 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He and Luke Schenn played for Team Canada at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships.
  • Teammates with Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.
  • Played with Jason Demers for Team Canada at the 2017 World Championship.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Played with Derek Stepan for the New York Rangers during the 2013-14 season.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2015 World Junior Championship where Canada won the gold medal and Reinhart and Domi were named to the tournament All-Star team.
  • Teammates with Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Marco Scandella (55th overall) was taken four picks after Derek Stepan (51st overall) in the second round of the 2008 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Max Domi (12th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) was taken ten picks before Brendan Perlini (12th overall) in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Brendan Guhle (51st overall) and Christian Fischer (32nd overall) were both second-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (185), Girgensons (125), McCabe/Nolan (110)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (102), Ristolainen (100), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (211), O’Reilly (194), Reinhart (159)

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
71-80: 1-1-0 (2), 5/7, 1/6, 2/2

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)
Game Played
Jack Eichel … 1 game … 200 career games played
Assists
Jack Eichel … 3 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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