Game Preview: 4/6/18 at Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, April 4
Ottawa 4 at Buffalo 2
Goals: O’Reilly, Okposo
Goalie: Johnson (28 saves/31 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 34 – Ottawa 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 314)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 37 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 27 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body. March 17) – 10 games
Linus Ullmark (upper body, March 26) – 5 games
Robin Lehner (lower body, March 31) – 3 games
Victor Antipin (concussion, April 2) – 2 games
Zemgus Girgensons (face, April 4) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/31: Assigned F Kyle Criscuolo to Rochester (AHL)
4/2: Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL)
4/3: Recalled F Alexander Nylander and F Kevin Porter from Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Saturday, April 7: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay 2-1 in Tampa on Feb. 28
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 3-7-0 on the road.
  • This is the 98th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 54-35-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 29-17-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-2 all-time on April 6.
  • April 6, 1980: Danny Gare scores twice in a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Aud to finish the regular season with 56 goals.
  • April 6, 1995: Craig Muni appears in his 100th game as a member of the Sabres, a 1-1 tie at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With wins in each of the last two meetings between these teams, the Sabres enter tonight’s game with consecutive wins against the Lightning for the first time since March 19, 2012 and Feb. 26, 2013. A win tonight would stretch that streak to three games for the first time since Buffalo won four in a row from Oct. 4, 2009 to March 27, 2010
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 36 points (17+19) in his last 36 games dating back to Jan. 18. Reinhart has 19 goals in 41 games so far in 2018, tying him for 13th-most in the league since Jan. 1 entering play Thursday.

TOPPING TAMPA

  • The Sabres’ 29-17-3 (.622) 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 54-35-8 (.598) 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 115-69-26 (.610) record against Toronto.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has recorded eight points (3+5) in his last five games and has played at a point-per-game pace dating back to mid-November, with 48 points (21+27) in his last 48 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has posted seven points (3+4) in his last six games, including each of his last four.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak, with six points (4+2) in those games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied five assists in his last four games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s final of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Florida. The Sabres are 5-10-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-8-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (1), three points (0), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (4).

ROAD WARRIORS

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 9-4-1 record in their last 14 road games.
  • Jack Eichel has 36 points (11+25) in 33 road games this season. Eichel’s 1.09 points per game on the road this season rank as the ninth-best rate in the NHL.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 18 points (11+7) in his last 18 road games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 17 points (4+13) in his last 19 road games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has eight points (1+7) in his last seven road games.
  • Kyle Okposo has four points (2+2) his last four road games.
  • Jason Pominville has recorded a point in each of his last three road games (2+1).

QUARTER CENTURY KIDS

  • With his 25th goal of the season on March 29 vs. Detroit, Jack Eichel became the first Sabre aged 21 or younger to reach the 25-goal mark since Pierre Turgeon did so in the 1990-91 season.
  • Sam Reinhart (22 years old) is one goal shy of the 25-goal mark. If he scores another goal this season, the Sabres would have two 25-goal scorers under 23 years of age for the first time since Alexander Mogilny and Donald Audette each topped 25 as 22-year-olds in the 1991-92 season.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (1,239) and faceoff percentage (60.1%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 1,239 wins through 79 games played rank second in NHL history and put him on pace to edge Rod Brind’Amour (1,268 in 2005-06) for the most by any NHL player in a season.
  • 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 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 has topped his previous personal bests in goals (24), assists (33) and points (57) on the strength of improved production at even strength.
  • With his 17th multi-point game in his 61st game of the season, Eichel surpassed his career-best total of 16 set in 2016-17. Through 65 games, Eichel now has 18 multi-point games.
  • 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 65 games, Eichel now has 22 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 65 games, he now has 42 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 65 25 37 62 22 20 42

SETTING THEM UP AND KNOCKING THEM DOWN

  • Of Jack Eichel’s 62 points so far this season, 27 have been goals or primary assists recorded during 5-on-5 play (excludes 6-on-5 situations).
  • Through 65 games played, Eichel’s 27 primary points (16+11) during 5-on-5 play have surpassed 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 4/5 games)

  • Eichel: 3.66 S/GP (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 1,239 FOW (1st), 60.1% FO% (1st), 2,061 FO (1st), 14 PPG (T-5th), 4 SHP (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:31 TOI/GP (4th)

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.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Teammates with Peter Budaj in Montreal from 2012-2014.

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.
  • Played with Peter Budaj for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

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.

Jordan Nolan:

  • Teammates with Peter Budaj for the Los Angeles Kings from 2015-2017.

Alex Nylander:

  • He and Brayden Point were both born in Calgary, Alberta.

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.
  • Was teammates with Peter Budaj on the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2011.

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.

Matt Tennyson:

  • Played with Yanni Gourde in the AHL on the Worcester Sharks from 2011-14.

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:

  • Jason Pominville (55th overall) and Peter Budaj (63rd overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2001 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.
  • Alex Nylander (8th overall) was taken one pick before Mikhail Sergachev (9th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (202), Girgensons (134), Nolan (122)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (111), Ristolainen (108), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (238), O’Reilly (224), Reinhart (183)

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: 3-7-0 (6), 24/40, 9/36, 16/24

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)
N/A

RECENT MILESTONES
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL assist … March 31 at Nashville

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