Game Preview: 4/7/18 at Florida

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, April 6
Buffalo 5 at Tampa Bay 7
Goals: Mittelstadt, Nylander, Pominville, Nolan, Okposo
Goalie: Johnson (27 saves/33 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 2/5; PK: 3/3; Shots: Tampa Bay 34 – Buffalo 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 321)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 38 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 28 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body. March 17) – 11 games
Linus Ullmark (upper body, March 26) – 6 games
Robin Lehner (lower body, March 31) – 4 games
Victor Antipin (concussion, April 2) – 3 games
Zemgus Girgensons (face, April 4) – 2 games

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

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PANTHERS

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo 4-1 in Florida on March 2
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 96th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 48-39-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 21-21-4 on the road against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 all-time (regular season) on April 7.
  • April 7, 1974: Rick Martin becomes first Sabre to score at least 50 goals in a season with a hat trick that pushed his total to 52 in the final game of the season, a 5-2 win vs. St. Louis.
  • April 7, 2007: The Sabres clinch the first Presidents’ Trophy in franchise history with a 2-0 win at Washington, breaking the record set one year prior with their 53rd win.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 23-16-7 all-time in the final game of the regular season, including a 6-4-2 record since 2005-06.
  • With losses in their last four games against Florida, the Sabres need a win tonight to avoid matching the team’s longest winless streak against the Panthers (0-4-1 from Jan. 9 to Dec. 6, 2014). The Sabres have never lost five straight matchups with the Panthers in regulation.
  • The Sabres are seeking their first road win against the Panthers since Nov. 12, 2015.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 36 points (17+19) in his last 37 games dating back to Jan. 18. Reinhart has 19 goals in 42 games so far in 2018, tying him for 13th-most in the league since Jan. 1 after last night’s game.

TAMING THE CATS

  • Jason Pominville has totaled 38 points (15+23) in 41 career games against Florida, including nine points (4+5) in his last 10 meetings.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 17 points (7+10) in his last 17 games against the Panthers, including points in 13 of those contests and four two-point games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 10 points (6+4) in his last 10 games against the Panthers.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has recorded nine points (3+6) in his last six games and has played at a point-per-game pace dating back to mid-November, with 49 points (21+28) in his last 49 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has posted eight points (3+5) in his last seven games, including each of his last five.
  • Sam Reinhart (4+2) and Rasmus Ristolainen (0+6) each have six points in their last five games.
  • Kyle Okposo has scored four goals in his last four games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s final of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 7-5 loss last night at Tampa Bay. The Sabres are 5-11-0 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 9-5-1 record in their last 15 road games.
  • Jack Eichel has 37 points (11+26) in 34 road games this season. Eichel’s 1.09 points per game on the road this season ranked as the ninth-best rate in the NHL after last night’s game.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 17 points (10+7) in his last 16 road games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 18 points (4+14) in his last 20 road games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has nine points (1+8) in his last eight road games.
  • Kyle Okposo has five points (3+2) his last five road games.
  • Jason Pominville has recorded a point in each of his last four road games (3+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 (1,255) and faceoff percentage (60.0%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 1,255 wins through 80 games played rank second in NHL history; he needs 14 wins tonight to edge Rod Brind’Amour (1,268 in 2005-06) for the most by any NHL player in a season.
  • O’Reilly will 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 66 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).
  • 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).

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 66 25 38 63 22 20 42

SETTING THEM UP AND KNOCKING THEM DOWN

  • Of Jack Eichel’s 63 points so far this season, 27 have been goals or primary assists recorded during 5-on-5 play (excludes 6-on-5 situations).
  • Through 66 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 after last night’s game)

  • Eichel: 3.67 S/GP (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 1,255 FOW (1st), 60.0% FO% (1st), 2,091 FO (1st), 14 PPG (T-5th), 4 SHP (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:31 TOI/GP (4th)

BUF-FLA CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Jamie McGinn recorded 27 points (14+13) in 63 games for the Sabres during the 2015-16 season.
  • Mark Pysyk was taken by the Sabres in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. In 125 games over four seasons, Pysyk recorded 26 points (5+21).

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Represented Canada alongside Mark Pysyk at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Ian McCoshen at the 2014 and 2015 World Junior Championships.
  • Was named to Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey along with Aaron Ekblad and Vincent Trochek.

Chad Johnson:

  • Johnson, and Radim Vrbata and Keith Yandle were teammates for the Phoenix Coyotes during the 2012-13 season.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Keith Yandle at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Michael Haley for the New York Islanders from 2009-2012.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He and Aaron Ekblad share a birth date. O’Reilly was born on Feb. 7, 1991, and Ekblad was born on Feb. 7, 1996. The two also played together for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Teammates with Jamie McGinn for the Colorado Avalanche from 2011-2015.
  • Played alongside Michael Matheson for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played alongside Michael Matheson for Team Canada at the 2016 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland alongside Aleksander Barkov at the 2012 World U18 Championship and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Matt Tennyson:

  • Played with Michael Haley for the San Jose Sharks from 2014-2016. James Reimer was also on the team for part of the 2015-16 campaign.

NHL Draft:

  • Justin Falk (110th overall) was taken two picks before Colton Sceviour (112th overall) in the fourth round of the 2007 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall by Minnesota), Alex Petrovic (36th overall) and Connor Brickley (50th overall) were all drafted in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) and Jonathan Huberdeau (3rd overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft. They were also teammates for the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) from 2009-2012 and for Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Alexander Barkov (2nd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Aaron Ekblad (1st overall) were the top two picks in the 2014 NHL Draft. Jared McCann (24th overall) was also taken in the first round in 2014.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (206), Girgensons (134), Nolan (123)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (113), Ristolainen (109), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (242), O’Reilly (226), Reinhart (184)

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
81-82: 0-1-0 (0), 5/7, 2/5, 3/3

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)

RECENT MILESTONES
Casey Mittelstadt … 1st NHL goal … April 6 at Tampa Bay
Alexander Nylander … 1st NHL goal … April 6 at Tampa Bay

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