Game Preview: 10/4/18 vs. Boston

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
N/A

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 0)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 0 games
Johan Larsson (lower body, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 0 games
Sean Malone (knee, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 0 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
9/29: Assigned D Lawrence Pilut to Rochester (AHL)
9/30: Assigned F Justin Bailey and F Nicholas Baptiste to Rochester (AHL)
10/1: Acquired D Jack Dougherty from Nashville in exchange for F Nicholas Baptiste; Assigned D Jack Dougherty, F Alexander Nylander, D Brendan Guhle and D Brandon Hickey to Rochester (AHL)
10/2: Claimed F Remi Elie off waivers from Dallas; Placed F Johan Larsson, F Sean Malone, F Scott Wilson and D Matt Hunwick on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Oct. 6: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 8: Vegas at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 11: Colorado at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 13: Buffalo at Arizona, 9 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 16: Buffalo at Vegas, 10 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BRUINS at SABRES

  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Boston 4-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 25
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Dec. 16 in Boston
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 290th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 124-121-44 series record.
  • The Sabres are 74-49-23 at home against the Bruins all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 1-4-1 all-time on October 4.
  • October 4, 1991: Brad May scores his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot in his debut, a 5-4 loss vs. Pittsburgh.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo opens the season tonight with the first game of a four-game home stand. The four games mark the longest home stretch to open a season in franchise history. The previous longest was three games (1975-76 and 2015-16).
  • The Sabres have won both of their last two games against the Bruins; a win tonight would give them wins in three straight meetings for the first time since they won four in a row from Dec. 15, 2010 to March 10, 2011.
  • The Sabres are also seeking wins in consecutive visits from the Bruins for the first time since Dec. 19, 2013 and Feb. 26, 2014.
  • Kyle Okposo has 25 points (7+18) in 31 career games against Boston, including 16 points (6+10) in the last 16 matchups.
  • Evan Rodrigues posted three points (1+2) in his first three career games against the Bruins last season.
  • Vladimir Sobotka enters the season ranked sixth among all qualifying active NHL players with a career faceoff percentage of 56.0 percent.

OPENING NIGHT

  • Tonight marks the 48th season-opener in franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 24-18-5 all-time in season-openers; 17-9-5 when opening at home.
  • Buffalo is 21-19-7 all-time in home-openers.
  • The Sabres have previously opened their season against the Bruins twice, including a 5-3 win at Boston on Oct. 7, 1993 and a 9-5 win at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium on Oct. 10, 1974. The team’s nine goals in the 1974 game marked the Sabres’ best output in a season-opener.

CAPTAIN JACK

  • After being named captain yesterday, Jack Eichel becomes the 19th full-season captain in franchise history and the 28th player to wear the captain’s “C” for at least a one-month period for the Sabres.
  • At 21 years of age, Eichel becomes the youngest captain in Sabres history, passing Jim Schoenfeld, who served as the team’s captain as a 23-year-old in the 1975-76 season.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
The Sabres have eight new players on their opening-day roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Patrik Berglund, C Trade (STL) BUHRG-luhnd Went 55.1% on faceoffs in his 10th season with St. Louis in 2017-18.
Rasmus Dahlin, D Draft (1st Overall) dah-LEEN Named Swedish Junior Player of the Year (SHL) in 2017-18.
Remi Elie, LW Waivers (DAL) EH-lee Set NHL highs in every major category in 72 games in 2017-18.
Carter Hutton, G Free Agency HUH-tuhn Led NHL in SV% (.931) and GAA (2.09) with St. Louis in 2017-18.
Conor Sheary, LW Trade (PIT) SHAIR-ee Two-time Stanley Cup Champion (2016 and 2017) with Pittsburgh.
Jeff Skinner, LW Trade (CAR) SKIH-nuhr Ranks sixth in the NHL with 143 5-on-5 goals since entering the league in 2010-11.
Vladimir Sobotka, C Trade (STL) suh-BOHT-kuh Set career-high totals in GP (81), G (11) and GWG (4) in 2017-18.
Tage Thompson, C Trade (STL) TAHMP-suhn Made his NHL debut with St. Louis in 2017-18.

A NEW LOOK

  • As many as eight players could make their Sabres regular-season debuts tonight: Patrik Berglund, Rasmus Dahlin, Remi Elie, Carter Hutton, Conor Sheary, Jeff Skinner, Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson
    • If at least seven of these players dress tonight, it will mark the second-most new players the Sabres have ever dressed in a season-opener, trailing only the nine players who made their Sabres debuts on Oct. 10, 2015 vs. TBL (Carlo Colaiacovo, Jack Eichel, Cody Franson, Chad Johnson, Evander Kane, David Legwand, Robin Lehner, Jamie McGinn and Ryan O’Reilly). The Sabres saw a 27-point improvement in the standings that season.
  • Only 10 of the 20 Sabres players who dressed for the first game of the 2017-18 season appear on the team’s 2018-19 opening day roster.
    • Only six players on this year’s opening day roster suited up for the team in the season-opener two years ago: Zach Bogosian, Zemgus Girgensons, Jake McCabe, Casey Nelson, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Sabres have had a newly acquired player score in five of their last seven season-openers: Jason Pominville (Oct. 5, 2017 vs. MTL), Jack Eichel (Oct. 8, 2015 vs. OTT), Zemgus Girgensons (Oct. 2, 2013 at DET), Steve Ott (Jan. 20, 2013 vs. PHI) and Ville Leino (Oct. 7, 2011 vs. ANA). Each player scored on his first shot, except for Eichel, who scored on his second shot.

A FRESH FACE

  • If he dresses for tonight’s game, Rasmus Dahlin (18 years, 175 days) will become the second-youngest player ever to appear in a game with the Sabres, behind only fellow No. 1 pick Pierre Turgeon (18 years, 41 days on Oct. 8, 1987 vs. MNS).
  • Dahlin would become the fourth-youngest defenseman in the past 20 years to make his NHL debut, behind Zach Bogosian (Oct. 10, 2008; 18 years, 82 days), Mikhail Sergachev (Oct. 13, 2016; 18 years, 110 days) and Jonathan Girard (Oct. 18, 1998; 18 years, 144 days).

2018 PRESEASON

  • Buffalo finished the preseason with a 3-4-0 record; 1-2-0 at home and 2-2-0 on the road.
  • Alex Nylander led all Sabres with five points (1+4) in five preseason games. Four other players also registered point-per-game totals: Jack Eichel (3 GP, 1+3), Sam Reinhart (3 GP, 1+3), Andrew Oglevie (3 GP, 2+1) and Sean Malone (1 GP, 0+1).
  • Jeff Skinner led the team with three goals in four preseason games.

2018-19 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 23 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • Nine were originally drafted by the Sabres — six were first-round selections (Girgensons, 2012; Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Mittelstadt, 2017; Dahlin, 2018), two were second-round picks (Pominville, 2001; McCabe, 2012) and one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012).
  • Nine were acquired in trades: Beaulieu, Berglund, Bogosian, Pominville, Scandella, Sheary, Skinner, Sobotka, Thompson
  • Five were signed as free agents: Hutton, Nelson, Okposo, Rodrigues, Tennyson
  • One was acquired via waivers: Elie
  • Fifteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: Beaulieu, Bogosian, Eichel, Girgensons, McCabe, Mittelstadt, Nelson, Okposo, Pominville, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Rodrigues, Scandella, Tennyson, Ullmark
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: Berglund, Dahlin, Elie, Hutton, Sheary, Skinner, Sobotka, Thompson
  • Four are opening the season on an NHL roster for the first time in their careers: Dahlin, Elie, Mittelstadt, Ullmark

BUF-BOS CONNECTIONS
Patrick Berglund:

  • Played with Bruins F David Backes and G Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis

Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco in Atlanta

Jack Eichel:

  • Eichel is a native of North Chlemsford, Massachusetts, and played college hockey at Boston University. In one year with the Terriers (2014-15), Eichel led all NCAA Division I skaters with 71 points (26+45) in 40 games and became the second freshman ever to win the Hobey Baker Award.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played in Washington when Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco was the head coach of the Capitals

Phil Housley:

  • Played in New Jersey with Bruins’ assistant coaches Kevin Dean and Jay Pandolfo
  • Played with Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa in Winnipeg

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with F Joakim Nordstrom in Chicago in 2013.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Bruins G Jaroslav Halak for the Islanders from 2014 to 2016
  • Played with Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo for the Islanders

Davis Payne

  • He spent parts of two seasons (1995-1997) playing for the Bruins. He skated in 22 games and notched one assist.
  • Played in Boston with Bruins General Manager Down Sweeney
  • Was the head coach of the St. Louis Blues when Bruins F David Backes and G Jaroslav Halak were playing for the team

Conor Sheary:

  • Sheary originally hails from Winchester, Massachusetts. He played college hockey at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (2010-2014) and captained the team his senior year. He finished his collegiate career ranked seventh in UMass-Amherst history is assists (66), seventh in points (104) and 15th in goals (38).

Jeff Skinner:

  • Skinner played with Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom in Carolina from 2015 to 2018.

Steve Smith

  • Was an assistant coach in Carolina when Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom was playing for the Hurricanes

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Sobotka was selected by Boston in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft. He spent three seasons (2007-2010) with the club, appearing in 134 games and recording 22 points (6+16).
  • Played with Bruins F David Backes and G Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis

Matt Tennyson:

  • Played with Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom in Carolina from 2016 to 2017.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: N/A
Blocked Shots: N/A
Shots: N/A

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 0-0-0 (0), 0/0, 0/0, 0/0

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 113-121 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 70-66 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Jason Pominville … 4 games … 664 games played with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Patrik Berglund … 6 games … 700 career games played
Remi Elie … 10 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 10 goals … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Points
Jason Pominville … 4 points … 700 career points
Jason Pominville … 7 points … 497 points with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Conor Sheary … 7 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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