Game Preview: 11/17/18 at Minnesota

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, November 16
Buffalo 2 at Winnipeg 1 (SO)
Goals: Skinner
Goalie: Hutton (25 saves/26 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 32 – Winnipeg 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 67)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 19 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 19 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Nov. 19: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 21: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 27: San Jose at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at WILD

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Wild this season.
  • Last meeting: Minnesota defeated Buffalo 6-2 in Minnesota on Jan. 4
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Wild; 6-4-0 on the road
  • This is the 23rd game all-time between Buffalo and Minnesota; Buffalo has a 9-12-1 series record.
  • The Sabres are 7-4-0 on the road against the Wild all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-13-1 all-time on November 17.
  • November 17, 1979: John Gould scores twice and Don Edwards stops 35 shots as the Sabres top the Minnesota North Stars 4-2.
  • November 17, 2005: Taylor Pyatt scores a hat trick in Buffalo’s 8-5 home win over Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game on a four-game winning streak, marking the longest active streak in the NHL. A win today would give the team its first five-game winning streak since March 19 to 27, 2012.
  • Jeff Skinner’s 10 goals in 10 road games this season tied for the league lead after last night’s game.
  • Jason Pominville has recorded five points (1+4) in his last five games against the Wild, including an assist in both matchups since he re-joined the Sabres last season.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled five points (2+3) in four games against Minnesota since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Jack Eichel has three points (2+1) in his last three games against the Wild.
  • Sam Reinhart (2+1) and Jake McCabe (0+2) each recorded a point in both of Buffalo’s meetings with Minnesota last season.
  • Linus Ullmark stopped 28 of 30 shots to earn a win in his only previous game against the Wild on Jan. 12, 2016.

THE FIRST TWENTY
Tonight’s game is the Sabres’ 20th of the season. The team enters the game with an 11-6-2 record (24 points) through 19 games and currently ranks third in the Atlantic Division. The 24 points already tie the team’s 2011-12 start for the third-best total through 20 games since the 2005-06 season.

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have 26 points through 20 games for the first time since the 2009-10 season. Buffalo has previously posted 26 or more points through 20 games seven times in franchise history and has made the playoffs on each of those occasions.
  • With an overtime loss tonight, the Sabres would have 25 or more points through 20 games for the 13th time in franchise history. Buffalo has made the playoffs in 11 of the 12 previous occurrences.
  • With a regulation loss tonight, the Sabres would have 24 or more points through 20 games for the 15th time in franchise history. Buffalo has made the playoffs in 12 of the 14 previous occurrences.

KILLING IT

  • The Sabres have killed off their opponents’ last 14 power plays dating back to Nov. 1 at Ottawa. It’s the Sabres’ best penalty-killing stretch since the team killed 17 consecutive penalties from Dec. 8 to 22, 2017.
  • Buffalo is a perfect 13-for-13 on the penalty kill in the team’s last six games dating back to Nov. 3 vs. Ottawa. During this six-game stretch, the Sabres’ goaltenders have turned aside 15 shots on the power play and the team has killed off 22:03 of power-play time. This perfect stretch has improved the team to 28-for-30 (93.3%) in their last 11 games dating back to Oct. 21 at Anaheim. Since Oct. 21, Buffalo ranks second in the NHL in penalty kill percentage, trailing only San Jose (96.5%) for the best mark during that span.
  • On the season, the Sabres have killed 46 of the team’s 56 shorthanded situations (82.1%), ranking them eighth in the league as of the conclusion of last night’s game.

THA CARTER IV
Carter Hutton is 4-0-0 with a .950 save percentage and a 1.42 goals-against average in his last four games. With a win in his next appearance, Hutton would tie his longest career winning streak, matching his five-game streak from March 21, 2014 at Calgary to April 13, 2014 at Minnesota.

WHAT’S THE SKINNY?

  • With 14 goals through Buffalo’s first 19 games, Jeff Skinner finished last night’s game trailing only David Pastrnak (17 goals) for most in the NHL this season.
  • Skinner enters tonight’s game on a four-game goal streak, marking his longest goal-scoring streak since his career-best six-game streak from March 18 to 27, 2017.
  • With his 10th goal in the team’s 16th game of the season on Nov. 8 at Montreal, Skinner reached the 10-goal mark quicker than any Sabres player since Thomas Vanek (10 games) in 2012-13.
  • Only four players in franchise history have scored more goals through 19 team games than Skinner’s current total: Dave Andreychuk (17 in 1992-93), Rick Martin (16 in 1972-73 and 15 in 1973-74), Danny Gare (15 in 1975-76) and Thomas Vanek (15 in 2008-09).

WINNING WAYS
Sam Reinhart has recorded seven points (1+6) in his last six games, including three two-point games during that stretch. The Sabres are 9-0-0 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 24-2-3 (.879) in his career when he records at least two.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s third of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 2-1 shootout win at Winnipeg. The Sabres are 3-0-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (1), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (0).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 11 W (T-5th), 24 PTS (T-5th), 82.1 PK% (8th)
  • Eichel: 75 S (7th), 16 A (T-8th)
  • Hutton: 8 W (T-5th), 406 SV (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 1 OTG (T-5th), 60 hits (T-5th), 25:28 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: plus-12 (T-1st), 11 EVG (T-1st), 14 G (2nd)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-7th)

BUF-MIN CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Wild F Marcus Foligno is a native of Buffalo and spent six years (2011-2017) with the Sabres organization, recording 116 points (49+67) in 347 games played with the club. He is the son of former Saber Mike Foligno.
  • Wild assistant general manager Tom Kurvers (1986-87) spent one season playing for the Sabres, scoring 23 points (6+17) in 55 games. Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley was a teammate of his in Buffalo.
  • Wild assistant coach Bob Woods spent one season (2016-17) as an assistant coach for the Sabres.

Former Wild:

  • Sabres F Johan Larsson played one gamed with the Wild after being drafted by the club in the second round (56th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Sabres F Jason Pominville spent parts of five seasons (2012-2017) with the Wild in between his two tenures with the Sabres. He recorded 206 points (76+130) in 327 regular season games and added 23 points (9+14) in 36 playoff games. Pominville still ranks in the top 10 in Wild franchise history assists (10th) and playoff points (3rd).
  • Sabres D Marco Scandella spent parts of seven seasons (2010-2017) with the Wild organization after being drafted by the club in the second round (55th overall) in the 2008 NHL Draft. Scandella scored 89 points (27+62) in 373 regular-season games with the Wild and added nine points (6+3) in 39 playoff games. He ranks fifth in franchise history with two overtime goals.

Sabres with Minnesota connections:

  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. He played two seasons of high school hockey at South St. Paul High prior to turning pro.
  • Sabres F Casey Mittelstadt is a native of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and played high school hockey at Eden Prairie High. Before turning pro, Mittelstadt played one season of college hockey at the University of Minnesota. He put up 30 points (11+19) in 34 games and earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors.
  • Sabres F Kyle Okposo in a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. He played one year at Shattuck St. Mary’s before attending the University of Minnesota. In 58 games with the Gophers, Okposo recorded 51 points (26+25) and was named to the WCHA’s All-Rookie Team and earned Second All-Star Team honors.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Wild D Greg Pateryn in Montreal.

Patrik Berglund:

  • Played with Wild D Nate Prosser in St. Louis.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Wild F Eric Fehr in Winnipeg.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild D Ryan Suter at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played in Atlanta when Wild goaltending coach Bob Mason was a goaltending consultant for the Thrashers.
  • Was the assistant general manager of the Penguins when Wild F Eric Fehr was playing in Pittsburgh.

Remi Elie:

  • Played with Wild D Greg Pateryn in Dallas.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Wild assistant coach Dean Evason in Calgary.
  • Played with Wild General Manager Paul Fenton in Winnipeg and again for Team USA at the 1989 IIHF World Championship. The duo later reunited in Nashville where Fenton was the assistant general manager and Housley was on the Predators’ coaching staff.
  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville when Wild G Devan Dubnyk and F Eric Fehr were playing for the Predators.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild assistant general manager Tom Kurvers at the 1989 IIHF World Championship.
  • Represented the Unites States in international play with Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson at the 2000 and 2001 IIHF World Championships.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Wild G Devan Dubnyk and F Matt Hendricks in Nashville. Wild General Manager Paul Fenton was the Predators’ assistant general manager during Hutton’s tenure with the team.
  • Played with Wild D Nate Prosser in St. Louis.

Johan Larsson:

  • Won a gold medal with Wild D Jonas Brodin while representing Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo reunited later that year while playing for Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States with Wild D Ryan Suter at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild F Matt Hendricks at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Kyle Okposo

  • Played for the Islanders with Wild F Nino Niederreiter.
  • Represented the United States with Wild F Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. Okposo and Suter also played together at the 2009 tournament.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild F J.T. Brown at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Represented the United States with Wild F Zach Parise at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Has played for Team Canada with Wild D Matt Dumba twice – at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the 2016 IIHF World Championship, where they won a gold medal together.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Wild F Mikael Granlund at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Wild F Mikko Koivu for Team Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Wild F Eric Fehr in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Wild G Devan Dubnyk for Team Canada at both the 2011, 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Championships.
  • Played with Wild F Eric Staal in Carolina. The duo also played for Team Canada together at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Wild D Nate Prosser in St. Louis.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach in Carolina when Wild F Eric Staal played for the Hurricanes.
  • Was an assistant coach for the Oilers when Wild G Devan Dubnyk and F Eric Fehr were playing in Edmonton.

Tage Thompson:

  • Played with Wild D Nate Prosser in St. Louis.
  • Won a gold medal for Team USA with Wild F Jordan Greenway at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (60), McCabe (30), Girgensons (27)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (34), Ristolainen (32), Bogosian (29)
Shots: Eichel (75), Skinner (66), Okposo (47)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 5-2-2 (12), 32/25, 4/27, 24/26

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-2; 114-123 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-0; 72-66 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Jason Pominville … 2 games … 681 games played with Sabres (T-9th in franchise history)
Jeff Skinner … 2 games … 600 career games played
Nathan Beaulieu … 4 games … 300 career games played
Evan Rodrigues … 5 games … 100 career games played
Remi Elie … 6 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 2 goals … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 10 assists … 300 career assists
Points
Jack Eichel … 3 points … 200 career points
Jason Pominville … 6 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
Jeff Skinner … 400th NHL point … Nov. 16 at WPG

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