Game Preview: 11/23/18 vs. Montreal

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, November 21
Philadelphia 2 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Skinner, Thompson, Rodrigues, Larsson, Reinhart
Goalie: Hutton (23 saves/25 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Philadelphia 25 – Buffalo 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 75)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 22 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 22 games
Patrik Berglund (upper body, Oct. 21; injured reserve) – 1 game
Marco Scandella (lower body, Oct. 21) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/21: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Patrik Berglund on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Nov. 24: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 27: San Jose at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 29: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 30: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 3: Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CANADIENS AT SABRES

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Montreal 6-5 (OT) in Montreal on Nov. 8
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 23 in Montreal
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 4-3-3 at home
  • This is the 282nd game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 128-112-41 series record.
  • The Sabres are 73-40-27 at home against the Canadiens all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-7-2 all-time on November 23.
  • November 23, 1978: Larry Playfair makes his NHL debut in a 5-2 loss at Boston.
  • November 23, 2011: T.J. Brennan scores in his NHL debut versus Boston, becoming the first Sabres defenseman to score in his first NHL game since Lindy Ruff.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games. It’s Buffalo’s best 10-game stretch since the team posted a 7-1-2 record from March 10 to 30, 2012 and the first time the team has won eight games in a 10-game stretch since the last 10 games of the 2010-11 season.
  • Entering tonight’s game, the Sabres are 3-0-0 in their last three games against the Atlantic Division. They are seeking their first four-game winning streak against divisional opponents since Nov. 15 to Dec. 2, 2014.
  • The Sabres have won both of their previous matchups with the Canadiens this season and are seeking their first three-game winning streak against Montreal since the Nov. 28, 2014 to Feb. 3, 2015.
  • Carter Hutton has appeared in six career games against Montreal, posting a 3-0-2 record with a .934 save percentage and a 1.64 goals-against average.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded a point in each of his last three games against the Canadiens (2+1).
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded 17 points (11+6) in 17 games against Montreal since the beginning of the 2013-14 season. Jason Pominville has totaled 12 points (9+3) in 13 games against the Canadiens during the same span.

GOING STREAKING

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game on their first seven-game winning since the team won its first 10 games of the 2006-07 season.
  • With a win or overtime loss tonight, the Sabres would have points in eight straight games for the first time since they had points in nine in a row (7-0-2) from March 10 to 27, 2012.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 7-2-1 (.750) record at home this season, putting the team on pace for its best home record since the 1979-80 season (27-5-8, .775). That record ties as the third-best home record in the NHL.
  • With 15 points through 10 home games, the team has its best 10-game start to the home schedule since they began the 2009-10 season with an identical 7-2-1 record in their first 10 home games.
  • The Sabres have won each of their last four home games. It’s their first four-game home winning streak since Jan. 7 to 20, 2017. A win tonight would mark their first five-game home winning streak since they won seven in a row from Nov. 28 to Dec. 15, 2014.
  • The team has gone 5-0-1 in its last six home games. A point tonight would give the Sabres points in seven consecutive home games for the first time since Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, 2017 (6-0-1).

SCORING EARLY IS GREAT…

  • The Sabres are 9-0-2 when scoring first so far this season. They are one of four teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they’ve opened the scoring in 2018-19.
    • Their current win percentage when scoring first (.818) is the team’s best since the 1998-99 season (37-28-17, .846).
  • Buffalo is 8-0-2 when leading after the first period. They are one of five teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they’ve led after 20 minutes in 2018-19.
    • Their current win percentage when leading after one (.800) is the team’s best since the 2006-07 season (53-22-7, .893).

…BUT SCORING LATE IS NICE TOO

  • The Sabres are 5-6-1 when trailing after two periods. Their five wins when trailing after 40 minutes rank as the second-most in the league.
  • Buffalo’s current win percentage when trailing after two periods is .417. The franchise record for best win percentage when trailing after two periods is currently the team’s .286 mark (7-19-0) from the 1983-84 season.

NOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Sabres are 7-0-2 in one-goal games so far this season. The team last won more than half of its one-goal games in a season in 2011-12 (21-9-11). The team’s current .777 winning percentage in one-goal games would top the franchise record of .714 (10-4-0) set in the 1977-78 season.

MR. CARTER

  • Carter Hutton is 6-0-0 with a .933 save percentage and a 1.99 goals-against average in his last six games.
  • The six-game winning streak tops his previous high, a five-game streak from March 21, 2014 at Calgary to April 13, 2014 at Minnesota. It’s the longest winning streak by a Sabres goaltender since Ryan Miller’s eight-game streak from Oct. 8 to 30, 2009.
  • Hutton’s 10 wins trail only Frederik Andersen (12 wins) for most in the NHL.

KILLING IT

  • Buffalo is 19-for-20 on the penalty kill in the team’s last nine games dating back to Nov. 3 vs. Ottawa. During this nine-game stretch, the Sabres’ goaltenders have turned aside 25 shots on the power play and the team has killed off 32:38 of power-play time.
    • This stretch has improved the team to 34-for-37 (91.9%) in their last 14 games dating back to Oct. 21 at Anaheim, the third-best mark in the NHL during that span.
  • On the season, the Sabres have killed off 52 of the team’s 63 shorthanded situations (82.5%), ranking them fifth in the league.

WHAT’S THE SKINNY?

  • With 15 goals through Buffalo’s first 22 games, Jeff Skinner trails only David Pastrnak (17 goals) for most in the NHL this season.
  • Skinner has reached the 15-goal mark quicker than in any other season of his career, topping his previous record of 29 games in 2013-14.
  • 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.

WINNING WAYS
Sam Reinhart has recorded 10 points (2+8) in his last nine games, including four two-point games during that stretch. The Sabres are 11-0-0 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-2-3 (.883) in his career when he records at least two.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s fourth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which concludes tomorrow night at Detroit. The Sabres are 3-0-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (2), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (0).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 30 PTS (T-3rd), 14 W (4th), 82.5 PK% (5th)
  • Eichel: 89 S (4th), 20 EVP (T-4th), 20 A (T-4th), 1 OTG (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 10 W (T-2nd), 465 SV (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 75 hits (3rd), 25:15 TOI/GP (9th), 1 OTG (T-9th)
  • Skinner: 12 EVG (1st), 15 G (T-2nd), plus-13 (T-2nd)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-7th)

BUF-MTL CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Canadiens F Joel Armia was drafted by the Sabres in the first round (16th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft and skated in one game for the team.
  • Canadiens F Paul Byron spent one season (2010-2011) with the Sabres after being drafted by Buffalo in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft. He played in eight games and recorded two points (1+1).
  • Canadiens F Nicolas Deslauriers spent four seasons with the Sabres organization (2013-2017), playing in 211 games and recording 30 points (12+18). He was the only player to skate in all 82 games during the 2014-15 season and led the team with 206 hits in 2015-16.

Former Canadiens:

  • Sabres D Nathan Beaulieu was selected by Montreal in the first round (17th overall) of the 2011 NHL Draft. He spent five seasons with the club (2012-2017), skating in 225 games and recording 60 points (7+53).

Local Players:

  • Sabres F Jason Pominville is a native of Repentigny, Quebec, and played junior hockey with the Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL).
  • Sabres D Marco Scandella grew up in Montreal. He played three seasons of junior hockey playing for the Val-d’Or Foreurs (QMJHL).

 Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller in Dallas.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America with Canadiens F Jonathan Drouin at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

 Remi Elie:

  • Played with Montreal D Jordie Benn in Dallas.

 Phil Housley:

  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville when Canadiens D Shea Weber was playing for the Predators.

 Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Canadiens G Antti Niemi and F Andrew Shaw in Chicago. Canadiens goaltending coach Stephane Waite was also on the Blackhawks coaching staff during Hutton’s tenure with the team.
  • Played with Canadiens D Shea Weber in Nashville.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA at the IIHF 2013 World Junior Championship with Canadiens D Mike Reilly. McCabe captained the team and the duo won a gold medal together.
  • Represented the United States with Canadiens D Jeff Petry at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.

 Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States with Canadiens D Jeff Petry at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

 Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Canadiens D Mike Reilly in Minnesota.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played with Canadiens F Jonathan Drouin for Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Canadiens F Max Domi for Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. Both Domi and Reinhart were named to the tournament’s All-Star Team. The duo also won a gold medal together while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

 Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Canadiens F Artturi Lehkonen at both the 2013 and 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships, winning gold in 2014. Canadiens F Joel Armia was also on Finland’s 2013 roster.

 Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Canadiens D Mike Reilly in Minnesota.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Canadiens G Antti Niemi in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played in Carolina when Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller was the head coach of the Hurricanes.

 Steve Smith:

  • Was a scout for the Blackhawks when Canadiens General Manager Marc Bergevin was in the front office and goaltending coach Stephane Waite held the same role in Chicago. Canadiens G Antti Niemi also played for the Blackhawks during Smith’s time with the team.
  • Was an assistant coach for the Oilers when Canadiens D Jeff Petry was playing in Edmonton.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played in Boston when Canadiens Head Coach Claude Julien was the head coach of the Bruins.
  • Played for the Blues when Canadiens associate coach Kirk Muller was an assistant coach in St. Louis.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (75), McCabe (39), Girgensons (35)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (38), Ristolainen (34), Bogosian (30)
Shots: Eichel (89), Skinner (71), Pominville (50)

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: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 2-0-0 (4), 10/6, 1/6, 4/4

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-2; 115-123 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)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)

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
Nathan Beaulieu … 3 games … 300 career games played
Evan Rodrigues … 4 games … 100 career games played
Remi Elie … 6 games … 100 career games played
Kyle Okposo … 8 games … 700 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 6 assists … 300 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
Jeff Skinner … 600th NHL game … Nov. 19 at PIT
Jack Eichel … 200th NHL point … Nov. 19 at PIT
Jason Pominville … 682nd game played with Sabres (9th in franchise history) … Nov. 21 vs. PHI

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