Game Preview: 12/4/18 vs. Toronto

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, December 3
Buffalo 1 at Nashville 2
Goals: Reinhart
Goalie: Hutton (23 saves/25 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 1/2; Shots: Nashville 25 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 102)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 28 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 28 games
Marco Scandella (upper body, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 4 games
Conor Sheary (upper body, Nov. 27) – 4 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29; injured reserve) – 2 games
Jason Pominville (upper body, Dec. 3) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/30: Activated F Patrik Berglund from IR; Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Conor Sheary and D Marco Scandella on IR
12/4: Activated F Conor Sheary from IR; Placed D Jake McCabe on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec. 8: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 11: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 13: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 15: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 16: Buffalo at Boston, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES

  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Toronto on April 2
  • Next meeting: Monday, Feb. 25 in Toronto
  • The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 7-3-0 at home.
  • This is the 211th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 115-69-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 70-28-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-3 all-time on December 4.
  • December 4, 1975: Jerry Korab scores six seconds into the third period in a 6-6 tie against the New York Rangers at the Aud.
  • December 4, 1977: Andre Savard scores the 2,000th goal in franchise history in a 6-1 win vs. Detroit.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game marks the first time these teams have met with both teams occupying a playoff position since Jan. 21, 2013. It’s the first time it’s happened after the first week of the season since Dec. 16, 2011.
  • The home team has won 26 of the last 34 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • Jack Eichel recorded his 12th multi-point game of the season with two assists on Friday at Florida. After last night’s game, Eichel’s 12 multi-point games tied for fourth-most in the league this season. He is just six shy of his career-high 18 in a season.

HOT AGAINST TORONTO

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (6+5) in nine career games against Toronto, including five (3+2) in four home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded nine points (4+5) in his last nine games against the Maple Leafs.
  • Carter Hutton is 3-0-0 against the Maple Leafs in his career with a .930 save percentage and a 1.99 goals-against average.
  • Kyle Okposo has six points (1+5) in his last six games against Toronto.
  • Jason Pominville has totaled five points (3+2) in his last four meetings with the Maple Leafs.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen recorded four assists in four games against Toronto last season.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded at least a point in each of his last three matchups with the Maple Leafs (1+3).
  • Johan Larsson has recorded 10 points (4+6) in 11 career games against Toronto, including six points (3+3) in his last six.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 9-2-1 (.792) record at home this season. The team’s .792 points percentage at home ranks No. 1 in the NHL and puts the Sabres on pace for their second-best home record ever, trailing only the 1972-73 season (30-6-3, .808).
  • The Sabres are on their first six-game home winning streak since Nov. 28 to Dec. 15, 2014. A win tonight would extend the streak to seven for the first time since Oct. 22 to Nov. 24, 1999. The franchise record for consecutive wins at home is 12 (1972-73 and 1989-90).
  • The team has gone 7-0-1 in its last eight home games, marking its first eight-game home point streak since Dec. 10, 2013 to Jan. 9, 2014 (6-0-2). A point tonight would give the Sabres points in nine consecutive home games for the first time since Feb. 17 to March 24, 2012 (7-0-2).

A NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER

  • Buffalo’s 11-3-1 (.767) record in November gave the team its best points percentage in a month since April 2011 (4-0-1, .900). It was the Sabres’ best full month since October 2009 (8-2-1, .773).
  • The team’s 17-7-3 (.685) record through November’s games marks the team’s best record through two months since the 2006-07 season (19-3-2, .833).
  • Jeff Skinner scored 15 goals in 15 games during November to join Rick Martin in 1972-73 as just the second player ever to score 20 goals for the Sabres before December.
  • Rasmus Dahlin was selected as the NHL Rookie of the Month for November after totaling 10 points (1+9) and a plus-9 rating in 15 games, averaging 19:54 of ice time per game during the month.
  • Carter Hutton was 8-3-0 with a .923 save percentage in 11 appearances in November, including a career-best eight-game winning streak from Nov. 8 to 27.

SCORING EARLY IS GREAT…

  • The Sabres are 12-0-3 when scoring first so far this season. They join the Maple Leafs as one of two teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they’ve opened the scoring in 2018-19.
  • Buffalo is 10-0-2 when leading after the first period. After last night’s game, they were one of four teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they’ve led after 20 minutes in 2018-19.

…BUT SCORING LATE IS NICE TOO

  • The Sabres are 5-7-1 when trailing after two periods. Their five wins when trailing after 40 minutes ranked as the second-most in the league after last night’s game.
  • Buffalo’s five wins when trailing after two have already matched last season’s total and leave the team four third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.

NOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Sabres are 10-2-3 in one-goal games so far this season. Buffalo last won more than half of its one-goal games in a season in 2011-12 (21-9-11). The team’s current .667 winning percentage in one-goal games would tie as the third-best mark in franchise history and would be the Sabres’ best record in one-goal games since 1989-90 (18-6-3).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s sixth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 2-1 loss last night at Nashville. The Sabres are 4-2-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-1-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (0), two points (1), one point (1) and zero points (0).

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak (4+2). With goals in his last three games, he has tied his career-best three-game goal streak set from Feb. 4 to 9, 2016.
  • Reinhart has recorded 16 points (6+10) in his last 15 games, including six two-point games during that stretch.
  • The Sabres are 12-2-1 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-3-4 (.844) in his career when he records at least two.

DYNAMIC DUO
Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points and make a mark in the Sabres’ record books on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them among the best even-strength players in the league this season.

  • If he maintains his current pace, Eichel would finish the season tied for the third-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre (70), trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and would top LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season. He would also become the first Sabre to record more than 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07.
  • Skinner is currently on pace for the second-highest goal total (59) in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 44 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from that season (49) for most in team history.
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 28 5 27 32 4 20 24
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 15 79 94 12 59 70
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 28 20 8 28 15 5 20
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 59 23 82 44 15 59

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 17 W (4th), 37 PTS (T-4th)
  • Eichel: 115 S (3rd), 20 EVA (3rd), 27 A (5th), 24 EVP (T-6th), 32 P (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 12 W (3rd), 589 SV (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 88 hits (5th), 25:30 TOI/GP (8th)
  • Skinner: 15 EVG (1st), 2 OTG (T-1st), 20 G (T-2nd), plus-16 (T-4th), 3 GWG (T-6th), 5 PPG (T-9th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-9th), .927 SV% (10th)

BUF-TOR CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Maple Leafs F Tyler Ennis spent the first eight years of his career with the Sabres after being drafted by the team in the first round (26th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft. He recorded 236 points (97+139) in 419 games played and was an alternate captain during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.

Former Maple Leafs:

  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley played in one regular-season game and three playoff games for the Maple Leafs during the 2002-03 season.

Sabres with Toronto connections:

  • Sabres F Evan Rodrigues is a native of Toronto and played for the Toronto Marlboros and Georgetown Raiders before attending Boston University.
  • Sabres F Jeff Skinner is from Toronto and played for the Toronto Nationals prior to joining the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Maple Leafs D Ron Hainsey for the Jets organization, both when the team was located in Atlanta and later in Winnipeg. Bogosian and Hainsey also played for Team USA together at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Maple Leafs D Ron Hainsey was playing for the Penguins.

Jack Eichel:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Maple Leafs F Auston Matthews at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. They played together again for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Played for Team North America with Maple Leafs D Morgan Rielly at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Phil Housley:

  • Played for the Blues with Maple Leafs President Brendan Shanahan.
  • Coached Maple Leafs G Garret Sparks at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a gold medal together for the United States.

Jake McCabe:

  • Won a gold medal for the United States with Maple Leafs G Garret Sparks at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Maple Leafs D Jake Gardiner at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Represented the United States with Maple Leafs F Auston Matthews at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Maple Leafs F John Tavares.
  • Played for Team USA with Maple Leafs D Ron Hainsey at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Maple Leafs D Morgan Rielly at the 2016 IIHF World Cup of Hockey.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Maple Leafs D Ron Hainsey in Carolina.
  • Played for Team Canada with Maple Leafs F John Tavares at the 2011 and 2012 IIHF World Championships.
  • Won a silver medal with Maple Leafs F Mitchell Marner while representing Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach in Carolina when Maple Leafs D Ron Hainsey was playing for the Hurricanes.
  • Was an assistant coach in Edmonton when Maple Leafs D Martin Marincin was playing for the Oilers.

Linus Ullmark:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team Sweden with Maple Leafs F Andreas Johnsson at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (88), Girgensons (45), McCabe (42)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (46), McCabe (44), Bogosian (41)
Shots: Eichel (115), Skinner (84), Ristolainen (66)

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: 5-2-1 (11), 26/22, 5/25, 18/24

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-3; 117-124 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)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-0; 73-66 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Remi Elie … 2 games … 100 career games played
Kyle Okposo … 2 games … 700 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
Nathan Beaulieu … 300th NHL game … Nov. 29 at TBL
Evan Rodrigues … 100th NHL game … Nov. 29 at TBL
Lawrence Pilut … 1st NHL game … Nov. 30 at FLA

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