Game Preview: 12/8/18 vs. Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 4
Toronto 4 at Buffalo 3 (OT)
Goals: Eichel (2), Reinhart
Goalie: Ullmark (26 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 41 – Toronto 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 107)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 29 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 29 games
Marco Scandella (upper body, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 5 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29; injured reserve) – 3 games
Jason Pominville (upper body, Dec. 3) – 2 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/4: Activated F Conor Sheary from IR; Placed D Jake McCabe on IR
12/5: Assigned D Matt Tennyson to Rochester (AHL)
12/7: Recalled D Matt Tennyson and G Scott Wedgewood from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Casey Nelson on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, Dec. 18: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
FLYERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Philadelphia 5-2 in Buffalo on Nov. 21
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 26 in Philadelphia
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 6-4-0 at home
  • This is the 178th game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 69-84-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-33-10 at home against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-5-5 all-time on December 8.
  • December 8, 1974: Gary Bromley needs to make just 14 saves to earn a 5-0 shutout victory against the Minnesota North Stars.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is Buffalo’s fifth afternoon game of the season. The Sabres are 4-0-0 in the first four.
  • Kyle Okposo is expected to appear in his 700th NHL game this afternoon.
  • Linus Ullmark recorded his first career win against the Flyers on Oct. 30, 2015 in Buffalo after stopping 27 of 28 Philadelphia shots.
  • Jack Eichel has eight points (5+3) in his last eight games against Philadelphia, including seven (5+2) in five home games.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded four points (3+1) in his last four games against the Flyers.
  • Jack Eichel recorded his 13th multi-point game of the season with two goals on Tuesday vs. Toronto. Entering play Friday, Eichel’s 13 multi-point games tied for third-most in the league this season. He is now five shy of his career-high 18 in a season.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters today’s game with a 9-2-2 (.769) record at home this season. The team’s .769 points percentage at home ranks first in the NHL and puts the Sabres on pace for their fourth-best home record ever, and the best since the 1979-80 season (27-5-8, .775).
  • The Sabres have gone 7-0-2 in their last nine home games, marking its first nine-game home point streak since Feb. 17 to March 24, 2012 (7-0-2). A point today would give the Sabres points in 10 consecutive home games for the first time since Dec. 13, 2011 to Feb. 10, 2012 (6-0-4).

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. Entering play Friday, 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 5-7-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their five wins when trailing after 40 minutes ranked as the second-most in the league entering play Friday.
  • 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

  • Thirteen of Buffalo’s last 14 games have been decided by a single goal, including each of the last seven. The Sabres have never had 14 games in a 15-game span decided by one goal (or tied) and have only had eight straight one-goal games (or ties) once in franchise history: March 15 to April 3, 1999 (3-3-2).
  • The Sabres are 10-2-4 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 .625 winning percentage in one-goal games would be the sixth-best mark in franchise history and would be the Sabres’ best record in one-goal games since 1989-90 (18-6-3, .667).

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart enters today’s game on a five-game point streak (5+3), matching his career high set from Dec. 20 to 29, 2017. The streak includes goals in each of his last four games, marking the longest goal streak of his career.
  • Reinhart has recorded 18 points (7+11) in his last 16 games, including seven two-point games during that stretch.
  • The Sabres are 12-2-2 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-3-5 (.833) 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 with the third-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre (74), 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 95 points since the 1992-93 season (LaFontaine/Mogilny/Hawerchuk).
  • Skinner is currently on pace for the second-highest goal total (57) in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 42 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from that season (49) and Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 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 29 7 27 34 6 20 26
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 20 76 96 17 57 74
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 29 20 9 29 15 6 21
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 57 25 82 42 17 59

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/7 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 17 W (T-5th), 37 PTS (T-5th)
  • Eichel: 123 S (1st), 20 EVA (T-3rd), 27 A (5th), 26 EVP (T-5th), 34 P (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 12 W (T-3rd), 587 SV (9th)
  • Ristolainen: 91 hits (5th), 25:33 TOI/GP (8th)
  • Skinner: 15 EVG (1st), 2 OTG (T-2nd), plus-19 (3rd), 20 G (T-4th), 3 GWG (T-6th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-10th)

BUF-PHI CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Flyers G Michal Neuvirth spent parts of two seasons (2013-2015) with the Sabres. In 29 games played, Neuvirth had a 6-19-3 record, posting a .921 save percentage and a 2.96 goals-against average.
  • Flyers F Phil Varone played for the Sabres for parts of three seasons from 2013-2016, totaling nine points (5+4) in 42 games with the team.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Flyers F Dale Weise in Montreal.

Patrik Berglund:

  • Played with Flyers F Jori Lehtera in St. Louis.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Flyers assistant coach Gord Murphy in Atlanta.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America with Flyers F Sean Couturier at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Flyers assistant coach Ian Laperriere in St. Louis.
  • Coached Flyers D Shayne Gostisbehere to a gold medal at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Flyers D Andrew MacDonald and G Michal Neuvirth.
  • Played for Team USA with Flyers F James van Riemsdyk at the 2007 and 2008 IIHF World Junior Championships. The duo won a bronze medal together in 2007.

Davis Payne:

  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Flyers goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh was the goaltending development coach.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Flyers D Christian Folin in Minnesota.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Flyers F Jori Lehtera at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Flyers F Sean Couturier, F Claude Giroux and F Wayne Simmonds at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Skinner, Giroux and Simmonds previously played together at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Flyers F Jori Lehtera in St. Louis.
  • Has represented the Czech Republic with Flyers F Jakub Voracek on three separate occasions: at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship, at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played with Flyers G Michal Neuvirth for the Czech Republic at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Played for the Czech Republic National Team with Flyers D Radko Gudas at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (91), Girgensons (48), McCabe (42)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (49), Bogosian (45), McCabe (44)
Shots: Eichel (123), Skinner (88), Ristolainen (69)

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: 5-2-2 (12), 29/26, 5/27, 20/26

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-4; 117-125 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)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)

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
Kyle Okposo … 1 game … 700 career games played
Remi Elie … 2 games … 100 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
N/A

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