Game Preview: 12/11/18 vs. Los Angeles


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, December 8
Philadelphia 6 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Eichel (2)
Goalie: Ullmark (35 saves/41 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 3/3; Shots: Philadelphia 41 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 113)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 30 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 30 games
Marco Scandella (upper body, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 6 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29; injured reserve) – 4 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 1 game
Carter Hutton (upper body, Dec. 8) – 1 game

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
12/11: Assigned G Scott Wedgewood to Rochester (AHL)

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.
Friday, Dec. 21: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.


  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Kings this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Los Angeles 5-1 in Los Angeles on Oct. 20
  • The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Kings; 8-2-0 at home.
  • This is the 125th game all-time between Buffalo and Los Angeles; Buffalo has a 60-45-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 35-17-9 at home against the Kings all-time.


  • The Sabres are 10-8-1 all-time on December 11.
  • December 11, 1992: The Sabres get goals from seven different players in a 9-3 rout of the Hartford Whalers.
  • December 11, 1993: Dominik Hasek records his third of five shutouts in a 12-game span, blanking the Hartford Whalers with a 25-save performance.


  • With a 17-9-4 record through 30 games this season, the Sabres have posted the team’s 12th best record through 30 games in franchise history and the best since they started the 2008-09 season 19-9-2. The Sabres have made the playoffs in each of the 15 previous seasons in which the team has recorded more than 33 points through the first 30 games.
  • Jack Eichel recorded his 14th multi-point game of the season with two goals on Saturday vs. Philadelphia. Entering play Monday, Eichel’s 14 multi-point games ranked third in the league this season, one behind co-leaders Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. He is now four shy of his career-high 18 in a season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled nine points (1+8) in his last 10 games, marking his most productive 10-game stretch since January 2018.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would earn their first season sweep of the Kings since the teams began playing a two-game series every season in 2013-14. The last season in which Buffalo defeated Los Angeles twice was 1993-94.


  • With the exception of the 2011 NHL Premiere meeting between these teams in Berlin, the home team has won 15 of the last 17 games between the Sabres and the Kings. During this span, the lone losses by teams in their home arenas came in the last two matchups between the teams.
  • The Kings are seeking consecutive wins in Buffalo for the first time since Feb. 9, 1992 and March 15, 1993. Since then, the Sabres are 14-2-1 (one tie) in their last 17 home games against Los Angeles. During this stretch, the Sabres have outscored the Kings 69-29 on home ice.


  • Linus Ullmark has stopped 39 of 41 shots (.951) in his two career meetings with Los Angeles, earning wins on both occasions.
  • Jack Eichel has eight points (3+5) in four games against the Kings since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled 11 points (10+1) in 13 career games against Los Angeles, including eight (7+1) in his last eight and five goals in his last two.
  • Jason Pominville has recorded nine points (2+7) in his last six games against the Kings.
  • Kyle Okposo has totaled five assists in his last five games against Los Angeles.

The Sabres have gone 7-1-2 in their last 10 home games. Buffalo enters today’s game with a 9-3-2 (.714) record at home this season. The team’s .714 points percentage at home tied for sixth in the NHL entering play Monday and puts the Sabres on pace for their eighth-best home record ever, and the best since the 1982-83 season (25-7-8, .725).


  • 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 Monday.
  • 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.


  • 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 Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a career-best, six-game point streak (5+4), topping his previous career high of five games set from Dec. 20 to 29, 2017.
  • Reinhart has recorded 22 points (8+14) in his last 22 games, including eight two-point games during that stretch. With eight multi-point games through 30 games played this season, he is two shy of his career-high 10 in a season.
  • The Sabres are 12-3-2 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-3-5 (.833) in his career when he records at least two.

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 (77), 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 third-highest goal total (55) in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76) and Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56). His 41 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (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 30 9 27 36 8 20 28
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 25 74 98 22 55 77
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 30 20 10 30 15 7 22
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 55 27 82 41 19 60

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/10 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 17 W (T-6th), 37 PTS (T-6th)
  • Eichel: 128 S (1st), 20 EVA (T-3rd), 28 EVP (T-4th), 27 A (5th), 36 P (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 12 W (T-5th)
  • Ristolainen: 94 hits (5th), 25:31 TOI/GP (8th)
  • Skinner: 15 EVG (T-1st), 2 OTG (T-2nd), plus-19 (T-2nd), 20 G (T-4th), 3 GWG (T-9th)

Former Kings:

  • Sabres assistant coach Davis Payne was on the coaching staff in Los Angeles from 2012 to 2017. He won two Stanley Cups (2012, 2014) with the club.

Kings with Western New York ties:

  • Kings F Alex Iafallo is a native of Eden, New York. He grew up a fan of the Buffalo Sabres and played youth hockey for the Buffalo Regals. His sister, Julianna, is a forward for the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Kings assistant coach Dave Lowry in Calgary.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford in Washington.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Kings F Nate Thompson.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford in Boston.

Steve Smith:

  • Played with Kings assistant coach Dave Lowry in Calgary.
  • Played with Kings goaltending coach Bill Ranford in Edmonton.

Hits: Ristolainen (94), Girgensons (48), McCabe (42)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (52), Bogosian (46), McCabe (44)
Shots: Eichel (128), Skinner (88), Ristolainen (70)

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: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29

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
Remi Elie … 2 games … 100 career games played
Vladimir Sobotka … 10 games … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Kyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
Sam Reinhart … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

Kyle Okposo … 700th NHL game … Dec. 8 vs. PHI
Lawrence Pilut … 1st NHL point (assist) … Dec. 8 vs. PHI

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