Game Preview: 12/13/18 vs. Arizona


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, December 11
Los Angeles 3 at Buffalo 4 (OT)
Goals: Girgensons, Eichel, Larsson, Skinner
Goalie: Ullmark (26 saves/29 shots)
PP: 2/8; PK: 4/4; Shots: Buffalo 47 – Los Angeles 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 119)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 31 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 31 games
Marco Scandella (upper body, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 7 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29; injured reserve) – 5 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 2 games
Patrik Berglund (illness, Dec. 11) – 1 game

12/7: Recalled D Matt Tennyson and G Scott Wedgewood from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Casey Nelson on IR
12/12: Assigned D Matt Hunwick to Rochester (AHL) on a conditioning loan

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.
Saturday, Dec. 22: Anaheim at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Coyotes this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Arizona 3-0 in Arizona on Oct. 13
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Coyotes; 5-3-2 at home.
  • This is the 80th game all-time between Buffalo and Arizona/Winnipeg; Buffalo has a 47-23-9 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-8-7 at home against the Coyotes/Jets all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-10-3 all-time on December 13.
  • December 13, 1972: The Sabres defeat the Boston Bruins 7-3 in a game which featured 154 penalty minutes, including 76 by the Sabres alone. Among the penalties was the infamous fight that featured Sabres defenseman Jim Schoenfeld crashing through the zamboni doors with Bruins forward Wayne Cashman.
  • December 13, 2008: Thomas Vanek scores the 10,000th goal in franchise history in a 4-2 win at New Jersey.


  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s contest with five goals in his last three games, marking his longest goal streak since March 3 to 7, 2016.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled 11 points (1+10) in his last 11 games.
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 against the Pacific Division this season, including a 4-0-1 record at home.
  • Buffalo is 13-3-1 in its last 17 games against Arizona, including an 8-2-1 record since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.


  • Jack Eichel has totaled 10 points (3+7) in seven career games against Arizona, including four points (1+3) in three home games. It’s his second-best per-game output against any opponent, trailing only his 16 points in 11 career meetings with the Ottawa Senators.
    • Eichel has more than 10 career points against four NHL teams: Ottawa (16), Toronto (13), Columbus (11) and NY Rangers (11).
  • Kyle Okposo (1+6) and Jeff Skinner (3+4) each have seven points in their last six games against the Coyotes.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled eight points (2+6) in nine career meetings with Arizona. It’s his second-best per-game output against any opponent, trailing only his 12 points in nine career meetings with the Edmonton Oilers.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded four points (1+3) in his last four games against the Coyotes.
  • Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary each have points (1+2) in three of four career games against Arizona.
  • Rasmus Dahlin scored his first career goal when these teams last met.
  • Linus Ullmark has allowed just one goal in two career appearances against the Coyotes, stopping 48 of 49 shots (.980) in those games to post a 0.66 goals-against average.

Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 10-3-2 (.733) record at home this season. The team’s .733 points percentage at home tied for fifth in the NHL entering play Wednesday and puts the Sabres on pace for their sixth-best home record ever, and the best since the 1979-80 season (27-5-8, .775).


  • The Sabres are 6-7-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Entering play Wednesday, their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for most in the league and their .400 win percentage in those games ranked second.
  • Buffalo’s six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season’s total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.


  • The Sabres are 11-2-4 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 .647 winning percentage in one-goal games tie the fifth-best mark in franchise history and would be the Sabres’ best record in one-goal games since 1989-90 (18-6-3, .667).


  • The Sabres are 8-4 in games that have been tied after regulation this season, including a 5-4 record in overtime and a 3-0 record in shootouts. Their five overtime wins have already matched their overtime win total from last season (5-10) and their three shootout wins are the team’s highest total since 2014-15 (8-5).
  • Jeff Skinner entered play Wednesday tied for the league lead with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total through 31 games matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.


  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a career-best seven-game point streak (5+5), topping his previous career high of five games set from Dec. 20 to 29, 2017. It’s the third-longest active streak in the NHL, trailing only Mikko Rantanen and Alex Ovechkin (12 games each) and ties as the longest by a Sabre this season.
  • Reinhart has recorded 23 points (8+15) in his last 23 games, including eight two-point games during that stretch. With eight multi-point games through 31 games played this season, he is two shy of his career-high 10 in a season.
  • The Sabres are 13-3-2 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 recorded his 15th multi-point game of the season on Tuesday vs. Los Angeles (1+1). He has now recorded two points in five of his last six games.
  • Entering play Wednesday, Eichel’s 15 multi-point games ranked third in the league this season, one behind co-leaders Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. Through 31 games, he is three shy of his career-high 18 in a season.

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 to tie the second-highest goal total in Sabres history (56), trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 40 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 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 31 10 28 38 8 20 28
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 26 74 101 21 53 74
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 31 21 10 31 15 7 22
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 56 26 82 40 19 58

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 40 PTS (T-4th), 18 W (T-6th)
  • Eichel: 138 S (1st), 20 EVA (T-4th), 28 A (T-5th), 28 EVP (T-6th), 38 P (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 12 W (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:42 TOI/GP (4th), 97 hits (6th)
  • Skinner: 15 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-1st), 21 G (T-2nd), 4 GWG (T-4th), plus-18 (6th), 6 PPG (T-6th)

Former Coyotes:

  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley spent three seasons (1990-1993) with the Coyotes franchise while they were located in Winnipeg. He recorded 259 points (64+195) in 232 games and still ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in goals (8th), assists (7th) and points (8th) by a defenseman.

Sabres with Arizona Connections:

  • Sabres F Tage Thompson was born in Glendale, Arizona, while his dad was playing for the Phoenix Roadrunners of the IHL.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Coyotes F Alex Galchenyuk in Montreal.

Patrik Berglund:

  • Won a silver medal for Sweden with Coyotes F Mario Kempe at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Has represented Sweden in international play with Coyotes D Oliver Ekman-Larsson three times: at the 2011 IIHF World Championship, at the 2014 Winter Olympics and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The pair won a silver medal together in 2011 and 2014. Coyotes D Niklas Hjalmarsson was also a member of the 2014 and 2016 teams.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager for the Penguins when Coyotes Assistant General Manager Steve Sullivan, F Josh Archibald and D Alex Goligoski were playing in Pittsburgh. Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet was also an assistant coach for the team during this time.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States with Coyotes F Vinnie Hinostroza at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Coyotes F Nick Schmaltz at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Coyotes Assistant General Manager Steve Sullivan in Chicago and New Jersey.
  • Played with Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet in Washington.
  • Played with Coyotes Assistant Coach John MacLean in New Jersey.
  • Played with Coyotes Goaltending Coach Corey Schwab in New Jersey and Toronto.
  • Coached Coyotes F Alex Galchenyuk at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a gold medal together for the United States.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Coyotes D Niklas Hjalmarsson in Chicago.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Coyotes G Darcy Kuemper in Minnesota.
  • Represented Sweden with Coyotes D Niklas Hjalmarsson at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a gold medal for Team Sweden with Coyotes D Oliver Ekman-Larsson at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Coyotes F Michael Grabner.
  • Played for Team USA with Coyotes D Alex Goligoski at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet in Boston.
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Coyotes F Brad Richardson was playing for the Kings.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Coyotes G Darcy Kuemper in Minnesota.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Coyotes F Lawson Crouse at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Coyotes G Calvin Pickard while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played in Pittsburgh with Coyotes F Josh Archibald when Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet was an assistant coach for the Penguins.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for the Hurricanes when Coyotes Assistant Coach John MacLean held the same role in Carolina.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Coyotes G Calvin Pickard at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Steve Smith:

  • Was a scout for the Blackhawks when Coyotes D Niklas Hjalmarsson was playing in Chicago.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a gold medal with Coyotes F Clayton Keller for Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Hits: Ristolainen (97), Girgensons (51), McCabe (42)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (53), Bogosian (47), McCabe (44)
Shots: Eichel (138), Skinner (91), Ristolainen (76)

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
31-40: 1-0-0 (2), 4/3, 2/8, 4/4

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-4; 118-125 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)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)

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 … 9 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 … 7 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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