Game Preview: 12/15/18 at Washington


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, December 13
Arizona 1 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Mittelstadt, Skinner, Rodrigues
Goalie: Hutton (25 saves/26 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 33 – Arizona 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 125)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 32 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 32 games
Marco Scandella (upper body, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 8 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29; injured reserve) – 6 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 3 games
Patrik Berglund (illness, Dec. 11) – 2 games

12/12: Assigned D Matt Hunwick to Rochester (AHL) on a conditioning loan
12/15: Recalled D Matt Hunwick from his conditioning loan in Rochester (AHL); Activated D Marco Scandella from IR

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.
Thursday, Dec. 27: Buffalo at St. Louis, 8 p.m.


  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo 5-1 in Washington on Feb. 24
  • Next meeting: Friday, Dec. 21 in Washington
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 3-6-1 on the road.
  • This is the 159th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has an 88-50-20 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-27-11 on the road against the Capitals all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-8-3 all-time on December 15.
  • December 15, 1977: Gilbert Perreault scores a goal in each period to help the Sabres beat the St. Louis Blues 7-4. It was Perreault’s first of a career-high four hat tricks during the 1977-78 season.
  • December 15, 2010: Buffalo gets two third-period goals from Drew Stafford to seal a 3-2 home win over the Boston Bruins, marking the 1,500th win in franchise history.
  • December 15, 2017: Sam Reinhart appears in his 200th NHL game, Jack Eichel records his first career hat trick and Jake McCabe posts a career-best three points (1+2) in a 5-4 overtime loss vs. Carolina.


  • With a goal and an assist in his last two games, Evan Rodrigues is seeking his first three-game point streak since finishing the 2018-19 season with points in three straight.
  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s contest on a four-game point streak (5+2). The Capitals join the Blues, Canadiens and Panthers as one of four NHL teams that Eichel has yet to score a goal against.
  • Sam Reinhart has a goal and an assist in his last two games against Washington.


  • The Sabres are 6-7-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Entering play Friday, their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-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 ties 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 Friday tied for the league lead with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total through 32 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.

Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s seventh of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Boston. The Sabres are 4-2-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-1-2 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 (2) and zero points (0).


  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a career-best eight-game point streak (5+6), 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 the longest by a Sabre this season.
  • Reinhart has recorded 24 points (8+16) in his last 24 games, including eight two-point games during that stretch. With eight multi-point games through 32 games played this season, he is two shy of his career-high 10 in a season.
  • The Sabres are 14-3-2 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 seven games.
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel’s 15 multi-point games ranked third in the league this season, one behind co-leaders Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. Through 32 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 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 32 10 29 39 8 21 29
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 26 74 100 21 54 74
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 32 22 10 32 16 7 23
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 56 26 82 41 18 59

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/14 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 42 PTS (T-4th), 19 W (6th)
  • Eichel: 139 S (1st), 21 EVA (T-3rd), 29 A (T-5th), 29 EVP (T-4th), 39 P (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 13 W (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:45 TOI/GP (4th), 101 hits (5th)
  • Skinner: 5 GWG (T-1st), 3 OTG (T-1st), 16 EVG (2nd), 22 G (T-2nd), plus-19 (T-2nd), 6 PPG (T-6th)

Former Capitals:

  • Sabres assistant coach Chris Hajt played five games for the Capitals during the 2003-04 season.
  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley spent two seasons playing for the Capitals (1996-1998), recording 71 points (17+54) in 141 games played.

Former Sabres:

  • Capitals assistant coach Scott Arniel played for the Sabres for four seasons (1986-1990) and was a teammate of Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley. He later rejoined the organization as an assistant coach from 2002 to 2006.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Capitals F Lars Eller and F Devante Smith-Pelly in Montreal.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team Canada with Capitals F Devante Smith-Pelly at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Patrik Berglund:

  • Played with Capitals G Pheonix Copley, F Lars Eller, F T.J. Oshie and F Dmitrij Jaskin in St. Louis.
  • Won a silver medal with Capitals F Nicklas Backstrom while representing Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics. The two played together again at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played for Team USA with Capitals D Matt Niskanen and F T.J. Oshie at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Capitals D Matt Niskanen and D Brooks Orpik were playing for the Penguins.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Capitals assistant coach Scott Arniel in Buffalo and again in Winnipeg.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Capitals F Dmitrij Jaskin in St. Louis.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for Team USA with Capitals F T.J. Oshie at the 2009 and 2010 IIHF World Championships.
  • Was a teammate of Capitals D Matt Niskanen at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played for Team Sweden with Capitals F Nicklas Backstrom at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Capitals F Nic Dowd was playing for the Kings.
  • Was the Blues’ head coach when Capitals F Lars Eller and F T.J. Oshie were playing in St. Louis.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Capitals D Madison Bowey at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Capitals G Pheonix Copley, F Dmitrij Jaskin and F T.J. Oshie in St. Louis.
  • Has represented the Czech Republic with Capitals D Michal Kempny twice; at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Tage Thompson:

  • Played with Capitals G Pheonix Copley and F Dmitrij Jaskin in St. Louis.

Hits: Ristolainen (101), Girgensons (52), McCabe (42)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (58), Bogosian (51), McCabe (44)
Shots: Eichel (139), Skinner (97), Ristolainen (80)

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: 2-0-0 (4), 7/4, 2/9, 6/6

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 … 8 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 … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)


Leave a Reply