Game Preview: 12/16/18 at Boston


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, December 15
Buffalo 3 at Washington 4 (SO)
Goals: Eichel (2), Dahlin
Goalie: Hutton (35 saves/38 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 4/4; Shots: Washington 38 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 129)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 33 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29; injured reserve) – 7 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 4 games
Lawrence Pilut (lower body, Dec. 15; injured reserve) – 1 game

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
12/16: Recalled D Brendan Guhle from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Lawrence Pilut on IR

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.
Saturday, Dec. 29: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo 4-1 in Buffalo on Oct. 4
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Dec. 29 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 4-4-2 at home.
  • This is the 291st game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 124-122-44 series record.
  • The Sabres are 50-72-21 on the road against the Bruins all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-11-1 all-time on December 16.
  • December 16, 1976: Rick Martin scores three times in the second period to record his 18th hat trick as a member of the Sabres in a 7-2 Buffalo win against the New York Rangers.
  • December 16, 2011: Drew Stafford scores his 100th NHL goal in a 5-4 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.


  • With wins in their last two visits to Boston, the Sabres are looking to win three straight road games against the Bruins for the first time since the 2005-06 season.
  • The Sabres are 6-3-2 against the Atlantic Division this season.
  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s contest on a five-game point streak (7+2).
  • Jeff Skinner has points in five straight games (2+3) for the third time this season. He will look to extend his point streak to six games for the first time since he tallied points in seven straight from March 16 to 27, 2017.
  • Kyle Okposo has 25 points (7+18) in 32 career games against Boston, including 16 points (6+10) in the last 17 matchups.


  • The Sabres are 6-7-2 this season when trailing after two periods. After last night’s game, 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 11-2-5 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 .611 winning percentage in one-goal games would be the seventh-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 8-5 in games that have been tied after regulation this season, including a 5-4 record in overtime and a 3-1 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 finished last night’s game tied for the league lead with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total through 33 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 wraps up Buffalo’s seventh of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 4-3 shootout loss last night at Washington. The Sabres are 4-2-1 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).


  • The Sabres and the Buffalo Bills are playing on the same day for the third of three times this season after doing so twice last season. The other occurrences were Oct. 21 and Nov. 4.
  • The teams have played on the same date 219 times, with both teams winning their respective games on 48 of those days.
  • The Sabres are 117-68-34 when playing on a Bills game day and the Bills enter this game 92-125-2 on those dates.
  • The last time the Sabres and Bills both won on the same date was Oct. 16, 2016.


  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a career-best nine-game point streak (5+8), 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 (14 games each), and the longest by a Sabre since the 2016-17 season.
  • Reinhart has recorded 26 points (8+18) in his last 26 games, including nine two-point games during that stretch. With nine multi-point games through 33 games played this season, he is one shy of his career-high 10 in a season.
  • The Sabres are 14-3-3 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-3-6 (.824) in his career when he records at least two.


  • Jack Eichel recorded his 16th multi-point game of the season last night at Washington (2+0). He has now recorded two points in six of his last eight games.
  • After last night’s game, Eichel’s 16 multi-point games tied for second in the league this season, one behind leader Nathan MacKinnon. Through 33 games, he is two 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 (75), trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and would match 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 log the third-highest goal total in Sabres history (55), trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76) and Danny Gare (56) in 1979-80. 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 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 33 12 29 41 9 21 30
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 30 72 102 22 52 75
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 33 22 11 33 16 7 23
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 55 27 82 40 17 57

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 43 PTS (T-5th), 19 W (7th)
  • Eichel: 142 S (1st), 21 EVA (T-3rd), 30 EVP (T-6th), 29 A (T-7th)
  • Hutton: 13 W (T-7th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:56 TOI/GP (3rd), 104 hits (5th)
  • Skinner: 5 GWG (T-1st), 3 OTG (T-1st), 16 EVG (T-2nd), 22 G (3rd), plus-19 (T-4th), 6 PPG (T-7th)

Former Bruins:

  • Sabres D Matt Hunwick was selected by Boston in the seventh round (224th overall) of the 2004 NHL Draft. In four seasons with the Bruins (2007-2011), Hunwick skated in 164 games and recorded 56 points (13+43).
  • Sabres F Vladimir Sobotka was selected by Boston in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2005 NHL Draft. He spent three seasons (2007-2010) with the club, appearing in 134 games and recording 22 points (6+16).
  • Sabres associate coach Davis Payne spent parts of two seasons (1995-1997) playing for the Bruins. He skated in 22 games and notched one assist.

Former Sabres:

  • Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa spent the 2001-02 season with the Sabres. In nine games, he had an .850 save percentage and a 2.91 goals-against average.
  • Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco held the same position for the Sabres during the 2013-14 season.

Sabres with Massachusetts Connections:

  • Sabres F Jack Eichel is a native of North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and played college hockey at Boston University. In one year with the Terriers (2014-15), Eichel led all NCAA Division I skaters with 71 points (26+45) in 40 games and became the second freshman ever to win the Hobey Baker Award.
  • Sabres G Carter Hutton played four seasons (2006-2010) of college hockey at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. Hutton finished his collegiate career as the school’s all-time leader in goals-against average (2.33), save percentage (.913) and shutouts (10). He earned a spot on the 2010 Hockey East Second All-Star Team and was named the team’s most valuable player.
  • Sabres F Evan Rodrigues played collegiate hockey at Boston University, posting 121 points (42+79) in 146 games with the Terriers. In 2015 he ranked second in the nation in assists (40) and points (61) and was named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team.
  • Sabres F Conor Sheary hails from Winchester, Massachusetts. He played college hockey at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst (2010-2014) and captained the team his senior year. He finished his collegiate career ranked seventh in UMass-Amherst history is assists (66), seventh in points (104) and 15th in goals (38).

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played for Team USA with Bruins F David Backes at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco in Atlanta.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team USA with Bruins D Matt Grzelcyk at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Bruins D Brandon Carlo at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played in Washington when Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco was the head coach of the Capitals.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Bruins assistant coaches Kevin Dean and Jay Pandolfo in New Jersey.
  • Played with Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa in Winnipeg.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played in Colorado when Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco was the head coach of the Avalanche.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom in Chicago.

Johan Larsson:

  • Won a gold medal for Team Sweden with Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Bruins G Jaroslav Halak and assistant coach Jay Pandolfo.
  • Played for Team USA with Bruins F David Backes at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Played in Boston with Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney.
  • Was the head coach of the St. Louis Blues when Bruins F David Backes and G Jaroslav Halak were playing for the team.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played for Team USA with Bruins F David Backes at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Bruins F Brad Marchand at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played for Team Finland with Bruins G Tuukka Rask at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom in Carolina.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach in Carolina when Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom was playing for the Hurricanes.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Bruins F David Backes and G Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis.
  • Represented the Czech Republic with Bruins F David Krejci at the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played for the Czech Republic National Team with Bruins F David Pastrnak at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and again at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Matt Tennyson:

  • Played with Bruins F Joakim Nordstrom in Carolina.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a gold medal for Team USA with Bruins D Charlie McAvoy at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a bronze medal together the following year at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

Hits: Ristolainen (104), Girgensons (52), Okposo (43)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (60), Bogosian (56), McCabe (44)
Shots: Eichel (142), Skinner (100), Ristolainen (84)

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: 2-0-1 (5), 10/8, 4/12, 10/10

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 (3-1; 73-67 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)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Remi Elie … 2 games … 100 career games played
Vladimir Sobotka … 7 games … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Sam Reinhart … 4 assists … 100 career assists
Kyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)


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