Game Preview: 12/18/18 vs. Florida


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Sunday, December 16
Buffalo 4 at Boston 2
Goals: Skinner (2), Eichel (2)
Goalie: Ullmark (35 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Boston 37 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 134)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 34 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29; injured reserve) – 8 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 5 games
Lawrence Pilut (lower body, Dec. 15; injured reserve) – 2 games
Nathan Beaulieu (lower body, Dec. 16) – 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
12/17: Assigned D Matt Tennyson to Rochester (AHL)

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.
Monday, Dec. 31: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 6 p.m.


  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo 3-2 (OT) in Florida on Nov. 30
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Jan. 3 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 3-7-0 at home.
  • This is the 98th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 48-40-9 series record.


  • The Sabres are 11-2-3 all-time on December 18.
  • December 18, 1975: Rick Martin scores two goals in the first minute and completes his hat trick in the third period in a 5-2 home win for the Sabres over the Minnesota North Stars.
  • December 18, 1985: Dave Andreychuk, Mike Ramsey and Don Lever all score in the third period to spark a 5-4 come-from-behind Sabres victory over the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.


  • The Sabres are 7-3-2 against the Atlantic Division this season.
  • With losses in their last six games against Florida, Buffalo needs a win tonight to avoid the team’s first-ever seven-game winless streak against the Panthers.
  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s contest on a six-game point streak (9+4). He was named the NHL’s Third Star for the week ending Dec. 16 with nine points (5+4) in four games.
  • Jeff Skinner has points in six straight games (4+3) for the first time since he tallied points in seven in a row from March 16 to 27, 2017.


  • Carter Hutton is 2-0-0 in three career appearances against the Panthers with a .957 save percentage and a 1.22 goals-against average.
  • Sam Reinhart has 13 points (8+5) in 14 career games against the Panthers, including points in each of the last four meetings (3+2). His .93 points per game against Florida trail only his rate against Nashville (6+1 in 7 GP) for his best against any NHL team.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled seven points (2+5) in seven career matchups with Florida.
  • Vladimir Sobotka has tallied six assists in his last seven meetings with the Panthers.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded six points (5+1) in his last six games against Florida.


  • The Sabres have killed off their opponents’ last 18 power plays dating back to Dec. 3 at Nashville. It’s the Sabres’ best penalty-killing stretch since the team killed 19 consecutive penalties from Feb. 12 to 28, 2017.
    • The team last killed 20 or more consecutive penalties when they killed 23 straight from Jan. 10 to 25, 2016.
  • Buffalo is a perfect 17-for-17 on the penalty kill in the team’s last six games dating back to Dec. 4 vs. Toronto. If they do not allow a power-play goal tonight, it will be the first time the team has gone seven games without surrendering a power-play goal since Oct. 24 to Nov. 7, 2015.
    • During this six-game stretch, the Sabres’ goaltenders have turned aside 25 shots on the power play and the team has killed off 26:18 of power-play time.
  • On the season, the Sabres have killed 83 of the team’s 100 shorthanded situations (83.0%), ranking them fifth in the league entering play Monday.


  • The Sabres are 6-7-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Entering play Monday, 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 entered play Monday tied for the league lead with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total through 34 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 10-game point streak (5+11), topping his previous career high of five games set from Dec. 20 to 29, 2017. It was the third-longest active streak in the NHL entering play Monday, trailing only Mikko Rantanen and Alex Ovechkin (14 games each), and the longest by a Sabre since the 2016-17 season.
  • Reinhart has recorded 29 points (8+21) in his last 27 games, including 10 multi-point games during that stretch. With 10 multi-point games through 34 games played this season, he has matched his career-high 10 in a season.
  • The Sabres are 15-3-3 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 26-3-6 (.829) in his career when he records at least two.


  • Jack Eichel recorded his 17th multi-point game of the season on Sunday at Boston (2+2). He has now recorded two points in seven of his last nine games.
  • Entering play Monday, Eichel’s 17 multi-point games tied for the league lead this season. Through 34 games, he is one 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 second-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre (82), trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) 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 log the second-highest goal total in Sabres history (58), trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 43 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 34 14 31 45 11 23 34
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 34 75 109 27 55 82
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 34 24 11 35 18 7 25
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 58 27 84 43 17 60

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/17 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 45 PTS (T-4th), 83.0% PK% (5th), 20 W (T-6th)
  • Eichel: 148 S (1st), 34 EVP (T-2nd), 23 EVA (3rd), 31 A (T-5th), 45 P (T-6th)
  • Hutton: 13 W (T-7th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:52 TOI/GP (4th), 109 hits (5th)
  • Skinner: 6 GWG (T-1st), 3 OTG (T-1st), plus-21 (T-1st), 18 EVG (2nd), 24 G (2nd), 6 PPG (T-9th)

Former Sabres:

  • Panthers Head Coach Bob Boughner played for the Sabres for three seasons (1995-1998), recording 13 points (2+11) in 177 games played.
  • Panthers D Mark Pysyk spent the first four years of his career (2012-2016) with the Sabres organization after being selected by Buffalo in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He recorded 26 points (5+21) in 125 games played with the team.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal with Panthers F Jonathan Huberdeau and D Mark Pysyk while representing Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Panthers G Michael Hutchinson in Winnipeg

 Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America with Panthers D Aaron Ekblad and F Vincent Trocheck at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

 Phil Housley:

  • Coached Panthers F Vincent Trocheck at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a gold medal together for the United States.

 Matt Hunwick:

  • Played for the Rangers with Panthers D Keith Yandle.
  • Played with Panthers G James Reimer in Toronto.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Panthers F Nick Bjugstad at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

 Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Panthers F Michael Haley.
  • Played with Panthers D Keith Yandle for Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.

 Sam Reinhart:

  • Played for Team Canada with Panthers D Aaron Ekblad at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Panthers D Mike Matheson while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

 Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Has represented Finland in international play with Panthers F Aleksander Barkov on three separate occasions: at the 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Panthers G James Reimer at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal with Panthers D Mike Matheson while representing Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Steve Smith:

  • Was a scout for the Blackhawks when Panthers F Troy Brouwer was playing in Chicago.

Hits: Ristolainen (109), Girgensons (54), Okposo (44)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (63), Bogosian (58), McCabe (44)
Shots: Eichel (148), Skinner (102), Ristolainen (86)

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: 3-0-1 (7), 14/10, 4/13, 12/12

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 … 6 games … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Sam Reinhart … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Kyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)


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