Game Preview: 12/22/18 vs. Anaheim

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, December 21
Buffalo 1 at Washington 2
Goals: Larsson
Goalie: Hutton (22 saves/24 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 4/4; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Washington 24

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 143)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 36 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 7 games
Nathan Beaulieu (lower body, Dec. 16) – 3 games
Jason Pominville (undisclosed, Dec. 21; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/16: Recalled D Brendan Guhle from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Lawrence Pilut on IR
12/17: Assigned D Matt Tennyson to Rochester (AHL)
12/19: Placed F Patrik Berglund on unconditional waivers with intent to terminate his contract
12/21: Activated D Jake McCabe and D Lawrence Pilut from IR; Placed F Jason Pominville on IR
12/22: Assigned D Brendan Guhle to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Jan. 3: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
DUCKS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Ducks this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Anaheim 4-2 in Anaheim on Oct. 21
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Ducks; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 38th game all-time between Buffalo and Anaheim; Buffalo has an 19-14-4 series record.
  • The Sabres are 8-6-4 at home against the Ducks all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-11-3 all-time on December 22.
  • December 22, 1974: Don Luce scores two shorthanded goals and an even strength goal in a span of 3:49 in a 4-0 win at Washington. Luce also picked up an assist on the other Buffalo goal.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The road team has won the last five games between these teams. The Sabres last home victory over the Ducks was a 3-0 win on Dec. 17, 2015.
  • If he dresses tonight, Remi Elie will appear in his 100th NHL game.
  • Kyle Okposo has totaled 12 points (6+6) in 11 career games against Anaheim, including at least a point in each of the last four.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded 10 points (6+4) in his last eight games against the Ducks, including at least a point in each of the last six.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled seven points (1+6) in his last seven games against Anaheim.
  • Jack Eichel has six points (2+4) in seven career games against the Ducks.
  • Zemgus Girgensons has tallied a point in each of his last two meetings with Anaheim (1+1).

SHUTTING OUT THE DUCKS

  • The Sabres have shut out the Ducks seven times in the 37 all-time games between the clubs (Dominik Hasek-3, Martin Biron-2, Chad Johnson-1, Ryan Miller-1).
  • This amounts to one shutout for every 5.29 meetings, the Sabres’ highest shutout-to-games ratio against any NHL team. The next highest current ratio is 10 games per shutout (Columbus, three shutouts in 30 games).
  • The Sabres’ last shutout against the Ducks occurred seven meetings ago (Dec. 17, 2015 in Buffalo).

LEADING THE WAY

  • Since Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart began playing together on Nov. 13 vs. Tampa Bay, the Sabres have gone 11-5-3 and gotten a goal from at least one of the three in all but two of the team’s 19 games.
  • Each of the three has played at or near a point-per-game pace in the 19 games since they began playing together as a line:
    • Eichel: 27 points (10 +17), plus-11 rating
    • Reinhart: 22 points (6+16), plus-9 rating
    • Skinner: 18 points (13+5), plus-9 rating

COMEBACK KIDS

  • The Sabres are 6-8-2 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 .375 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.

NOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

  • The Sabres are 11-3-5 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 .579 winning percentage in one-goal games would be the 11th-best mark in franchise history and would be the Sabres’ best record in one-goal games since 2006-07 (25-9-7, .610).

WORKING OVERTIME

  • 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 35 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.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s eighth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, after a 2-1 loss last night at Washington. The Sabres are 4-3-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-1-2 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 (1), two points (1), one point (2) and zero points (0).

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has recorded 31 points (8+23) in his last 29 games, including each of his career-high 11 multi-point games this season.
  • The Sabres are 15-4-3 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 26-4-6 (.806) in his career when he records at least two.

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • 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 11 games.
  • After last night’s game, Eichel’s 17 multi-point games ranked third in the league lead this season, one behind co-leaders Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon. Through 36 games, he is one shy of his career-high 18 in a season.

DYNAMIC DUO
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 (80), 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 (57), 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 36 14 32 46 11 24 35
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 32 73 105 25 55 80
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 36 25 12 37 19 8 27
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 57 27 84 43 18 62

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 45 PTS (T-6th), 20 W (7th), 83.2% PK% (7th)
  • Eichel: 154 S (1st), 35 EVP (3rd), 24 EVA (T-3rd), 32 A (6th), 46 P (9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:47 TOI/GP (5th), 112 hits (5th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-1st), 6 GWG (2nd), 19 EVG (2nd), 25 G (2nd), plus-20 (T-5th)

BUF-ANA CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Ducks G Chad Johnson spent parts of two seasons (2015-16, 2017-18) playing for the Sabres. In 81 games with the club, Johnson earned a 32-32 record with a .907 save percentage and 2.85 goals-against average.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played in Calgary when Ducks assistant coach Rich Preston was on the Flames coaching staff.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Ducks F Brian Gibbons and F Carter Rowney played for the Penguins.

Rasmus Dahlin:

  • Played with Ducks F Isac Lundestrom for Team Sweden at the 2018 World Junior Championship in Buffalo. The duo won a silver medal together and Dahlin was named the tournament’s top defenseman.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Ducks G John Gibson for Team North America during the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played for the Capitals when Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle was an assistant coach in Washington.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle in Winnipeg.
  • Played in Calgary when Ducks assistant coach Rich Preston was on the Flames coaching staff.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Ducks F Carter Rowney in Pittsburgh.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played for Team Sweden with Ducks F Jakob Silfverberg at the 2010 World Junior Championship, 2011 IIHF World Championship and 2012 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Won a gold medal with Ducks G John Gibson for Team USA at the 2013 World Junior Championship. Both players were named to the tournament’s All-Star team and Gibson earned Most Valuable Player honors.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders when Ducks goaltending coach Sudarshan Maharaj held the same role in New York.

Davis Payne:

  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Ducks D Luke Schenn was playing for the Kings.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Ducks F Carter Rowney in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Ducks G Chad Johnson at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Steve Smith:

  • Was on the coaching staff and later on the team’s roster in Calgary while Ducks assistant coach Rich Preston was one of the Flames assistant coaches.
  • Played in Chicago when Ducks General Manager Bob Murray was a part of the front office and assistant coach Rich Preston was on the Blackhawks coaching staff.
  • Was an assistant coach in Edmonton when Ducks F Andrew Cogliano was playing for the Oilers.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Represented the Czech Republic with Ducks D Andrej Sustr at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Tage Thompson:

  • Played for Team USA with Ducks F Troy Terry at the 2017 World Junior Championships in Canada. The duo won a gold medal together, with Terry scoring the medal-clinching goal in the shootout to defeat Team Canada.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (112), Girgensons (57), Okposo (45)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (64), Bogosian (60), McCabe (46)
Shots: Eichel (154), Skinner (109), Ristolainen (96)

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: 3-2-1 (7), 17/17, 4/20, 18/19

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 … 1 game … 100 career games played
Vladimir Sobotka … 4 games … 500 career games played
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Sam Reinhart … 100th NHL assist … Dec. 18 vs. FLA

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