Game Preview: 1/11/19 at Carolina


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, January 8
New Jersey 1 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Skinner, Smith, Mittelstadt, McCabe, Pilut
Goalie: Hutton (20 saves/21 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 4/4; Shots: Buffalo 33 – New Jersey 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 168)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 14 games
Jack Eichel (upper body, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 3 games

1/8: Activated F Zemgus Girgensons from IR; Placed F Jack Eichel on IR; Placed F Scott Wilson on waivers
1/9: Assigned F Scott Wilson to Rochester (AHL)

Saturday, Jan. 12: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 14: Buffalo at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 16: Buffalo at Calgary, 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 7 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 4-2 in Carolina on Dec. 23, 2017
  • The Sabres are 4-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 202nd game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo has a 102-73-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-40-17 on the road against the Hurricanes all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-6-4 all-time on January 11.
  • January 11, 1976: Gerry Desjardins earns his second shutout of the season with 28 saves in a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh.
  • January 11, 1994: Randy Wood scores his first career penalty-shot goal in a 5-2 win at Chicago.


  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Hurricanes since March 22, 2016.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (6+3) in nine career games against the Hurricanes, including six (3+3) in his last two.
  • Jason Pominville has 11 points (5+6) in his last nine road games in Carolina.
  • Carter Hutton is 3-1-0 in five career matchups with the Hurricanes with a .927 save percentage and a 2.06 goals-against average.
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (31) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 17-5-4 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s ninth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. Tampa Bay. The Sabres are 4-3-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-1-2 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 (2), one point (2) and zero points (0).


  • The Sabres are 6-11-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes ties for second-most in the league before Thursday’s games and their .316 win percentage in those games ranked fourth.
  • 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 12-4-6 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 .545 winning percentage in one-goal games would be the 16th-best mark in franchise history and would be the Sabres’ best record in one-goal games since 2006-07 (25-9-7, .610).


  • Entering play Thursday, Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for the most in the NHL this season. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner also entered play Thursday tied for second in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total 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.

Entering play Thursday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies with 21 points (4+17) this season.

  • With his 20th point in his 37th game on Dec. 22 vs. Anaheim, he became the fourth-fastest 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history to reach the 20-point mark, trailing only Phil Housley (28 GP), Ray Bourque (30 GP) and Aaron Ekblad (34 GP).
  • Only eight defensemen in NHL history have recorded more points before their 19th birthdays than Dahlin’s
  • Dahlin’s totals put him on pace for 40 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for most ever by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.


  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them each among the best even-strength players in the league this season:
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 40 15 34 49 11 25 36
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 30 67 97 22 49 71
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 43 29 13 42 23 9 32
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 55 25 80 44 17 61
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 43 9 32 40 8 22 30
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 17 61 76 15 42 57


  • If the Sabres’ top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the third-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93. He would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record more than 95 points since the 1992-93 season (LaFontaine/Mogilny/Hawerchuk).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to score the third-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76) and Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56). His 44 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), tying Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 for second-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/10 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 84.1% PK% (4th)
  • Eichel: 164 S (T-6th), 25 EVA (T-8th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:28 TOI/GP (5th), 131 hits (T-7th)
  • Skinner: 23 EVG (1st), 7 GWG (T-1st), 29 G (2nd), 3 OTG (T-2nd)
  • Ullmark: .924 SV% (4th)

Former Hurricanes:

  • Sabres F Jeff Skinner spent eight seasons playing for the Hurricanes after being selected by the team in the first round (7th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. He played in 579 games for the club, scoring 204 goals and adding 175 assists. He still ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played (9th), goals (5th) and points (7th).
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith was on the Hurricanes’ coaching staff for four seasons (2014-2018).

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Dougie Hamilton at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta. The two later worked together in Pittsburgh when Botterill was the Penguins’ assistant general manager and Waddell served as a scout for the team.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Jaccob Slavin at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Shares a birthday with Hurricanes F Jordan Martinook (July 25, 1992).
  • Won a gold medal with Hurricanes F Victor Rask for Team Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan. Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth was also on the Islanders’ coaching staff during Okposo’s tenure with the team.
  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth in Boston.
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Hurricanes F Justin Williams was playing for the Kings.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Has played for Team Finland with Hurricanes F Teuvo Teravainen three times: at the 2013 and 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The duo won a gold medal together in 2014.
  • Won a gold medal with Hurricanes F Saku Maenalanen at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, with Ristolainen scoring the overtime, medal-clinching goal.
  • Represented Finland with Hurricanes F Sebastian Aho at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh. Hurricanes goaltending coach Mike Bales was also on the Penguins’ coaching staff during Sheary’s tenure with the team.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Represented Canada with Hurricanes F Jordan Staal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played for the Czech Republic National Team with Hurricanes G Petr Mrazek at both the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Hits: Ristolainen (131), Girgensons (62), Okposo (55)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (72), Bogosian (71), McCabe (64)
Shots: Eichel (164), Skinner (135), Ristolainen (108)

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: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 2-1-0 (4), 10/6, 0/5, 8/9

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-5; 118-126 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)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)

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
Johan Larsson … 5 games … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 8 games … 300 career games played
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history) 

C.J. Smith … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD
Lawrence Pilut … 1st NHL goal … Jan. 8 vs. NJD

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