Game Preview: 1/16/19 at Calgary

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, January 14
Buffalo 2 at Edmonton 7
Goals: Mittelstadt, Rodrigues
Goalie: Hutton (7 saves/12 shots) / Ullmark (11 saves/13 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 0/1; Shots: Buffalo 43 – Edmonton 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 171)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 17 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/11: Activated F Jack Eichel from IR; Assigned F C.J. Smith to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 30: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 1: Chicago at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 5: Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at FLAMES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Flames this season.
  • Last meeting: Calgary defeated Buffalo 2-1 (OT) in Buffalo on Oct. 30, 2018
  • The Sabres are 4-4-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Flames; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 109th game all-time between Buffalo and Calgary/Atlanta; Buffalo has a 52-37-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-23-12 on the road against the Flames all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-3-5 all-time on January 16.
  • January 16, 1970: George “Punch” Imlach is named general manager and coach of the Sabres.
  • January 16, 2016: Zach Bogosian records his 99th and 100th career assists in Buffalo’s 4-1 win vs. Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game is the second game in a three-game road trip through Western Canada for the Sabres. Buffalo is 9-3-1 against the Pacific Division this season.
  • The Sabres and Flames have split their season series in each of the last four seasons. Buffalo needs a win tonight to avoid the first series sweep by either team since Calgary won both matchups in the 2013-14 season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled seven points (4+3) in seven games against the Flames since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including five points (3+2) in three road games.
  • Jeff Skinner has posted nine points (3+6) in his last eight matchups with the Flames, including five points (2+3) in his last three visits to Calgary.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded eight points (2+6) in his last nine games against the Flames.
  • Jack Eichel has scored in each of his last three meetings with Calgary.
  • Rasmus Dahlin enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak (0+5), tying his previous career-best streak set in November. During his current streak, Dahlin has a plus-2 rating, and has averaged 22:14 of ice time and 3.75 shots per game.
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (32) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 17-7-4 this season when he records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

HEY NOW, YOU’RE AN ALL-STAR

  • Jeff Skinner led all Atlantic Division candidates in fan votes during the NHL’s “Last Men In” vote to earn a spot on the Atlantic Division All-Star Team. He will make his second All-Star Game appearance and first since his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2010.
  • Skinner will join Jack Eichel, also making his second career All-Star Game appearance, as the first pair of Sabres to appear in an All-Star Game together since the team had three representatives (Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell and Ryan Miller) in 2007.

30 FOR 53

  • Jeff Skinner’s goal on Friday at Carolina gave him 30 goals for the fourth time in his career. He became the first Sabres player to score 30 goals in a season since Jason Pominville did so in 2011-12.
  • Skinner’s 44 games needed to reach the 30-goal mark tied him with Rick Martin in 1971-72 as the sixth-fastest Sabre to score 30. He trailed only Alexander Mogilny (30 GP in 1992-93), Pat LaFontaine (31 GP in 1991-92 and 42 GP in 1992-93), Gilbert Perreault (40 GP in 1977-78) and Rick Martin (41 GP in 1973-74).

COMEBACK KIDS

  • The Sabres are 6-13-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-most in the league entering play Tuesday and their .286 win percentage in those games tied for 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.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Entering play Tuesday, 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 Tuesday tied for third 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.

DAH-LEAN ON ME
Entering play Tuesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies with 25 points (4+21) 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).
  • With his 21st assist on Monday at Edmonton, Dahlin passed Ray Bourque for sixth-most assists by an 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history.
  • Dahlin’s totals put him on pace for 45 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.

LEADING THE WAY

  • 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 43 15 34 49 11 25 36
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 28 62 90 20 46 66
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 46 30 14 44 23 10 33
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 53 25 78 41 18 59
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 46 10 32 42 9 22 31
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 18 57 75 16 39 55

MAKING HISTORY

  • 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 fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season and would become the first Sabre to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere in 2006-07 (95).
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to tie for the third-most goals in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76) and Danny Gare in 1979-80 (56). 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 to tie for third-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/15 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 83.1% PK% (6th)
  • Eichel: 176 S (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:23 TOI/GP (7th), 142 hits (10th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-1st), 30 G (2nd), 23 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-CGY CONNECTIONS
Former Flames:

  • Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill played for the Flames for parts of two seasons (1999-00, 2001-02), appearing in six games and scoring one goal.
  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley spent five seasons with the Flames (1994-96, 1998-01), playing in 328 games and scoring 238 points (50+188). Housley served as an alternate captain for the Flames during the 1995-96 season and represented the team at the 2000 NHL All-Star Game. Housley played with Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy while in Calgary.
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith spent one season (1997-98) as an assistant coach for the Flames before joining their roster for the next three seasons (1998-2001), serving as the team’s captain during the 1999-00 season. In 102 games, Smith scored one goal and added 20 assists. Flames assistant general manager Craig Conroy played for the Flames when Smith was coaching/playing for the team.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Flames F Michael Frolik and F Anthony Peluso in Winnipeg.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was a scout for the Stars when Flames G Mike Smith was playing in Dallas.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Flames F James Neal was playing for the Penguins.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Flames F Johnny Gaudreau.
  • Won a bronze medal while representing the United States with Flames D Noah Hanifin at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Flames assistant coach Martin Gelinas in Edmonton.
  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville when Flames F James Neal was playing for the Predators.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played in Boston when Flames associate coach Geoff Ward was an assistant coach for the Bruins.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Flames F James Neal in Nashville.

Jake McCabe:

  • Won a gold medal for Team USA with Flames F Johnny Gaudreau at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Both McCabe and Gaudreau were named to the tournament’s All-Star team. The duo played together again at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Flames D Noah Hanifin at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Flames D Travis Hamonic.

Jeff Skinner

  • Played with Flames D Noah Hanifin, F Elias Lindholm and F Derek Ryan in Carolina.
  • Played in Carolina when Flames Head Coach Bill Peters held the same position for the Hurricanes.
  • Played for Team Canada with Flames F James Neal at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Represented Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championship with Flames D TJ Brodie and G Mike Smith.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach for the Hurricanes when Flames Head Coach Bill Peters held the same role in Carolina. Flames D Noah Hanifin, F Elias Lindholm and F Derek Ryan were all on the ‘Canes roster during Smith’s tenure with the team.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played in Boston when Flames associate coach Geoff Ward was an assistant coach for the Bruins.
  • Has played with Flames F Michael Frolik for the Czech Republic National Team on three separate occasions: the 2006 IIHF World Junior Championship, the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Flames F Johnny Gaudreau at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (142), Girgensons (68), McCabe/Okposo (59)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (74), Bogosian (74), McCabe (65)
Shots: Eichel (176), Skinner (148), Ristolainen (112)

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: 2-4-0 (4), 18/22, 1/17, 10/13

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 … 2 games … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 5 games … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 7 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 8 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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