Game Preview: 1/29/19 at Columbus


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Friday, January 18
Buffalo 3 at Vancouver 4
Goals: Rodrigues, Okposo, Reinhart
Goalie: Ullmark (19 saves/23 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 39 – Vancouver 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 173)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 19 games


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.
Thursday, Feb. 7: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9: Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m.


  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
  • Last meeting: Columbus defeated Buffalo 5-4 (OT) in Columbus on Oct. 27, 2018
  • Next meeting: Sunday, March 31 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. Blue Jackets; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 31st game all-time between Buffalo and Columbus; Buffalo has an 11-16-3 series record.
  • The Sabres are 4-8-2 on the road against the Blue Jackets all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-7-5 all-time on January 29.
  • January 29, 1971: Gilbert Perreault scores the first hat trick in franchise history as the Sabres down the Golden Seals 4-2 in California.
  • January 29, 1984: Gilbert Perreault records three points (2+1) in his 1,000th NHL game, a 7-3 win in Buffalo against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Perreault was the 52nd player in NHL history to reach this milestone and is joined by Craig Ramsay as the only two players to play at least 1,000 games with the Sabres.


  • Evan Rodrigues has scored in each of Buffalo’s last three games, marking the longest scoring streak of his career. He now has points in five of his last six games (3+2), including points in four straight road games.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (3+8) in 10 career games against the Blue Jackets.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded 10 points (5+5) in his last 10 games against Columbus.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled 19 points (10+9) in 24 career games against the Blue Jackets, including 12 points (5+7) in his last 11.
  • A win or overtime loss tonight would give the Sabres points in three straight games against the Blue Jackets for the first time since Dec. 3, 2010 to Oct. 27, 2011 (3-0-0).
  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (33) and multi-point games (13) this season. The Sabres are 18-8-4 this season when he 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 10th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Dallas. The Sabres are 4-4-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-2-2 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 (1).

Entering play Monday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and tied for second among all NHL rookies with 26 points (5+21) this season.

  • With 26 points (5+21) through 48 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • Dahlin’s current point total puts him on pace for 44 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.


  • 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 Monday 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.


  • Entering play Monday, Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for second-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 Monday 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.


  • 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:
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 45 16 36 52 12 27 39
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 28 63 91 21 47 68
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 48 30 14 44 23 10 33
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 51 24 75 39 17 56
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 48 11 33 44 10 23 33
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 19 56 75 17 39 56


  • 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 tied for the fourth-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).
  • 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 become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 39 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 to tie for fourth-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/28 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.2% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 27 EVA (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:18 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 30 G (T-2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd), 23 EVG (4th)

Former Sabres:

  • Blue Jackets Head Coach John Tortorella was an assistant coach with the Sabres from 1989 to 1995. Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley was on the Sabres’ roster for one season (1989-90) during Tortorella’s tenure with the team.

Blue Jackets with Western New York Connections:

  • Blue Jackets F Nick Foligno is a native of Buffalo. He is the son of Sabres Hall-of-Famer Mike Foligno and the brother of former Sabre Marcus Foligno.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal with Blue Jackets F Boone Jenner and D Ryan Murray for Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played for Team USA with Blue Jackets F Nick Foligno at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Was a team captain and won a bronze medal for Team USA with Blue Jackets D Zach Werenski at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played for Team North America at the 2016 IIHF World Cup of Hockey with Blue Jackets D Seth Jones and D Ryan Murray.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played for the Rangers with Blue Jackets F Anthony Duclair.
  • Played with Blue Jackets D Scott Harrington in Toronto.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Blue Jackets D Seth Jones in Nashville.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Blue Jackets F Nick Foligno at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Blue Jackets D Seth Jones for Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo played together again at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for Team USA with Blue Jackets F Cam Atkinson, F Brandon Dubinsky and F Nick Foligno at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Was the head coach in St. Louis when Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen was the assistant general manager, and assistant coach Brad Shaw was on the Blues’ coaching staff.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played for Team USA with Blue Jackets F Brandon Dubinsky at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal with Blue Jackets F Anthony Duclair while representing Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Blue Jackets F Boone Jenner and D Ryan Murray at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Blue Jackets G Joonas Korpisalo at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Blue Jackets F Riley Nash in Carolina.
  • Played for Team Canada with Blue Jackets D Ryan Murray at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a bronze medal while representing the United States with Blue Jackets F Cam Atkinson at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

Hits: Ristolainen (148), Girgensons (75), McCabe (62)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (77), Ristolainen (75), McCabe (69)
Shots: Eichel (182), Skinner (153), Ristolainen (116)

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: 3-5-0 (6), 25/29, 1/22, 12/17

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 119-126 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)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)

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
Sam Reinhart … 3 games … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 5 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 6 games … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

Johan Larsson … 300th NHL game … 1/18 at VAN

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