Game Preview: 2/9/19 vs. Detroit

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, February 7
Carolina 6 at Buffalo 5 (OT)
Goals: Skinner (2), Rodrigues, Pominville, Scandella
Goalie: Ullmark (24 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 39 – Carolina 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 180)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 24 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/3: Assigned F Remi Elie to Rochester (AHL)
2/4: Recalled F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL)
2/8: Assigned Casey Nelson to Rochester (AHL) on a conditioning loan

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Feb. 10: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17: Buffalo at New Jersey, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 19: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
RED WINGS at SABRES

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Detroit 3-2 (SO) in Detroit on Nov. 24, 2018
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 28 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 3-6-1 at home.
  • This is the 139th game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 61-59-18 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-20-10 at home against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-6-4 all-time on February 9.
  • February 9, 1984: Gilbert Perreault records his 700th NHL assist in an 8-5 win vs. New Jersey.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is Buffalo’s sixth afternoon game of the season. The Sabres are 4-1-0 in the first five.
  • Today’s matchup is the fourth game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • The Sabres have killed 22 of 23 penalties (95.7%) against Detroit in their last six meetings, dating back to March 20, 2017.
  • Marco Scandella (500) and Rasmus Ristolainen (400) are both expected to reach games played milestones today.
  • After tying his career high with his eighth goal of the season on Thursday vs. Carolina, Evan Rodrigues has totaled seven points (6+1) in his last eight games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied eight assists in his last eight contests.
  • Casey Mittelstadt enters today’s game seeking his first career four-game point streak, and has six points (1+5) in his last eight games.

SABRES-RED WINGS

  • Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Buffalo is 6-2-1 against Detroit.
  • Jack Eichel has seven points (3+4) in seven games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled 13 points (1+12) in 13 games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
  • In his last two games against the Red Wings, Carter Hutton has stopped 60 of his 61 shots faced and won both contests.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game opens up Buffalo’s 11th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow afternoon vs. Winnipeg. The Sabres are 5-4-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-3-2 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 (3), one point (2) and zero points (1).

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters today’s game with a 15-7-4 (.654) record at home. The team’s .654 points percentage at home tied for eighth in the NHL entering play Friday.
  • Carter Hutton is 10-5-2 at home this season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner (17+11) and Sam Reinhart (7+21) tie to lead all Sabres with 28 points in 26 home games this season. Reinhart has yet to play two consecutive home games without recording a point in 2018-19.
  • Jack Eichel is also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season, totaling 25 points (10+15) in 24 home games.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded an assist in five of his last six home games.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel recorded his 40th assist of the season on Thursday vs. Carolina, setting a new career high and becoming the first Sabres player to record 40 assists in a season since Jason Pominville tallied 43 in the 2011-12 season.
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel was tied for 15th in the league in assists and his 29 even-strength assists tied for ninth.
  • Eichel is currently on pace for 45 even-strength assists this season. Only five different players have recorded at least 45 even-strength assists since the 2005-06 season: Henrik Sedin (3x), Joe Thornton (3x), Connor McDavid (2x), Evgeni Malkin and Michael Nylander.

RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • With his goal on Thursday vs. Carolina, Jason Pominville moved past Mike Foligno into eighth place in franchise history with 512 points (213+299) as a member of the Sabres. He now trails Don Luce by 14 points for seventh-most.
  • Pominville is also just three goals from tying Luce for 10th-most goals in Sabres history, 11 assists behind Luce for seventh-most in franchise history and five games played from tying Alexei Zhitnik for eighth-most regular-season games played by a Sabre.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 29 points this season. His 23 assists tied for the rookie lead.
  • With 29 points (6+23) through 53 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 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.
  • With six multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Phil Housley (13) and Bobby Orr (8).

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for second-most in the NHL this season entering play Friday. 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 was also 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.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has been playing above a point-per-game pace since the beginning of November, having totaled 43 points (12+31) in 41 games during that span.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (36) and multi-point games (15) this season. His 49 points leave him just one shy of his career high 50 from the 2017-18 season.
  • The Sabres are 20-8-5 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 29-4-7 (.813) in his career when he records at least two.

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:
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 50 17 40 57 13 29 42
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 27 63 90 21 45 66
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 53 33 16 49 26 12 38
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 51 25 76 40 19 59
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 53 13 36 49 12 26 38
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 20 56 76 19 40 59

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 is on pace to become the first Sabres player to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07 and would also trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is on pace to become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 40 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 for fourth-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/8 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.2% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 203 S (9th), 29 EVA (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:13 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 33 G (2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 26 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (159), Girgensons (86), McCabe (72)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (83), Ristolainen (79), McCabe (76)
Shots: Eichel (203), Skinner (178), Ristolainen (131)

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: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 1-1-1 (3), 13/17, 3/7, 7/8

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 119-127 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)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (4-1; 74-67 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)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 game … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 1 game … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 5 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 6 games … 400 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 3 goals … 213 goals with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 10 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 9 assists … 200 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Jason Pominville … 512 points with Sabres (8th in franchise history) … Feb. 7 vs. CAR
Zach Bogosian … 600th NHL game … Feb. 7 vs. CAR

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