Game Preview: 2/10/19 vs. Winnipeg

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 9
Detroit 1 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Sheary, Mittelstadt, Okposo
Goalie: Ullmark (28 saves/29 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 3/4; Shots: Detroit 29 – Buffalo 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 181)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 25 games

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

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Feb. 21: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
JETS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Jets this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Winnipeg 2-1 (SO) in Winnipeg on Nov. 16, 2018
  • The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Jets; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 63rd game all-time between Buffalo and Winnipeg/Atlanta; Buffalo has a 27-24-11 series record.
  • The Sabres are 17-10-4 at home against the Jets/Thrashers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-9-2 all-time on February 10.
  • February 10, 1980: George “Punch” Imlach, Roger Crozier and Frank Christie become the first three members of the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame.
  • February 10, 1993: Pat LaFontaine posts the last six-point game by a Sabres player, tallying one goal and five assists in a 6-2 Sabres win at Winnipeg.
  • February 10, 2008: Patrick Kaleta scores his first NHL goal in a 5-3 win at home against Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is Buffalo’s seventh afternoon game of the season. The Sabres are 5-1-0 in the first six.
  • Today’s matchup is the fifth game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • With a win today, the Sabres would sweep the season series against the Jets for the third time in four seasons. The teams have not split the series since the 2013-14 season.
  • Evan Rodrigues has totaled eight points (6+2) in his last nine games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied nine assists in his last nine contests.
  • Casey Mittelstadt enters today’s game on a career-best, four-game point streak and has seven points (2+5) in his last nine games.

HOT AGAINST WINNIPEG

  • Carter Hutton has a 5-4-1 record and a .936 save percentage in 11 career appearances against Winnipeg.
  • Linus Ullmark stopped 42 of 44 shots (.955) to earn the win in his only previous meeting with the Jets on Jan. 10, 2016.
  • Jason Pominville has seven points (3+4) in his last four games against Winnipeg.
  • Kyle Okposo has 15 points (5+10) in his last 15 games against the Jets. In 27 career games against Winnipeg/Atlanta, Okposo has posted nine multi-point outings, including four in his seven matchups with the Jets since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled six points (3+3) in six career games against Winnipeg.
  • Marco Scandella has five points (2+3) in his last six games against the Jets.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded five points (3+2) in five games against Winnipeg since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Evan Rodrigues has recorded two assists in two career games against the Jets.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 11th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began yesterday with a 3-1 win vs. Detroit. The Sabres are 6-4-1 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 16-7-4 (.667) record at home. The team’s .667 points percentage at home tied for eighth in the NHL after yesterday’s game.
  • 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 27 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 26 points (10+16) in 25 home games.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded a point in six of his last seven home games (1+5).

AT THE 50-GAME ULLMARK
After making 28 saves on 29 shots in Saturday’s win vs. Detroit, Linus Ullmark is 21-18-6 with a .914 save percentage through 50 career appearances. Ullmark’s .914 mark through 50 games is the best by any goaltender who played his first 50 games with the Sabres.

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.
  • After yesterday’s game, Eichel’s 41 assists tied for 13th-most in the league 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 four games played from tying Alexei Zhitnik for eighth-most regular-season games played by a Sabre.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • After yesterday’s game, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 30 points this season. His 24 assists led all rookies.
  • With 30 points (6+24) through 54 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 46 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 after yesterday’s game. 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 42 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 51 17 41 58 13 29 42
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 26 64 90 20 45 65
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 54 33 16 49 26 12 38
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 50 24 74 39 18 58
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 54 13 36 49 12 26 38
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 20 55 74 18 39 58

MAKING HISTORY

  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander 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 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 after yesterday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.0% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 29 EVA (T-9th), 203 S (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:11 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 33 G (2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 26 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-WPG CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Jets goaltending coach Wade Flaherty was selected by the Sabres in the ninth round (181st overall) in the 1988 NHL Draft.
  • Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy spent parts of two seasons with the Sabres (1994-1996), playing in 84 games and recording 16 points (7+9).
  • Jets D Dmitry Kulikov spent one season with the Sabres (2016-17), skating in 47 games and recording five points (2+3).
  • Jets D Tyler Myers spent six seasons (2009-2015) with the Sabres after being selected by the team in the first round (12th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, recording 151 points (45+106) in 485 games played. He won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie and earned All-Rookie Team honors at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season.
  • Jets F Brendan Lemieux was selected by the Sabres in the second round (31st overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Former Jets:

  • Sabres D Zach Bogosian spent parts of seven seasons (2008-2015) with the Jets organization after being selected by the Thrashers in the first round (third overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft. He skated in 393 games and recorded 127 points (40+87), and currently ranks in the top five among franchise defensemen in goals (3rd), assists (5th), points (4th) and games played (3rd).
  • Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill grew up in Winnipeg and spent part of one season with the Jets franchise when they were located in Atlanta. In 25 games with the Thrashers, Botterill scored one goal and had five assists.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal with Jets F Mark Scheifele while representing Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team USA with Jets F Andrew Copp at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played for Team North America with Jets G Connor Hellebuyck, F Mark Scheifele and D Jacob Trouba at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Phil Housley:

  • Coached Jets D Jacob Trouba at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a gold medal together for the United States.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Jets F Blake Wheeler in Boston.

Jake McCabe:

  • Won a gold medal with Jets D Jacob Trouba for the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Both McCabe and Trouba were named to the tournament’s All-Star Team.
  • Represented the United States with Jets F Blake Wheeler at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Jets F Kyle Connor at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Jets assistant coach Todd Woodcroft was a scout for the Kings.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played for Team Canada with Jets D Josh Morrissey at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2014 and 2015. The duo won a gold medal together in 2015 and both were named to the tournament’s All-Star Team.
  • Won a gold medal with Jets F Mark Scheifele while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Jets F Patrik Laine at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for the Hurricanes when Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice held the same role in Carolina.
  • Won a silver medal with Jets F Mark Scheifele for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Steve Smith:

  • Was a scout for the Blackhawks when Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was the assistant general manager in Chicago.
  • Played with Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy in Edmonton.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Jets F Blake Wheeler in Boston.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a gold medal with Jets F Jack Roslovic while representing the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (159), Girgensons (87), McCabe (72)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (85), Ristolainen (84), McCabe (77)
Shots: Eichel (203), Skinner (179), Ristolainen (132)

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: 2-1-1 (5), 16/18, 5/10, 10/12

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
Jason Pominville … 4 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 5 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
Rasmus Ristolainen … 400th NHL game … Feb. 9 vs. DET
Marco Scandella … 500th NHL game … Feb. 9 vs. DET

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