Game Preview: 2/12/19 vs. NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, February 10
Winnipeg 3 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Eichel
Goalie: Hutton (26 saves/28 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/5; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 36 – Winnipeg 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 183)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 25 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Feb. 10) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/8: Assigned Casey Nelson to Rochester (AHL) on a conditioning loan

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Saturday, Feb. 23: Washington at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
ISLANDERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Buffalo on Dec. 31, 2018
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 30 in New York
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 170th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has a 81-64-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 45-28-12 at home against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-9-6 all-time on February 12.
  • February 12, 1983: Craig Ramsay (broken foot) sees his consecutive games played streak end at 776 games, missing his first game in nearly 10 years.
  • February 12, 2008: Thomas Vanek scores his first career hat trick, leading the Sabres to a 5-1 win at Ottawa.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s matchup is the sixth game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • Kyle Okposo has tallied a point in each of his last three games against his former club (2+1).
  • With at least a point in each of his last five games (2+4), Jack Eichel is looking to extend his point streak to six games for the third time this season.
  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 10-for-11 (90.9 percent) in the team’s last five games against the Islanders.
  • Evan Rodrigues has totaled eight points (6+2) in his last 10 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied nine assists in his last 10 contests.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 16-8-4 (.642) record at home. The team’s .642 points percentage at home ranked ninth in the NHL before Monday’s games.
  • Carter Hutton is 10-6-2 at home this season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.48 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner (17+12) leads all Sabres with 29 points in 28 home games this season.
  • Sam Reinhart (7+21 in 28 games) and Jack Eichel (11+16 in 26 games) are both also playing at or above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded a point in six of his last eight 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.
  • With his goal vs. Winnipeg on Sunday, Eichel set a new career high in even-strength points with 43 (14+29) in his 52nd game of the season. His previous high of 42 was set in 67 games during the 2017-18 season.
  • Entering play Monday, Eichel’s 41 assists tied for 14th-most in the league and his 29 even-strength assists tied for 10th.
  • Eichel is currently on pace for 44 even-strength assists this season. Only six different players have recorded at least 44 even-strength assists since the 2005-06 season: Henrik Sedin (3x), Joe Thornton (3x), Connor McDavid (2x), Evgeny Kuznetsov, 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

  • Entering play Monday Rasmus, Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 31 points this season. His 25 assists tied for the rookie lead.
  • With 31 points (6+25) through 55 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 entering play Monday. 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 43 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 previous 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 52 18 41 59 14 29 43
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 27 62 90 21 44 65
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 55 33 17 50 26 13 39
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 49 25 75 39 19 58
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 55 13 36 49 12 26 38
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 19 54 73 18 39 57

 

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 one goal off the 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 2/11 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.1% PK% (8th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-7th), 207 S (T-8th), 29 EVA (T-10th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:10 TOI/GP (6th)
  • Skinner: 33 G (T-2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 26 EVG (3rd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-NYI CONNECTIONS

Former Sabres:

  • Islanders director of goaltending Mitch Korn served as the Sabres goaltending coach for eight seasons (1990-1998).
  • Islanders G Robin Lehner played for the Sabres for three seasons (2015-2018), finishing his tenure with the team with a 42-61-22 record, 2.77 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage.

Former Islanders:

  • Islanders F Kyle Okposo was selected by the Islanders in the first round (7th overall) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Islanders (2007-2016), recording 369 points (139+230) in 529 games.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a silver medal with Islanders F Jordan Eberle while representing Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager for the Penguins when Islanders G Thomas Greiss and F Tom Kuhnhackl were playing in Pittsburgh.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played with Islanders assistant coach John Gruden in Washington.

Phil Housley:

  • Played in New Jersey when Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello was the general manager of the Devils and Islanders assistant general manager Chris Lamoriello was a scout for the team.
  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville alongside Islanders associate coach Lane Lambert and director of goaltending Mitch Korn when Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz was the head coach of the Predators.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Islanders D Johnny Boychuk in Boston.
  • Played with Islanders F Tom Kuhnhackl in Pittsburgh.
  • Played with Islanders F Leo Komarov and F Matt Martin in Toronto. Islanders General Manager Lou Lamoriello was the general manager of the Maple Leafs during Hunwick’s tenure with the team.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck in Minnesota.
  • Played for Team Sweden with Islanders G Robin Lehner at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Islanders F Brock Nelson at the 2014 and 2016 IIHF World Championships.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Islanders assistant coach John Gruden in Boston.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck in Minnesota.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Play for Team Finland with Islanders F Valtteri Filppula at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck in Minnesota.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Islanders F Tom Kuhnhackl in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Islanders F Cal Clutterbuck at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team Canada with Islanders F Jordan Eberle at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Championships.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach for the Oilers when Islanders F Jordan Eberle was playing in Edmonton.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Islanders D Johnny Boychuk in Boston.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a bronze medal with Islanders F Anders Lee while representing the United States at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (161), Girgensons (90), McCabe (75)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (86), Bogosian (85), McCabe (77)
Shots: Eichel (207), Skinner (182), Ristolainen (135)

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: 2-2-1 (5), 17/21, 5/15, 11/13

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 … 3 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 4 games … 400 career games played

Goals
Jason Pominville … 3 goals … 213 goals with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 9 goals … 100 career goals

Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 8 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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