Game Preview: 2/21/19 at Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 19
Buffalo 2 at Florida 4
Goals: Eichel, Sobotka
Goalie: Ullmark (37 saves/41 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 4/4; Shots: Florida 41 – Buffalo 34

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 194)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Marco Scandella (upper body, Feb. 17; injured reserve) – 2 games
Kyle Okposo (concussion, Feb. 17) – 2 games
Matt Hunwick (lower body, Feb. 19) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/17: Recalled D Casey Nelson from his conditioning assignment in Rochester (AHL)
2/19: Activated D Casey Nelson from IR; Placed D Marco Scandella on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 23: Washington at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 25: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 1: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 2: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Tampa Bay defeated Buffalo 5-3 in Buffalo on Jan. 12
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 2-8-0 on the road.
  • This is the 102nd game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 55-38-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 29-19-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-9-3 all-time on February 21.
  • February 21, 2008: Thomas Vanek scores his 100th career goal vs. Toronto.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would split the season series with the Lightning for the second consecutive season.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded six points (5+1) in his last six games against the Lightning, including points in each of the three meetings this season (3+1).
  • Reinhart has totaled 18 points (7+11) in his last 18 road games and enters tonight’s game on a three-game point streak (1+2).
  • Tage Thompson has scored in both of the last two games between these teams.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled six points (1+5) in six career visits to Amalie Arena.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has a point in both of his career road games against Tampa Bay (1+1), including his first NHL goal on April 6, 2018.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded an assist each of his last three road games against the Lightning.

DYNAMIC DUO

  • Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner have both recorded a point on the same goal 28 times this season, making them the most productive Sabres duo since Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek combined on 39 goals in the 2011-12 season.
  • At least one of the two has recorded a point on 89 of the team’s 166 goals this season (53.6%).
  • Eichel has posted 14 points (4+10) in his last 13 games and Skinner has totaled nine points (5+4) in his last nine games.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel’s next goal will make him the third player in franchise history to record 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek.
  • With 44 assists so far this season, Eichel is the first Sabres player to record at least 44 assists in a season since Tim Connolly recorded 48 in 2009-10.
  • 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. Pat Lafontaine (52 in 1992-93) is the only player in franchise history to record at least 45 in a season.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Wednesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and tied for second among all NHL rookies with 32 points. He also ranked second among all rookies with 26 assists.
  • With 32 points (6+26) through 59 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. He 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).

SAM I AM
Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in points (52), assists (38) and multi-point games (15) this season. The Sabres are 20-11-5 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 56 19 44 63 14 32 46
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 27 62 89 20 45 65
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 59 36 18 54 28 13 41
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 50 25 75 39 18 57
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 59 14 38 52 13 27 40
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 19 53 72 18 38 56

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 one point off of the pace to become the first Sabres player to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07 and would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is on pace to log the seventh 50-goal season in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 39 even-strength goals would tie for the fourth-most in team history 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.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

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

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/20 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.2% PK% (7th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-8th), 219 S (10th), 32 EVA (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:56 TOI/GP (10th)
  • Skinner: 28 EVG (2nd), 36 G (T-2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (176), Girgensons (96), McCabe (83)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (91), Ristolainen (90), McCabe (83)
Shots: Eichel (219), Skinner (191), Ristolainen (147)

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: 3-5-1 (7), 25/36, 7/26, 16/19

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
Tage Thompson … 8 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 2 goals … 213 goals with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 8 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 3 assists … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 7 assists … 200 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 10 assists … 310 assists with Sabres (T-7th in franchise history)
Points
Sam Reinhart … 8 points … 200 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
Zemgus Girgensons … 400th NHL game … Feb. 19 at FLA
Jason Pominville … 713th game with Sabres (sole possession, 8th in franchise history) … Feb. 19 at FLA

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