Game Preview: 3/1/19 vs. Pittsburgh

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 26
Buffalo 2 at Philadelphia 5
Goals: Eichel, Mittelstadt
Goalie: Hutton (40 saves/44 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/2; Shots: Toronto 45 – Buffalo 36

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 199)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
N/A

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/23: Assigned F CJ Smith to Rochester (AHL)
2/24: Acquired D Brandon Montour from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for D Brendan Guhle and a first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft; Signed G Adam Wilcox to a one-year, two-way contract with an AAV of $650,000; Placed Wilcox on waivers
2/25: Activated F Kyle Okposo and D Marco Scandella from IR; Acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for D Nathan Beaulieu; Assigned F Danny O’Regan and G Adam Wilcox to Rochester (AHL)
2/26: Recalled F Danny O’Regan from Rochester (AHL)
2/27: Assigned F Danny O’Regan to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, March 2: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 4: Edmonton at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 7: Buffalo at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 9: Buffalo at Colorado, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 12: Dallas at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PENGUINS AT SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Pittsburgh 5-4 (OT) in Pittsburgh on Nov. 19
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 14, 2019 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-8-0 at home.
  • This is the 190th game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 66-80-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-30-22 at home against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-10-6 all-time on March 1.
  • March 1, 1986: Led by three-point outings from Dave Andreychuk and Phil Housley, the Sabres defeat the Quebec Nordiques 8-4 in a game that featured 177 penalty minutes between the teams.
  • March 1, 2012: Ryan Miller stops 39 shots to record his fifth of a career-high six shutouts in the 2011-12 season with a 1-0 win at San Jose.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Carter Hutton is 3-0-0 with two shutouts in his five career games against Pittsburgh, posting a .956 save percentage and a 1.36 goals-against average in those contests.
  • Zach Bogosian has totaled seven points (4+3) in seven games against Pittsburgh since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
  • Jack Eichel (3+3) and Sam Reinhart (2+4) have each totaled six points in their last six games against the Penguins. Eichel scored the game-winning goal in overtime in their last meeting on Nov. 19, 2018 in Pittsburgh.
  • Matt Hunwick totaled three assists in his last three games against the Penguins before joining the team last season.
  • Casey Nelson has recorded three points (1+2) in three career games against the Penguins.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with an 18-9-4 (.645) record at home. The team’s .645 points percentage at home ranked ninth in the NHL before Thursday’s games.
  • Carter Hutton is 11-6-2 at home this season with a .923 save percentage and a 2.45 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner leads all Sabres with 33 points (20+13) in 31 home games this season. He’s the first player to score 20 goals at KeyBank Center since Derek Roy had 20 in 2007-08. Thomas Vanek (30 in 2006-07) was the last player to score more than 20 at home in a season for the Sabres.
  • Jack Eichel (11+20 in 29 home games) and Sam Reinhart (10+22 in 31 games) are also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin (1+2) and Jason Pominville (2+1) both enter tonight’s game with points in each of their last three home games.

KILLING IT
Entering play Thursday, Buffalo ranked fifth in the league with a penalty kill percentage of 83.0 percent this season. The team’s 88.9 percent success rate since the beginning of February ranked third in the league. The Sabres have allowed just one power-play goal in their last nine games, going 14-for-15 on the penalty kill (93.3%) during that stretch.

DYNAMIC DUO

  • Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner have both recorded a point on the same goal 30 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 96 of the team’s 177 goals this season (54.2%).
  • Eichel has posted 20 points (7+13) in his last 17 games and Skinner has totaled 12 points (5+7) in his last 13 games.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game on a six-game point streak (4+4). With a point tonight, he would tie his longest streak of the season.
  • Eichel has totaled 69 points this season, setting a new career-high mark. With 22 goals so far this season, he has joined Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.
  • With 47 assists so far this season, Eichel is the first Sabres player to record at least 45 assists in a season since Tim Connolly recorded 48 in 2009-10. The last Sabre to record at least 50 assists was Jason Pominville (53) in 2007-08.
  • 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 Thursday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies in points (37) and assists (29).
  • With 37 points (8+29) through 63 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 48 points this season. He would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday.
  • With seven 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).
  • Dahlin’s three game-winning goals this season are already the most ever recorded by a Sabres rookie defenseman. His total also ties for ninth-most by any Sabres rookie and eighth-most in a season by any defenseman in franchise history.

SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

  • Jeff Skinner has scored 36 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres.
  • His next goal will match his previous career high of 37 set in the 2016-17 season and his 38th goal would tie Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre.
  • Skinner’s 28 even-strength goals are already the most ever recorded by player in his first year with the Sabres, breaking a record previously held by Danny Gare (26) since 1974-75.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 12 points (6+6) in his last 12 games.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in points (57), assists (39) and multi-point games (17) this season.
  • The Sabres are 21-12-5 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 30-5-7 (.798) 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 60 22 47 69 15 34 49
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 29 62 91 20 45 65
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 63 18 39 57 16 27 43
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 23 51 74 21 35 56
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 63 36 21 57 28 14 42
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 47 27 74 36 18 55

MAKING HISTORY

  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season tied for 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 trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for third-most in the NHL this season entering play Thursday. 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 2/28 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 83.0% PK% (5th)
  • Eichel: 240 S (7th), 34 EVA (T-8th), 2 OTG (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:56 TOI/GP (8th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-3rd), 3 OTG (T-3rd), 28 EVG (4th), 36 G (T-4th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (190), Girgensons (106), McCabe (94)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (99), Ristolainen (98), McCabe (91)
Shots: Eichel (240), Skinner (206), Ristolainen (153)

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: 3-6-1 (7), 26/38, 7/30, 19/22
61-70: 1-2-0 (2), 10/12, 4/12, 4/5

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 (4-2; 74-68 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)
Feb. 21 at TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stamkos)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Tage Thompson … 5 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 216 goals with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 5 goals … 100 career goals
Jason Pominville … 9 goals … 300 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 3 assists … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 4 assists … 200 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 7 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 9 assists … 310 assists with Sabres (T-7th in franchise history)
Points
Sam Reinhart … 3 points … 200 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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