Game Preview: 3/4/19 vs. Edmonton

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 2
Buffalo 2 at Toronto 5
Goals: Pominville, Sheary
Goalie: Ullmark (27 saves/31 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Toronto 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 202)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Vladimir Sobotka (upper body, March 1) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/26: Recalled F Danny O’Regan from Rochester (AHL)
2/27: Assigned F Danny O’Regan to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, March 14: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 16: Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
OILERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Oilers this season.
  • Last meeting: Edmonton defeated Buffalo 7-2 in Edmonton on Jan. 14
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Oilers; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 77th game all-time between Buffalo and Edmonton; Buffalo has a 26-39-11 series record.
  • The Sabres are 15-15-8 at home against the Oilers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-3 all-time on March 4.
  • March 4, 1972: The Sabres acquire Rene Robert in a trade that completes the French Connection.
  • March 4, 1983: Mal Davis tallies four points and 15 Buffalo players appear on the score sheet in a 10-2 win vs. Pittsburgh.
  • March 4, 2009: Thomas Vanek plays in his 300th career NHL game, a 5-1 win vs. Montreal.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Entering tonight’s game, the Sabres are 10-4-1 against the Pacific Division this season, including a 6-0-1 record at home. They have not lost a home game to the Oilers in regulation since Nov. 7, 2014.
  • The Sabres are 26-39-11 all-time against the Oilers but are 11-5-1 against Edmonton since 2005-06 and 4-1-0 against them since the beginning of 2016-17.
  • With a Buffalo win tonight, the Sabres and Oilers will have split a season series for the first time since 2013-14. Each team has swept two of the four season series since then.
  • Conor Sheary enters tonight’s game seeking the second three-game goal scoring streak of his career (last: Nov. 3 to 8, 2018). Sheary has recorded six points (3+3) in his last five games and has totaled four points (3+1) in six career games against Edmonton.

STRIKING OIL

  • Kyle Okposo has tallied 14 points (7+7) in 13 career games against Edmonton, including multi-point efforts in four of his last seven matchups. It’s his best per-game output against any NHL team.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 13 points (2+11) in 10 career games against the Oilers, including multi-point outings in four of his last five meetings with Edmonton. It’s his best per-game output against any NHL team.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled seven points (3+4) in six career games against Edmonton.
  • Vladimir Sobotka has totaled nine points (3+6) in his nine meetings with the Oilers since the beginning of the 2012-13 season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin recorded an assist and led both teams with 12 shot attempts (including six shots on goal and a career-high 11 attempts at even strength) when these teams last met.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 19-9-4 (.656) record at home. The team’s .656 points percentage at home tied for sixth in the NHL before Sunday’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 (20+13) and Sam Reinhart (10+23) tie to lead all Sabres with 33 points in 32 home games this season.
  • Skinner is 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 (12+20 in 30 home games) is also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled 10 points (3+7) in 12 home games in 2019.

RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • With his goal on Saturday at Toronto, Jason Pominville tied Don Luce for 10th-most regular-season goals in Sabres history (216). He now trails Rene Robert by six goals for ninth-most all-time.
  • Pominville needs nine points to tie Luce for seventh-most in franchise history (526) and nine assists to tie him for seventh-most in that category (310). His 719 games played with the Sabres trail Luce by 47 for seventh-most all-time as well.

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 97 of the team’s 183 goals this season (53.0%).

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 70 points this season, setting a new career-high mark. With 23 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 43 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 Sunday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies in points (37) and assists (29).
  • With 37 points (8+29) through 65 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 47 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 eight points (5+3) in his last eight games.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in points (58), assists (40) and multi-point games (17) this season.
  • The Sabres are 22-12-5 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 62 23 47 70 16 34 50
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 29 60 89 20 43 64
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 65 18 40 58 16 28 44
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 23 50 73 20 35 56
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 65 36 21 57 28 14 42
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 45 26 72 35 18 53

MAKING HISTORY

  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season tied for the seventh-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70), 1979-80 (68) and 1977-78 (65), and Daniel Briere in 2006-07 (65).
  • Eichel is one point off the pace to become the first Sabres player to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07. At his current pace, he would trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is on pace to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09 and would have the highest total since Alexander Mogilny scored 76 in 1992-93. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for third-most in the NHL this season entering play Sunday. 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 3/3 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.3% PK% (5th)
  • Eichel: 247 S (T-5th), 34 EVA (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:56 TOI/GP (8th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-3rd), 3 OTG (T-3rd), 28 EVG (4th), 36 G (T-5th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (200), Girgensons (113), McCabe (96)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (103), Ristolainen (102), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (247), Skinner (219), Ristolainen (156)

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: 2-3-0 (4), 16/20, 5/16, 7/10

OVERTIME RESULTS (7-6; 120-127 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)
March 1 vs. PIT: W, 4-3 (GWG-Sheary, 4:11)

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 … 3 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 4 goals … 100 career goals
Jason Pominville … 9 goals … 300 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 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 … 2 points … 200 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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