Game Preview: 3/14/19 vs. Pittsburgh

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 12
Dallas 2 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Ullmark (25 saves/27 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 35 – Dallas 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 208)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Jake McCabe (upper body, March 4) – 4 games
TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/10: Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, March 16: Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 17: St. Louis at Buffalo, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, March 20: Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 25: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PENGUINS at SABRES

  • This is the final of three meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Pittsburgh 4-3 (OT) in Buffalo on March 1
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-8-0 at home.
  • This is the 191st game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 67-80-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 42-30-22 at home against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-10-2 all-time on March 14.
  • March 14, 1971: Ron Anderson scores the game-winning goal 55 seconds after the opening faceoff in a 5-0 win at Minnesota.
  • March 14, 1976: The Sabres get three-point nights from five different players, including hat tricks from Jim Lorentz and Gilbert Perreault, in an 8-2 win at Minnesota.
  • March 14, 2008: Buffalo and Carolina combine for 129 penalty minutes and play just 34:43 at even strength as the Sabres top the Hurricanes 7-1, getting multi-point nights from seven different players.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, Buffalo would have a season sweep and three straight wins against Pittsburgh for the first time since the team earned wins in five consecutive meetings from Oct. 10, 2005 to Nov. 17, 2006.
  • The Sabres have already clinched the season series against the Penguins, marking the first time they’ve bested the Penguins in a season since 2012-13.
  • Five of the last nine games between these teams have gone to overtime, including both of the matchups this season. Buffalo has won three of those five games. The Sabres and Penguins haven’t been tied after regulation in three straight games since they tied seven games in a row from Nov. 13, 1977 to Dec. 9, 1978.
  • Carter Hutton has appeared in seven games in the last three weeks, recording a .928 save percentage in those games. He has posted a .923 save percentage at even strength and a .958 save percentage while shorthanded during that stretch.

HOT AGAINST PITTSBURGH

  • 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.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled seven points (2+5) in his last seven games against the Penguins. He skated a career-high 24:45 when these teams met on March 1.
  • Casey Nelson has recorded three points (1+2) in three career games against Pittsburgh.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled four points (2+2) in his first two games against his former team this season.
  • Kyle Okposo has three assists in two games against the Penguins in 2018-19.

HOME COOKING

  • Carter Hutton is 11-6-2 at home this season with a .924 save percentage and a 2.41 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner (20+14 in 34 games) and Jack Eichel (14+20 in 31 games) tie to lead all Sabres with 34 points at home 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.

KILLING IT

  • Buffalo entered play Wednesday ranked fifth in the league with a penalty kill percentage of 82.4 percent this season.
  • The Sabres have allowed just four power-play goals in their last 11 games, going 25-for-29 on the penalty kill (86.2%) and scoring one shorthanded goal during that stretch.
  • During those 29 penalty kills, the Sabres allowed just 47 power-play shots. Buffalo’s goaltenders have a save percentage of .915 while shorthanded during that span, led by Carter Hutton’s 23 saves on 24 shots (.958) in seven appearances.
  • Buffalo’s penalty kill percentage this season is the team’s best mark since the 2010-11 season (83.0%).

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Wednesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and tied for second among all NHL rookies in points (37). His 29 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 37 points (8+29) through 69 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 trails only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) and Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the most points 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: Housley (13) and 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.
  • 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 Thomas Vanek scored 43 in 2006-07. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 72 points this season, setting a new career-high mark, also tying his previous high with 25 goals. 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.

RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • With his goal on March 2 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).

DYNAMIC DUO
Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner have both recorded a point on the same goal 31 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 99 of the team’s 190 goals this season (52.1%).

LEADING THE WAY
Each of the Sabres’ top three scorers is currently on pace to shatter his previous personal best 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 65 25 47 72 17 34 51
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 77 30 56 85 20 40 60
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 69 18 40 58 16 28 44
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 48 69 19 33 52
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 69 36 22 58 28 14 42
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 43 26 69 33 17 50

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for fifth-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 3/13 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.4% PK% (6th)
  • Eichel: 259 S (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:53 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 28 EVG (5th), 7 GWG (T-5th), 36 G (9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (210), Girgensons (116), McCabe (96)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (110), Bogosian (108), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (259), Skinner (224), Ristolainen (168)

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: 2-7-0 (4), 23/34, 6/25, 17/22

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 (5-2; 75-68 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)
March 7 at CHI: L, 5-4 (GDG-Kane)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 2 goals … 100 career goals
Jason Pominville … 8 goals … 300 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 3 assists … 200 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 7 assists … 100 career assists
Jason Pominville … 8 assists … 310 assists with Sabres (T-7th in franchise history)
Points
Sam Reinhart … 2 points … 200 career points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 10 points … 200 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Tage Thompson … 100th NHL game … March 12 vs. DAL

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