Game Preview: 3/16/19 at Carolina

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 14
Pittsburgh 5 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (23 saves/28 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 1/4; Shots: Pittsburgh 28 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 210)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Jake McCabe (upper body, March 4) – 5 games
Zach Bogosian (upper body, March 14) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/10: Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, March 26: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at HURRICANES

  • This is the final of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 6-5 (OT) in Buffalo on Feb. 7
  • The Sabres are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 204th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo has a 102-74-27 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-41-17 on the road against the Hurricanes all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-7-7 all-time on March 16.
  • March 16, 1975: Gilbert Perreault scores three goals and assists on three more as the Sabres defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 11-3 on the road.
  • March 16, 1989: The Sabres get a goal from six different scorers (Andreychuk, Arniel, Foligno, Hogue, Krupp, Turgeon) in a 6-1 win at Hartford.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Hurricanes since March 22, 2016.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 10 points (6+4) in 11 career games against the Hurricanes, including seven (3+4) in his last four.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded three assists in two games against Carolina this season.
  • Jeff Skinner (3+0) and Jason Pominville (2+0) have both scored in each of this season’s previous matchups with the Hurricanes.
  • Evan Rodrigues and Marco Scandella have each tallied a point in both games (1+1) against Carolina this season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin recorded two assists in his first career visit to Carolina on Jan. 11.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 14th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. St. Louis. The Sabres are 7-5-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-6-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (1), two points (5), one point (2) and zero points (2).

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%).

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies in points (37). His 29 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 37 points (8+29) through 70 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.

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.

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.

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).

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 70 18 40 58 16 28 44
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 47 68 19 33 52
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 70 36 22 58 28 14 42
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 42 26 68 33 16 49

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for fifth-most in the NHL this season entering play Friday. 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 3/15 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 81.2% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 259 S (T-7th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:53 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 28 EVG (5th), 7 GWG (T-5th), 36 G (T-9th)

BUF-CAR CONNECTIONS
Former Hurricanes:

  • Sabres F Jeff Skinner spent eight seasons playing for the Hurricanes after being selected by the team in the first round (7th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He played in 579 games for the club, scoring 204 goals and adding 175 assists. He still ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played (9th), goals (5th) and points (7th).
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith was on the Hurricanes’ coaching staff for four seasons (2014 to 2018).

Former Sabres:

  • Hurricanes vice president of hockey operations Rick Dudley played and coached for the Sabres. He spent parts of three seasons (1972 to 1975) on the Sabres’ roster, skating in 279 games and scoring 164 points (70+94). He returned to the organization as the team’s head coach for three seasons (1989 to 1992).

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Dougie Hamilton at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta. The two later worked together in Pittsburgh when Botterill was the Penguins’ assistant general manager and Waddell served as a scout for the team.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Hurricanes F Jordan Staal was playing for the Penguins.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Jaccob Slavin at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Shares a birthday with Hurricanes F Jordan Martinook (July 25, 1992).
  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan and F Nino Niederreiter. Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth was also on the Islanders’ coaching staff during Okposo’s tenure with the team.
  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth in Boston.
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Hurricanes F Justin Williams was playing for the Kings.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Has played for Team Finland with Hurricanes F Teuvo Teravainen three times: at the 2013 and 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The duo won a gold medal together in 2014.
  • Won a gold medal with Hurricanes F Saku Maenalanen at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Finland with Hurricanes F Sebastian Aho at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh. Hurricanes goaltending coach Mike Bales was also on the Penguins’ coaching staff during Sheary’s tenure with the team.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Represented Canada with Hurricanes F Jordan Staal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played for the Czech Republic National Team with Hurricanes G Petr Mrazek at both the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Scott Wilson:

  • Played with Hurricanes G Petr Mrazek in Detroit.
  • Played in Pittsburgh when Hurricanes goaltending coach Mike Bales was on the Penguins’ coaching staff.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (213), Girgensons (116), McCabe (96)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (114), Bogosian (108), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (259), Skinner (226), Ristolainen (170)

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: 2-8-0 (4), 23/39, 6/27, 18/26

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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