Game Preview: 3/25/19 at New Jersey

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 23
Buffalo 4 at Montreal 7
Goals: Reinhart, Nylander, Scandella, Eichel
Goalie: Hutton (37 saves/43 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/4; PK: 1/2; Shots: Montreal 44 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 216)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Jake McCabe (upper body, March 4) – 9 games
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/24: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, March 26: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 28: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 30: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 31: Columbus at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 2: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at DEVILS

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 4-1 in New Jersey on Feb. 17
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 3-4-3 on the road.
  • This is the 157th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has a 76-54-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 35-27-15 on the road against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-8-3 all-time on March 25.
  • March 25, 1992: Donald Audette scores twice in 14 seconds as the Sabres improve to 30-16-2 against the Maple Leafs at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. The team would finish with a 32-16-3 record against Toronto at the Aud.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would clinch their first season-series win over the Devils (2-1-0) since Buffalo went 2-0-1 against New Jersey in 2013-14.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled five points (3+2) in four career visits to New Jersey.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded six points (4+2) in his last seven meetings with New Jersey, including three points (1+2) in his last three.
  • Brandon Montour has recorded three points (2+1) in his last three games against the Devils.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled four points (1+3) in his last five games against New Jersey.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded a point in six of his last eight games against the Devils (2+4).
  • Zach Bogosian has tallied an assist in both of Buffalo’s previous matchups with New Jersey this season.
  • Alexander Nylander (2+2) and Rasmus Dahlin (0+3) each enter tonight’s game on three-game point streaks.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s 15th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Ottawa. The Sabres are 7-6-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-6-2 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 (6), one point (2) and zero points (2).

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 12 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded seven points (2+5), tying Jack Eichel (5+2) and Conor Sheary (4+3) for most points during that stretch. Six of his seven points as a Sabre (2+4) have come at even strength.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 12 games with the Sabres top his full-season rates in each of those categories from both of his first two NHL seasons, as well as his rates through 62 games with Anaheim this season.
  • In these 12 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.56), assists (.83) and points (1.39) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Sunday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies in points (40). His 32 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 40 points (8+32) through 74 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.
  • With his assist on March 20 vs. Toronto, Dahlin passed Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the second-most points ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday, trailing only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • 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 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 26 goals and 75 points this season, setting new career-high marks in both categories. He is the first Sabres player to record at least 75 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both did so in 2007-08.
  • With 49 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 Pominville (53) in 2007-08.
  • He has also 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.

30 FOR 30

  • With his goal on Saturday at Montreal, Jack Eichel has now scored against each of Buffalo’s 30 opponents.
  • By doing so, Eichel became the second-youngest player (22 years, 146 days) ever to score against 30 different NHL teams, trailing only Aleksander Barkov, who did so at 22 years, 139 days with his goal against the Vegas Golden Knights on Jan. 19, 2018.
  • Artemi Panarin (247 games) is the only player who has scored against 30 NHL opponents in fewer games than Eichel’s

SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER

  • Jeff Skinner has scored 37 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres and tying his previous single-season high set in 2016-17.
  • With his next goal, he will tie Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre.
  • Skinner’s 29 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 eight points to tie Luce for seventh-most in franchise history (526) and eight 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 top 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 69 26 49 75 18 34 52
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 77 29 55 84 20 38 58
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 74 19 41 60 17 29 46
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 45 66 19 32 51
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 74 37 22 59 29 14 43
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 41 24 65 32 16 48

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for sixth-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 3/24 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 81.4% PK% (10th)
  • Eichel: 274 S (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:46 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 29 EVG (T-5th), 7 GWG (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (218), Girgensons (129), Larsson (97)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (119), Bogosian (116), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (274), Skinner (242), Ristolainen (175)

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
71-80: 1-3-0 (2), 12/18. 2/10, 7/8

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 (6-2; 76-68 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)
March 17 vs. STL: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 1 goal … 100 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 3 assists … 200 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 8 points … 526 assists with Sabres (T-7th in franchise history)
Rasmus Ristolainen … 10 points … 200 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
Sam Reinhart … 200th NHL point … March 23 at MTL

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