Game Preview: 3/28/19 vs. Detroit

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 26
Buffalo 0 at Ottawa 4
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (27 saves/31 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 3/4; Shots: Buffalo 35 – Ottawa 31

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 223)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Jake McCabe (upper body, March 4) – 11 games
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 3 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 2 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (illness, March 26) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/24: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL)
3/26: Signed D Casey Fitzgerald to a two-year, entry-level contract with an AAV of $925,000; Recalled D William Borgen from Rochester (AHL)
3/27: Recalled F Victor Olofsson from Rochester (AHL)
3/28: Assigned F Tage Thompson to Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
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.
Thursday, April 4: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 6: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
RED WINGS at SABRES

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Detroit 3-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 9
  • Next meeting: Saturday, April 6 in Detroit
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 140th game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 62-59-18 series record.
  • The Sabres are 38-20-10 at home against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-10-4 all-time on March 28.
  • March 28, 1982: Fred T. Hunt and Tim Horton are both posthumously inducted into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame. The pair became the fourth and fifth members, joining Roger Crozier, Frank Christie and Punch Imlach.
  • March 28, 1999: Alexei Zhitnik scores the 8,000th goal in franchise history in a 4-3 overtime win at home against Pittsburgh.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 against the Red Wings since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, including a 3-1-1 record at home and a 2-0-0 record so far this season.
  • The Sabres have killed 25 of 27 penalties (92.6%) against Detroit in their last seven meetings, dating back to March 20, 2017.
  • Jack Eichel has eight points (3+5) in eight games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2016-17 season. In his career, he has tallied six points (3+3) in six games against the Red Wings on home ice.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled 14 points (1+13) in 14 games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including points in each of the last four (1+4).
  • Linus Ullmark, who started both of Buffalo’s previous games against the Red Wings this season, is 2-0-1 against Detroit in his career with a .938 save percentage and a 2.21 goals-against average.
  • In his last two games against the Red Wings, Carter Hutton has stopped 60 of his 61 shots faced and won both contests.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded an assist in each of his first two career meetings with the Red Wings.

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 14 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 14 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 14 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.47), assists (.71) and points (1.18) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Wednesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies in points (41). His 33 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 41 points (8+33) through 76 games, Dahlin is already guaranteed to finish the season with more points per game than he had 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 set new career-high marks in goals (26), assists (49) and points (75) this season. 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.
  • 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.

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.

LEADING THE WAY
Each of the Sabres’ top three scorers is currently on pace to top his previous personal best in points this season:

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 71 26 49 75 18 34 52
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 77 28 53 81 20 37 56
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 76 20 41 61 18 29 47
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 22 44 66 19 31 51
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 76 37 22 59 29 14 43
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 40 24 64 31 15 46

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/27 games)

  • Eichel: 281 S (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:42 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 29 EVG (T-5th), 7 GWG (T-6th)

BUF-DET CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Red Wings assistant coach Dan Bylsma served as the head coach of the Sabres for two seasons (2015 to 2017).
  • Red Wings assistant coach Doug Houda spent parts of six seasons (1994 to 1996, 1999 to 2003) with the Sabres organization. He played in 68 games with the club and recorded seven points (2+5). He was a teammate of Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill during his second stint with the team. Houda also spent two seasons (2004 to 2006) as an assistant coach for the Rochester Americans.
  • Red Wings video coach Adam Nightingale held the same role for the Sabres for one season (2016-17).
  • Red Wings F Thomas Vanek spent the first nine years of his career (2005 to 2014) playing for the Sabres. In 598 games in the club, Vanek had 497 points (254+243), which currently ranks 11th on the Sabres franchise all-time scoring list.

Former Red Wings:

  • Sabres F Scott Wilson appeared in 17 games for the Red Wings during the 2017-18 season.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was a scout for the Stars when Red Wings D Trevor Daley was playing in Dallas. Botterill was also the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Daley was playing for the Penguins.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Red Wings assistant coach Dan Bylsma was the head coach of the Penguins.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Red Wings G Jonathan Bernier in Toronto.
  • Played for the Bruins when Red Wings assistant coach Doug Houda held the same role in Boston.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Red Wings F Frans Nielsen and F Thomas Vanek.

Davis Payne:

  • Was an assistant coach for the Kings when Red Wings G Jonathan Bernier was playing in Los Angeles.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Red Wings F Thomas Vanek in Minnesota.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Red Wings F Thomas Vanek in Minnesota.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Red Wings D Trevor Daley in Pittsburgh.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played for the Bruins when Red Wings assistant coach Doug Houda held the same role in Boston.

Scott Wilson:

  • Played with Red Wings D Trevor Daley in Pittsburgh.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (219), Girgensons (132), Larsson (103)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (119), Bogosian (116), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (281), Skinner (252), Ristolainen (177)

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: 1-5-0 (2), 13/25. 2/15, 11/15

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 

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

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