Game Preview: 4/2/19 vs. Nashville


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Sunday, March 31
Columbus 4 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Ullmark (32 saves/36 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 38 – Columbus 36

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 239)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 6 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 5 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (illness, March 26) – 4 games
Vladimir Sobotka (upper body, March 30) – 2 games
Marco Scandella (lower body, March 31) – 1 game

3/27: Recalled F Victor Olofsson from Rochester (AHL)
3/28: Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Tage Thompson to Rochester (AHL)

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


  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Predators this season.
  • Last meeting: Nashville defeated Buffalo 2-1 in Nashville on Dec. 3, 2018
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Predators; 1-5-4 at home.
  • This is the 27th game all-time between Buffalo and Nashville; Buffalo has a 10-12-4 series record.
  • The Sabres are 1-7-4 at home against the Predators all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-7-3 all-time on April 2.
  • April 2, 2011: Thomas Vanek records his 200th NHL goal in a 5-4 overtime loss at Washington.
  • April 2, 2013: Ryan Miller plays his 492nd game in the NHL, breaking Dominik Hasek’s franchise record for most games played by a goaltender.


  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (3+6) in seven career games against the Predators, including a franchise record-tying five assists on March 31, 2018 in Nashville.
  • Jeff Skinner has posted 16 points (8+8) in 14 career meetings with the Predators.
  • Kyle Okposo has 11 points (6+5) in 12 career games against Nashville.
  • Sam Reinhart has seven points (6+1) in seven career games against the Predators, including four goals in his last two.
  • Jake McCabe has points in each of his last two matchups with the Predators (1+2).


  • Victor Olofsson, who made his NHL debut on March 28 vs. Detroit, recorded a point in each of his first two NHL games (1+1).
  • According to, Olofsson ranks among Buffalo’s leaders in shots (3rd, 10), shot attempts (T-2nd, 18) and scoring chances (2nd, 9) in his three games with the team.
  • He is also among the team’s leaders at 5-on-5 during those games in corsi for percentage (2nd, 62.50%), shots for percentage (2nd, 66.04%) and scoring chance percentage (T-1st, 66.67%).
  • In his first season in North America, Olofsson has recorded a team-high 60 points (27+33) in 64 AHL games with the Rochester Americans, also leading all Rochester skaters in assists and tying for the team lead in goals. He led all SHL players with 27 goals in 2017-18.


  • Through his first 17 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded eight points (2+6), trailing only Jack Eichel (6+3) for most points during that stretch. Six of his eight points as a Sabre (2+4) have come at even strength.
  • According to, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 17 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 17 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.38), assists (.57) and points (.94) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.


  • Entering play Monday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked fourth among all NHL rookies in points (41). His 33 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 41 points (8+33) through 79 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 Eichel has set new career-high marks in goals (27), assists (50) and points (77) 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 50 assists since Jason 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.


  • 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 has a chance to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.

Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have both shattered their previous career high point totals on the strength of improved 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 74 27 50 77 19 34 53
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 79 20 42 62 18 30 48

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/1 games)

  • Eichel: 293 S (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:42 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 29 EVG (T-6th), 7 GWG (T-7th)

BUF-NSH Connections
Former Predators:

  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley was an assistant coach with the Predators from 2013 to 2017.
  • Sabres G Carter Hutton spent three seasons (2013 to 2016) with the Predators, posting a 66-33-23 record with a 2.55 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager for the Penguins when Predators F Nick Bonino was playing in Pittsburgh.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Predators F Cody McLeod in Colorado.
  • Played with Predators F Brian Boyle in Toronto.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Predators F Mikael Granlund in Minnesota.
  • Won a gold medal for Team Sweden with Predators F Filip Forsberg at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a second gold medal together at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, a team that Predators F Viktor Arvidsson and D Mattias Ekholm were also on.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette was the head coach of the team.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Predators F Mikael Granlund in Minnesota.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal with Predators D Ryan Ellis while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship with Predators F Mikael Granlund. The duo played together again at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Played for the Finnish National Team with Predators G Juuse Saros at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. Ristolainen scored the overtime, gold-medal-clinching goal.
  • Represented Finland with Predators G Pekka Rinne at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Predators F Mikael Granlund in Minnesota.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Predators D Ryan Ellis at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Predators F Nick Bonino in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Predators D P.K. Subban at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team Canada with Predators F Wayne Simmonds at both 2013 and 2017 IIHF World Championships. The pair won a silver medal together in 2017.

Scott Wilson:

  • Played with Predators F Nick Bonino in Pittsburgh.

Hits: Ristolainen (219), Girgensons (139), Larsson (107)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (119), Bogosian (116), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (293), Skinner (260), 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: 1-7-1 (3), 18/39. 4/21, 16/21

OVERTIME RESULTS (7-7; 120-128 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)
March 28 vs. DET: L, 5-4 (GWG-Bertuzzi, 2:18)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-3; 75-69 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)
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists 

Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL game … March 28 vs. DET
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL point (assist) … March 28 vs. DET
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL goal … March 28 vs. DET
Victor Olofsson … 1st NHL goal … March 30 at NYI

Leave a Reply