Game Preview: 4/6/19 at Detroit

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, April 4
Ottawa 2 at Buffalo 5
Goals: Olofsson, Okposo, Reinhart, Eichel, Pominville
Goalie: Hutton (21 saves/23 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 4/4; Shots: Buffalo 40 – Ottawa 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 248)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (upper body, March 23) – 8 games
Zach Bogosian (lower body, March 25) – 7 games
Vladimir Sobotka (upper body, March 30) – 4 games
Marco Scandella (lower body, March 31) – 3 games
Alexander Nylander (lower body, April 4) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/3: Assigned D William Borgen to Rochester (AHL)

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RED WINGS

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Last meeting: Detroit defeated Buffalo 5-4 (OT) in Buffalo on March 28
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 5-4-1 on the road.
  • This is the 141st game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 62-59-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-39-8 on the road against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-6-2 all-time on April 6.
  • April 6, 1980: Danny Gare scores twice in a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Aud to finish the regular season with 56 goals.
  • April 6, 1995: Craig Muni appears in his 100th game as a member of the Sabres, a 1-1 tie at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 7-2-2 against the Red Wings since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, including a 4-1-0 record on the road and a 2-0-1 record so far this season.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in at least three consecutive visits to Detroit for just the second time in franchise history, joining Buffalo’s five-game road winning streak against the Red Wings from Oct. 25, 1979 to Dec. 12, 1981. The Sabres also went undefeated in three straight visits from Jan. 2, 1986 to Dec. 23, 1987 (1-0-2).
  • The Sabres have killed 27 of 30 penalties (90.0%) against Detroit in their last eight meetings, dating back to March 20, 2017.
  • With 80 points (28+52) through 76 games, Jack Eichel is guaranteed to post the Sabres’ best points-per-game rate in an 82-game season since Daniel Briere (1.17) and Maxim Afinogenov (1.09) in 2006-07.
  • With his 217th career regular-season goal as a Sabre on Thursday vs. Ottawa, Jason Pominville passed Don Luce for sole possession of 10th-most goals in franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 23-17-7 all-time in the final game of the regular season.

HOT AGAINST DETROIT

  • Jack Eichel has nine points (4+5) in nine games against the Red Wings since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, including four points (2+2) in four meetings in Detroit.
  • 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 his last four (1+4).
  • Casey Mittelstadt has totaled four points (2+2) in four career games against the Red Wings, including three (2+1) in three meetings this season.
  • Kyle Okposo has scored in each of Buffalo’s last two games against Detroit.
  • Linus Ullmark, who started all three of Buffalo’s previous games against the Red Wings this season, is 2-0-2 against Detroit in his career with a .918 save percentage.
  • In his last two games against the Red Wings, Carter Hutton has stopped 60 of his 61 shots faced and won both contests.
  • Victor Olofsson made his NHL debut when these teams last met on March 28 in Buffalo, recording his first career point with an assist.

ASSISTOLAINEN

  • Rasmus Ristolainen, who has recorded an assist in each of Buffalo’s last two games, has turned in his fourth consecutive season featuring at least 40 points (5+36).
  • He has become just the third defenseman in Sabres history to record 40 points in at least four consecutive seasons, joining Phil Housley and Jerry Korab.
  • Now in his sixth season with the Sabres, Ristolainen ranks ninth all-time among Sabres defensemen in both assists (156) and points (192).
  • Ristolainen’s 26 even-strength points this season (4+22) have surpassed his previous single-season high of 20 set in the 2015-16 season.

SHOOTERS SHOOT
Entering play Friday, Jack Eichel ranked fifth in the NHL with a career-high 301 shots on goal this season. His total marks the seventh 300-shot season in Sabres history and the first since Alexander Mogilny (360) and Pat LaFontaine (306) in 1992-93.

WELCOME TO THE NHL

  • Victor Olofsson, who made his NHL debut on March 28 vs. Detroit, has recorded four points (2+2) in his first five NHL games.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Olofsson ranks among Buffalo’s leaders in shots (2nd, 18), shot attempts (1st, 34) and scoring chances (2nd, 15) in his five games with the team.
  • He also leads the team at 5-on-5 during those games in corsi for percentage (62.33%), shots for percentage (65.00%) and scoring chances for percentage (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 entering play Friday, 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.

A FRESH START

  • Through his first 19 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded nine points (2+7), trailing only Jack Eichel (7+5) for most points during that stretch. Seven of his nine points as a Sabre (2+5) have come at even strength.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Montour’s CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 19 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 19 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.34), assists (.68) and points (1.02) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and tied for fourth among all NHL rookies in points (42). His 34 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 42 points (8+34) through 81 games, Dahlin will 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. He now trails only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • With seven multi-point games 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 (28), assists (52) and points (80) this season. He is the first Sabres player to record at least 80 points in a season since Derek Roy (81) and Jason Pominville (80) both did so in 2007-08.
  • Eichel is also the first Sabres player to record at least 50 assists since Jason Pominville (53) in 2007-08 and the first to post at least 55 even-strength points since Daniel Briere (65) and Thomas Vanek (62) in 2006-07.
  • He has joined Vanek and Rick Martin 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 a career-high 38 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres.
  • He has tied Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (46 in 1991-92) and Rick Martin (44 in 1971-72).
  • Skinner’s 30 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 needs two goals 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.

LEADING THE WAY
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 76 28 52 80 20 35 55
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 81 21 43 64 19 30 49

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/5 games)

  • Eichel: 301 S (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:41 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 30 EVG (T-6th), 7 GWG (T-9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (232), Girgensons (142), Larsson (109)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (121), Bogosian (116), McCabe (98)
Shots: Eichel (301), Skinner (263), Ristolainen (180)

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: 1-8-1 (3), 20/42, 4/24, 17/22
81-82: 1-0-0 (2), 5/2, 2/3, 4/4

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)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Jason Pominville … 217th goal with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history) … April 4 vs. OTT

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