Game Preview: 10/3/19 at Pittsburgh


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips


CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 0)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (hip, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 0 games
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 0 games
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (hip; Oct. 3, injured reserve) – 0 games
Brandon Montour (hand, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 0 games

9/29: Assigned D William Borgen to Rochester (AHL)
9/30: Placed F Remi Elie, F Curtis Lazar, F Scott Wilson and D Casey Nelson on waivers; Assigned F Rasmus Asplund, F Tage Thompson and D Lawrence Pilut to Rochester (AHL)
10/1: Recalled F Jean-Sebastien Dea, F Curtis Lazar and D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Remi Elie, F Curtis Lazar, F Victor Olofsson, F Scott Wilson, D Henri Jokiharju and D Casey Nelson Rochester; Placed D Zach Bogosian, D Matt Hunwick, D Brandon Montour and G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on IR
10/3: Recalled F Victor Olofsson and D Henri Jokiharju from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea, F Curtis Lazar and D Lawrence Pilut to Rochester

Saturday, Oct. 5: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 7: Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 9: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 11: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Oct. 14: Dallas at Buffalo, 3 p.m.


  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 5-0 in Buffalo on March 14
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Feb. 22 in Pittsburgh
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 192nd game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 67-81-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-50-21 on the road against the Penguins all-time.


  • The Sabres are 0-1-1 all-time on October 3.
  • October 3, 1997: Erik Rasmussen scores his first NHL goal in his second career game, a 6-2 Sabres loss at Washington.
  • October 3, 2009: Tim Connolly scores Buffalo’s goal in a 2-1 overtime loss vs. Montreal, marking his first of a career-high 65 points in the 2009-10 season.


  • The Sabres and Penguins meet today for the third time in 18 days after the teams faced off twice during the preseason. After tonight, the teams won’t see each other again until the Sabres travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday, Feb. 22.
  • The Sabres’ last season-opener in Pittsburgh was the team’s first game ever played, a 2-1 win on Oct. 10, 1970 with goals scored by Jim Watson and Gilbert Perreault. Wally Boyer scored the lone Penguins goal in the game.
  • Buffalo’s last game in Pittsburgh was a 5-4 overtime win on Nov. 19, 2018, when the Sabres snapped an eight-game winless streak in road games against the Penguins. A win tonight would give them wins in consecutive visits to Pittsburgh for the first time since 2012-13.
  • The Sabres went 2-1-0 against the Penguins in 2018-19 with both wins coming in overtime, marking the first time they’ve bested Pittsburgh in a season series since they went 2-1-0 against the Penguins in 2012-13.
  • Five of the last 10 games between these teams have gone to overtime, with Buffalo winning three of those five games.


  • Jack Eichel has totaled seven points (4+3) in his last seven games against the Penguins, including points in each of his last four visits to Pittsburgh (3+3).
  • Carter Hutton is 3-0-0 with two shutouts in five career visits to Pittsburgh, posting a .956 save percentage and a 1.36 goals-against average in those contests.
  • Marcus Johansson has recorded nine points (3+6) in his last nine games against the Penguins, including an assist in each of his last four visits to Pittsburgh.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled four points (2+2) in his first three games against his former team.
  • Kyle Okposo has posted 18 points (8+10) in 20 games against the Penguins since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, including nine points (1+8) in 10 road games.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded five points (1+4) in four road games against the Penguins since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.


  • Tonight’s game marks the 49th season-opener in franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 24-19-5 all-time in season-openers; 7-9-0 when opening on the road.
  • Buffalo is 20-27-1 all-time in their first road game of the season. This is the team’s first season-opener on the road since Oct. 2, 2013 at Detroit (2-1 loss).
  • The Sabres have previously opened their season against the Penguins three times, including 2-1 Sabres wins in the team’s first two season-openers on Oct. 10, 1970 in Pittsburgh and Oct. 10, 1971 in Buffalo. The third was a 5-4 Sabres loss on Oct. 4, 1991 in Buffalo.

The Sabres have five new players on their opening-day roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
John Gilmour, D Free Agency GIHL-mohr Finished 2018-19 ranked second among AHL defensemen in goals (20) and points (54), earning AHL First-Team All-Star honors.
Marcus Johansson, LW Free Agency joh-HAN-suhn Totaled 30 points (13+17) in 58 games with New Jersey and Boston in 2018-19, adding 11 points (4+7) in 22 playoff games for the Bruins.
Henri Jokiharju, D Trade (CHI) yoh-kee-HAHR-yoo Recorded 12 assists in 38 NHL games as a rookie with Chicago in 2018-19.
Colin Miller, D Trade (VGK) MIH-luhr In two seasons with Vegas (2017-18 and 2018-19), led all Golden Knights defensemen in assists (57) and points (70).
Jimmy Vesey, LW Trade (NYR) VEE-see Has scored 43 of his 50 career goals at even strength and ranked third among Rangers skaters with 31 even-strength points in 2018-19.

The Sabres have had a newly acquired player score in five of their last eight season-openers: Jason Pominville (Oct. 5, 2017 vs. MTL), Jack Eichel (Oct. 8, 2015 vs. OTT), Zemgus Girgensons (Oct. 2, 2013 at DET), Steve Ott (Jan. 20, 2013 vs. PHI) and Ville Leino (Oct. 7, 2011 vs. ANA). Each player scored on his first shot, except for Eichel, who scored on his second shot.


  • Buffalo finished the preseason with a 4-2-0 record; 3-0-0 at home and 1-2-0 on the road.
  • Jack Eichel led all Sabres with six points (1+5) in three preseason games. Three other players also registered point-per-game totals: Sam Reinhart (3 GP, 2+2), Conor Sheary (2 GP, 1+2) and Victor Olofsson (3 GP, 3+0).
  • Olofsson led the team with three goals in three preseason games.
  • Linus Ullmark led Sabres goaltenders with a .936 save percentage in three appearances.

Of the 22 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • Nine were originally drafted by the Sabres — six were first-round selections (Girgensons, 2012; Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Mittelstadt, 2017; Dahlin, 2018), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012), one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012) and one was a seventh-round pick (Olofsson, 2014).
  • Eight were acquired in trades: Jokiharju, Larsson, Miller, Scandella, Sheary, Skinner, Sobotka, Vesey
  • Five were signed as free agents: Gilmour, Hutton, Johansson, Okposo, Rodrigues
  • Seventeen played in Buffalo at some point last season: Dahlin, Eichel, Girgensons, Hutton, Larsson, McCabe, Mittelstadt, Okposo, Olofsson, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Rodrigues, Scandella, Sheary, Skinner, Sobotka, Ullmark
  • Five are new to the Sabres this season: Gilmour, Johansson, Jokiharju, Miller, Vesey

Hits: N/A
Blocked Shots: N/A
Shots: N/A

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-0-0 (0), 0/0, 0/0, 0/0

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 120-128 all-time)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 75-69 all-time)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Jeff Skinner … 2 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 1 point … 100 career points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 points … 200 career points
Jimmy Vesey … 10 points … 100 career points


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