Game Preview: 10/5/19 vs. New Jersey


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, October 3
Buffalo 3 at Pittsburgh 1
Goals: Sheary (2), Dahlin
Goalie: Hutton (28 saves/29 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 4/5; Shots: Buffalo 41 – Pittsburgh 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 4)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (hip, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 1 game
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 1 game
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (hip; Oct. 3, injured reserve) – 1 game
Brandon Montour (hand, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 1 game

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

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.
Wednesday, Oct. 16: Buffalo at Anaheim, 10 p.m.


  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 3-1 in New Jersey on March 25
  • Next meeting: Monday, Dec. 2 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 158th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has a 76-55-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-27-11 at home against the Devils all-time.


  • The Sabres are 4-3-2 all-time on October 5.
  • October 5, 2000: J-P Dumont scores in his first game as a Sabre, a 4-2 win vs. Chicago.
  • October 5, 2005: Thomas Vanek records his first NHL point with an assist in his NHL debut, a 6-4 win vs. NY Islanders.


  • The Sabres won their first game of the season on Thursday night, earning a 3-1 victory at Pittsburgh. It was the team’s first season-opening win since Buffalo began the season with two wins in the 2012-13 season.
  • Sam Reinhart has scored a goal and recorded five shots in each of his last two games against the Devils.
  • Jake McCabe has points in three of his last four games against New Jersey (2+1).
  • Henri Jokiharju recorded an assist in his only previous meeting with the Devils.


  • Tonight’s game marks the 49th home-opener in franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 21-20-7 all-time in their first home game of the season. Buffalo is looking for its first win in a home-opener since the team’s 5-2 win vs. Philadelphia on Jan. 20, 2013.
  • The Sabres have previously opened their home schedule against the Devils once in franchise history, a 2-1 win on Jan. 25, 1995 featuring Sabres goals by Donald Audette and Wayne Presley and a 29-save performance by Dominik Hasek.


  • With a win tonight, Ralph Krueger would become the fourth Sabres head coach to earn wins in his first two games as the team’s head coach, joining Marcel Pronovost (Oct. 13-15, 1977), Scotty Bowman (Oct. 11-13, 1979) and Jim Roberts (Dec. 9-12, 1981).
  • No Sabres head coach has won each of his first three games with the team, but Bowman won the first three games of his final stint as the team’s head coach from Jan. 17 to 22, 1986.

To celebrate the beginning of the team’s Golden Season, the Sabres are welcoming back 15 former captains from throughout franchise history to take part in a pre-game ceremony. The team’s original captain, Floyd Smith, will drop the puck for a ceremonial faceoff. A full list of captains attending the game is as follows:

  • Floyd Smith (1970-71)
  • Gerry Meehan (1971-72 to Oct. 1974)
  • Don Luce (Jan. 1976)
  • Danny Gare (1977-78 to 1980-81)
  • Gilbert Perreault (1981-82 to Nov. 1986)
  • Mike Foligno (Feb. 1989 to Dec. 1990)
  • Michael Peca (1997-98 to 1999-2000)
  • Donald Audette (April 1998)
  • Stu Barnes (2001-02 to March 2003)
  • Jochen Hecht (Oct. 2007, Feb. 2008)
  • Toni Lydman (Nov. 2007)
  • Brian Campbell (Dec. 2007)
  • Craig Rivet (2008-09 to Feb. 2011)
  • Jason Pominville (March to April 2008, 2011-12 to April 2013)
  • Brian Gionta (2014-15 to 2016-17)

The Sabres had five new players on their opening-night 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.

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


  • 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.

Hits: Sobotka (6), Ristolainen (5), Reinhart (4)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (4), Scandella (3), Jokiharju/Miller/Ristolainen (3)
Shots: Ristolainen (5), Skinner (5), Eichel (4)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 1-0-0 (2), 3/1, 1/2, 4/5

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
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 points … 200 career points
Jimmy Vesey … 10 points … 100 career points 

Colin Miller … 100th NHL points … Oct. 3 at PIT

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