Game Preview: 10/7/19 at Columbus

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, October 5
New Jersey 2 at Buffalo 7
Goals: Olofsson (2), Reinhart (2), Eichel, Okposo, Skinner
Goalie: Hutton (18 saves/20 shots)
PP: 3/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 36 – New Jersey 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 8)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (hip, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 2 games
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 2 games
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (hip; Oct. 3, injured reserve) – 2 games
Brandon Montour (hand, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Oct. 17: Buffalo at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BLUE JACKETS

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
  • Last meeting: Columbus defeated Buffalo 4-0 in Buffalo on March 31
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Feb. 1 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blue Jackets; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 33rd game all-time between Buffalo and Columbus; Buffalo has a 12-17-3 series record.
  • The Sabres are 5-8-2 on the road against the Blue Jackets all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-3-1 all-time on October 7.
  • October 7, 1993: Pat LaFontaine scores twice, including his 100th goal as a member of the Sabres, in a 5-3 win at Boston.
  • October 7, 2011: Ryan Miller appears in his 400th game for the Sabres and Thomas Vanek scores twice as Buffalo tops Anaheim 4-1 in Helsinki, Finland as part of the 2011 NHL Premiere Series.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Through two games, the Sabres have already gotten points from 14 different players this season. Rasmus Dahlin (1+3), Victor Olofsson (2+1) and Sam Reinhart (2+1) have each tallied at least a point in both of the team’s first two contests.
  • The Sabres are 1-0-1 in their last two road games against Columbus and have a chance to earn points in three straight visits for the first time in the all-time series between the teams.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 12 points (3+9) in 12 career games against the Blue Jackets, including seven points (3+4) in six road games.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded 20 points (11+9) in 26 career games against the Blue Jackets, including 13 points (6+7) in his last 13 and at least one in each of his last three visits to Columbus (2+2).
  • ­­Evan Rodrigues scored a goal in each of his three career games in Columbus, totaling four points (3+1).
  • Jimmy Vesey totaled four points (3+1) in four games against the Blue Jackets last season.
  • Jake McCabe has recorded five assists in five visits to Columbus in the last three seasons.

STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT

  • The Sabres are currently 2-0-0 to start a season for the first time since 2012-13. The team last started the season with at least three consecutive wins in 2008-09, when they won their first four contests and went unbeaten through the first eight (6-0-2).
  • Ralph Krueger has 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 ever won each of his first three games with the team. However, Bowman won the first three games of his final of four separate tenures as the team’s head coach from Jan. 17 to 22, 1986, making him the only coach in Sabres history to do so in any stint with the team.

CONTROLLING THE PLAY

  • Through six periods this season, the Sabres have yet to be outshot by an opponent in a single period, leading in five periods and tying once. They have held their opponents to fewer than 10 shots in four of those periods.
  • The Sabres have outshot their opponents 77-49 in total and by a 59-36 margin at even strength.
  • Buffalo entered play Sunday trailing only the Nashville Predators with a team SAT% of 60.0%, out-attempting their opponents 99-66 at even strength so far this season.
  • Each of Buffalo’s 18 skaters who have dressed through two games has an individual SAT% of at least 50 percent
  • Kyle Okposo’s team-leading SAT% of 77.14% ranked fifth in the league entering play Sunday and led all players with at least 11 minutes of ice time so far this season. Marco Scandella’s 74.51% SAT% ranked ninth in the league and led all defensemen with more than one game played.

PLAYING WITH POWER

  • The Sabres entered play Sunday with the top-ranked power play in the league, converting on four of their six power plays through the first two games of the season (66.7%).
  • Entering Sunday’s games, Buffalo also led the league in shot generation rate with the man advantage, averaging 3.49 shots per two minutes of power-play time.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres are one of two teams who have averaged more than five shot attempts per two minutes of power-play time so far this season.

LET’S GET DANGEROUS

  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres led the league entering play Sunday with a high-danger scoring chance percentage of 76.0%, out-chancing their opponents 19-6 in high-danger situations at 5-on-5 through the team’s first two games.*
  • By this metric, Jeff Skinner leads all Sabres with three high-danger scoring chances during 5-on-5 play. Skinner tied for ninth in the league with 94 high-danger scoring chances last season.
  • Five other players have recorded more than one high-danger scoring chance through the team’s two games: Jack Eichel, Casey Mittelstadt, Victor Olofsson, Rasmus Ristolainen and Vladimir Sobotka.

*A complete definition of scoring chances can be found at http://naturalstattrick.com/glossary.php?teams.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
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.

2019-20 ROSTER NOTES
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

2019 PRESEASON

  • 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.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (9), Sobotka (6), McCabe (5)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (7), Miller/Ristolainen/Scandella (3)
Shots: Skinner (11), Ristolainen (8), Eichel (7)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 2-0-0 (4), 10/3, 4/6, 6/7

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 120-128 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 75-69 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Carter Hutton … 10 games … 200 career games played
Marcus Johansson … 10 games … 600 career games played
Assists
Jeff Skinner … 1 assist … 200 career assists
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 5 points … 200 career points
Jimmy Vesey … 10 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Colin Miller … 100th NHL point … Oct. 3 at PIT

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