Game Preview: 11/29/19 vs. Toronto

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, November 27
Calgary 3 at Buffalo 2 (OT)
Goals: Vesey, Olofsson
Goalie: Ullmark (26 saves/29 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 36 – Calgary 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 116)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 25 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 9 games
Kyle Okposo (concussion, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 6 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 5 games
Evan Rodrigues (lower body, Nov. 25) – 2 games
Rasmus Dahlin (concussion, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/23: Assigned D John Gilmour to Rochester (AHL)
11/24: Acquired D Matthew Spencer from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for D Devante Stephens; Assigned Spencer to Cincinnati (ECHL)
11/25: Recalled F Jean-Sebastien Dea from Rochester (AHL)
11/27: Activated F Marcus Johansson from IR; Placed D Rasmus Dahlin on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Nov. 30: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 2: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 5: Buffalo at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7: Buffalo at Vancouver, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8: Buffalo at Edmonton, 8 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES

  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo 4-2 in Buffalo on March 20.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Nov. 30 in Toronto
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 215th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 115-73-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 70-30-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-12-0 all-time on November 29.
  • November 29, 1981: Lindy Ruff records his first-career hat trick in a 5-2 win at home against the Islanders.
  • November 29, 1993: Dominik Hasek picks up his first shutout as a member of the Sabres, stopping all 24 Toronto shots in a 3-0 win at Maple Leaf Gardens.
  • November 29, 1998: A two-goal night from Michael Peca leads the Sabres to a 6-3 victory over the Lightning in Tampa.
  • November 29, 2013: Christian Ehrhoff scores the overtime winner as the Sabres top the Maple Leafs 3-2 at KeyBank Center on the day after Thanksgiving.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 19-5-2 in their last 26 home games against the Maple Leafs. Toronto has not won four straight games in Buffalo since the Maple Leafs won each of their first six visits to Buffalo.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded 13 points (6+7) in 13 games against the Maple Leafs dating back to the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded five assists in his last four home games against Toronto.
  • Henri Jokiharju recorded a career-high three assists in his only previous meeting with the Maple Leafs on Oct. 7, 2018.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled six points (2+4) in seven games against Toronto in the last two seasons.
  • All nine of Skinner’s goals this season have come during 5-on-5 play. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, he entered play Thursday tied for seventh-most in the league.

EICHEL AND THE LEAFS

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 16 points (10+6) in 13 career games against Toronto, including eight (5+3) in six home games.
  • His 1.23 points per game against the Maple Leafs rate as his second-best career output against any Eastern Conference team, trailing only his 1.64 points per game against the Ottawa Senators.
  • Eichel has scored more goals against the Maple Leafs (10) than against any other NHL opponent.
  • His .77 goals per game against Toronto represent his highest rate against any NHL team.

48 HOURS, 99 MILES, TWO GAMES

  • The Sabres and the Leafs will face off today before heading to Toronto for the second half of a home-and-home series tomorrow night. It’s the first home-and-home series between the teams since Nov. 15 and 16, 2013.
  • Buffalo has not lost the home portion of a home-and-home series with Toronto since the first such series (a 4-2 loss on Dec. 20, 1970).
  • The Sabres are 10-1-2 (two ties) all-time in the home portion of their 13 previous home-and-home series with the Maple Leafs and 2-10-1 in the road games.
  • Seven of the previous 13 home-and-home sets between the Sabres and Maple Leafs took place on consecutive nights.
  • Buffalo’s points breakdown in those 13 home-and-home sets is: four points (2), three points (0), two points (9), one point (1) and zero points (1).

HOME-AND-HOME

  • The Sabres have played in 165 previous home-and-home series in franchise history, going 93-49-23 (.633) in the home games and 57-79-29 (.433) in the road games in previous series.
  • The team is 71-65-29 (.518) all-time in the first game of these previous series and 79-63-23 (.548) in the second.
  • Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (32), three points (24), two points (67), one point (17), zero points (25).
  • Buffalo previously swept San Jose in a home-and-home series on Oct. 19 and 22 and were swept by the Lightning on Nov. 8 and 09 in Stockholm Sweden. They will face the Boston Bruins in their next one on Dec. 27 and 30.

GOING STREAKING

  • Jack Eichel enters today’s game on a seven-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. Entering play Thursday, his 12 points (6+6) during the streak tied Evgeni Malkin to lead the NHL during that timeframe.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded points in nine of his last 10 games (3+6), including a point in each of his last five home games (1+4). He enters today’s game on a career-best, five-game point streak (2+3).
  • Jimmy Vesey (2+1) and Sam Reinhart (1+2) each enter today’s game with points in Buffalo’s last three games. It is Vesey’s sixth career three-game point streak. With a point today, he’d have points in four straight games for the first time in his career.

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 14 goals in 25 games so far this season, Jack Eichel is already halfway to his previous best goal total (28), set in the 2018-19 season.
  • Eichel’s output through 25 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 46 goals and 102 points, which would be the highest goal and point totals by a Sabre since Pat LaFontaine (53+95) and Alexander Mogilny (76+51) in 1992-93.
  • Sam Reinhart’s nine goals and 20 points through 25 games put him on pace for a career-high totals in both categories (30 goals, 66 points).
  • Victor Olofsson’s goal and point totals currently have him on pace for the best offensive season by a Sabres rookie in decades. If he maintains his current pace, he would finish the season with the most goals by a Sabres rookie (30) since Donald Audette’s 31 in 1991-92 and the most points by a Sabres rookie (62) since Ray Sheppard’s 65 in 1987-88.

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded eight multi-point games this season, tying for 13th-most in the league before Thursday’s game.
  • Entering play Thursday, his three multi-goal games tied for sixth-most (two shy of the league lead) and his six multi-assist games tied for fourth-most (one behind the league leaders).
  • Eichel has already recorded at least three points five times this season, matching his previous career-high total set in the 2016-17 season. Only Leon Draisaitl (8), Connor McDavid (8) and David Pastrnak (6) had more games with at least three points this season entering play Thursday.
  • Entering play Thursday, Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied Connor McDavid for the league lead. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, only six players have totaled at least four points more times than Eichel’s eight: Nikita Kucherov (15), Patrick Kane (10), Connor McDavid (10), Johnny Gaudreau (9), Brad Marchand (9) and Steven Stamkos (9).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 11/28 games)

  • Eichel: 501 FO (4th), 14 G (T-8th), 31 PTS (T-8th), 10 EVG (T-8th), 1 OTG (T-9th), 21 EVP (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-1st)
  • Johansson: 1 OTG (T-9th)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 80 hits (T-8th)
  • Skinner: 90 S (T-9th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-8th)

BUF-TOR CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres forward Rasmus Asplund played for Team Sweden with Maple Leafs forward William Nylander at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian played with Maple Leafs goaltender Michael Hutchinson in Winnipeg for two seasons (2013-14 to 2014-15).
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel, Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews and Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly were all part of Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Eichel and Matthews previously played together for Team USA at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe represented the United States with Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Curtis Lazar and Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Ceci were teammates in Ottawa for three seasons (2014-15 to 2016-17).
  • Sabres forward Curtis Lazar and Maple Leafs forward Nicholas Shore were both part of the Calgary Flames’ organization during the 2017-18 season.
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart played for Team Canada with Maple Leafs forwards Frederik Gauthier and Nic Petan at both the 2014 and 2015 IIHF World Junior Championships. They won a gold medal together in 2015.
  • Sabres forward Victor Olofsson and Maple Leafs forward William Nylander played for Team Sweden together at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and Maple Leafs defensemen Morgan Rielly and Cody Ceci won a gold medal for Team Canada together at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Maple Leafs forwards Jason Spezza and John Tavares represented Canada together at the 2011 IIHF World Championship. Skinner and Tavares played together again the following year at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner won a silver medal with Maple Leafs defenseman Tyson Barrie at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (80), McCabe (43), Girgensons (35)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (42), Ristolainen (35), Jokiharju (24)
Shots: Skinner (90), Eichel (89), Olofsson (61)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 8-1-1 (17), 38/24, 12/39, 23/30
11-20: 2-6-2 (6), 21/35, 2/26, 21/29
21-30: 1-3-1 (3), 12/17, 1/15, 14/19

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-3; 122-131 all-time)
Oct. 7 at CBJ: L, 4-3 (GWG-Texier, 2:08)
Oct. 9 vs. MTL: W, 5-4 (GWG-Johansson, 1:30)
Oct. 22 vs. SJS: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 3:13)
Nov. 14 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (GWG-Hamilton, 2:28)
Nov. 27 vs. CGY: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lindholm, 1:17)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-1; 76-70 all-time)
Oct. 11 vs. FLA: W, 3-2 (GDG-Eichel)
Oct. 28 vs. ARI: L, 3-2 (GDG-Schmaltz)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Jake McCabe … 2 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Sam Reinhart … 4 goals … 100 career goals
Points
Jimmy Vesey … 5 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Brandon Montour … 200th NHL game … Nov. 27 vs. CGY
Rasmus Asplund … 1st NHL point (assist) … Nov. 27 vs. CGY

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