Game Preview: 12/5/19 at Calgary

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, December 2
New Jersey 1 at Buffalo 7
Goals: Sheary (2), Eichel, Skinner, Asplund, Olofsson, Jokiharju
Goalie: Ullmark (44 saves/45 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 3/4; Shots: New Jersey 45 – Buffalo 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 134)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 28 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 12 games
Kyle Okposo (concussion, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 9 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 8 games
Evan Rodrigues (lower body, Nov. 25) – 5 games
Rasmus Dahlin (concussion, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/3: Assigned F Curtis Lazar to Rochester (AHL)
12/4: Assigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec. 7: Buffalo at Vancouver, 4 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 8: Buffalo at Edmonton, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 10: St. Louis at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 12: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at FLAMES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Flames this season.
  • Last meeting: Calgary defeated Buffalo 3-2 (OT) in Buffalo on Nov. 27
  • The Sabres are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Flames; 3-6-1 on the road.
  • This is the 111th game all-time between Buffalo and Calgary; Buffalo has a 53-37-20 series record.
  • The Sabres are 20-23-12 on the road against the Flames all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-6-3 all-time on December 5.
  • December 5, 1971: Craig Ramsay records the first natural hat trick in Sabres history, leading the team to a 3-1 win at home against the Minnesota North Stars.
  • December 5, 1974: Gilbert Perreault scores a hat trick and Jim Lorentz leads the team with five points in a 9-2 win against the Washington capitals.
  • December 5, 1997: Dominik Hasek makes 38 saves in a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning to record his third of a career-high 13 shutouts during the 1997-98 season.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo is 13-6-3 against the Pacific Division since the beginning of last season, including a 3-0-2 record in their last five games.
  • The Sabres and Flames have had five of their last seven games decided by an overtime goal, including each of the last three meetings in Calgary.
  • With a Sabres win tonight, Buffalo and Calgary will have split their season series for six consecutive seasons.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded a point in each of his last five meetings with Calgary, totaling six points (4+2) in those games.
  • Linus Ullmark has gone 3-0-1 in his last four appearances. With a win or overtime loss tonight, Ullmark would have five straight appearances without a regulation loss for the first time in his career.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded points in 11 of his last 13 games (5+7).
  • All 11 of Jeff Skinner’s goals this season have come during 5-on-5 play. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, he entered play Wednesday tied for fifth-most in the league.
  • Sabres prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was named the ECHL Goaltender of the Month for November. Luukkonen posted a record of 6-2-1 in nine appearances for the Cincinnati Cyclones during the month, logging a 1.88 goals-against average and a .925 save percentage in those games.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen positive trends at even strength in the team’s 11 games since returning from Stockholm, Sweden. In that span, Buffalo’s 5-on-5 numbers have improved on the team’s per-60 rates from its first 17 games in every meaningful category, including goals for and against, shots for and against, shot attempts for and against, and scoring chances for and against.

Buffalo Sabres at 5-on-5 (via NaturalStatTrick.com)

GF% SF% CF% SCF%
First 17 Games 50.79 48.21 48.61 47.72
Last 11 Games 61.36 51.32 51.41 50.92

During the 11-game stretch that began on Nov. 14 vs. Carolina, the team has tied or led its opponent at 5-on-5 in…

  • goals: eight times
  • shots: eight times
  • shot attempts: seven times
  • scoring chances: seven times

BALANCED PRODUCTION

  • The Sabres have had three forward trios play together in each of the team’s last four games. Those three lines have each scored at 5-on-5 while on the ice together during that four-game stretch:
    • Olofsson-Eichel-Reinhart: 3 GF, 0 GA
    • Skinner-Larsson-Sheary: 3 GF, 1 GA
    • Mittelstadt-Johansson-Vesey: 1 GF, 1 GA
  • The line of Jeff Skinner, Johan Larsson and Conor Sheary has out-chanced its opponents at 5-on-5 in every game it’s played together, outscoring opponents 4-1 in 43:00 of 5-on-5 time together this season according to NaturalStatTrick.com.

Sabres Lines at 5-on-5, Entire 2019-20 season (via NaturalStatTrick.com)

Line TOI GF GA SF% CF% SCF%
Olofsson-Eichel-Reinhart 326:00 17 14 51.98 50.16 52.29
Skinner-Larsson-Sheary 43:00 4 1 54.72 55.42 70.27
Mittelstadt-Johansson-Vesey 52:04 1 2 53.13 53.77 47.73

GOING STREAKING

  • Jack Eichel enters today’s game on a 10-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. Entering play Wednesday, his 19 points (9+10) during the league’s longest active streak led the NHL during that timeframe.
  • Eichel has recorded at least one assist in each of the last eight games. With an assist tonight, he’d tie the longest assist streak of his career, set from Feb. 14 to March 4, 2017.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (1+2) and Brandon Montour (0+3) each enter the game with points in three straight contests. With points tonight, Montour would tie his longest career point streak, set from Nov. 18 to 25, 2018 (1+5), and Ristolainen would set a new season best.

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 17 goals in 28 games so far this season, Jack Eichel is on pace to shatter his previous best goal total (28), set in the 2018-19 season.
  • Eichel’s output through 28 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 50 goals and 111 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 in 28 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (26).
  • 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 (32) and points (64) by a Sabres rookie since Ray Sheppard’s 65 points (38+27) in 1987-88.

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 10 multi-point games this season, tying for ninth-most in the NHL before Wednesday’s games.
  • Entering play Wednesday, his four multi-goal games tied for fourth-most (one shy of the league lead) and his seven multi-assist games tied for third-most (also one behind the league leaders).
  • Eichel has already recorded at least three points seven times this season, topping his previous career-high total (6) set in the 2016-17 season. Only Leon Draisaitl (8) and Connor McDavid (8) had more games with at least three points this season entering play Wednesday.
  • Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied for the league lead entering play Wednesday. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, only seven 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), Alex Ovechkin (9) and Steven Stamkos (9).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/4 games)

  • Eichel: 561 FO (4th), 13 EVG (T-4th), 17 G (T-6th), 27 EVP (T-6th), 38 PTS (7th), 21 A (T-8th), 104 S (T-8th), 266 FOW (T-9th), 1 OTG (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-2nd)
  • Johansson: 1 OTG (T-10th)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 88 hits (T-9th)
  • Skinner: 11 EVG (T-9th), 102 S (T-10th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-10th)

BUF-CGY CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian played in Winnipeg with Flames forward Michael Frolik for two seasons (2013-14 to 2014-15).
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel and Flames forward Derek Ryan played for Team USA together at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel won a bronze medal with Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin while representing the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. The two were later teammates at the 2017 and 2019 IIHF World Championships.
  • Sabres forward Marcus Johansson won a silver medal with Flames forward Mikael Backlund for Team Sweden at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Johan Larsson and Flames forward Mikael Backlund won a gold medal together while representing Sweden at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Colin Miller was a teammate of Flames forward Zac Rinaldo in Boston for one season (2015-16).
  • Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Jimmy Vesey won a gold medal for Team USA with Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe played with Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada with Flames goaltender Cam Talbot at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella won a silver medal with Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner played for the Hurricanes with Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (2015-16 to 2017-18), forward Elias Lindholm (2013-14 to 2017-18) and forward Derek Ryan (2015-16 to 2017-18).
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner played for Team Canada with Flames defenseman TJ Brodie at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark and Flames forward Mikael Backlund played for Team Sweden together at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (88), McCabe (44), Girgensons (39)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (48), Ristolainen (37), Jokiharju/Scandella (26)
Shots: Eichel (104), Skinner (102), Olofsson (69)

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: 3-3-2 (8), 26/24, 2/21, 21/28

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-4; 122-132 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)
Nov. 30 at TOR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Tavares, 1:45)

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)
Goals
Sam Reinhart … 4 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Marco Scandella … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jack Eichel … 3 points … 300 career points
Jimmy Vesey … 3 points … 100 career points
Zach Bogosian … 9 points … 200 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Jake McCabe … 300th NHL game … Nov. 30 at TOR
Rasmus Asplund … 1st NHL goal … Dec. 2 vs. NJD

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