Game Preview: 12/7/19 at Vancouver

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, December 5
Buffalo 3 at Calgary 4
Goals: Reinhart, McCabe, Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (25 saves/29 shots)
PP: 1/8; PK: 1/2; Shots: Calgary 29 – Buffalo 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 139)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 29 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 13 games
Kyle Okposo (concussion, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 10 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 9 games
Rasmus Dahlin (concussion, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 5 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
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.
Tuesday, Dec. 17: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
SABRES at CANUCKS

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
  • Last meeting: Vancouver defeated Buffalo 4-3 in Vancouver on Jan. 18
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Jan. 11 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 2-8-0 on the road.
  • This is the 123rd game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 50-53-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 18-32-11 on the road against the Canucks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-12-4 all-time on December 7.
  • December 7, 1980: Eleven different Sabres record multi-point games, led by Rick Dudley’s second career hat trick, as the Sabres defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 10-1 at home.
  • December 7, 2002: The Sabres record the 1,200th win in franchise history on a game-winning goal from Adam Mair, topping the Washington Capitals 4-3 at home.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is the second in a three-game road trip through Western Canada for the Sabres. Buffalo is 13-7-3 against the Pacific Division since the beginning of last season, including a 3-2-2 record in 2019-20.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded 14 points (5+9) in his last 14 games, including two-point outings in the team’s last two contests.
  • All 11 of Jeff Skinner’s goals this season have come during 5-on-5 play. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, he entered play Friday tied for fifth-most in the league.

HOT AGAINST VANCOUVER

  • Rasmus Ristolainen enters today’s game with eight points in his last eight games against the Canucks (2+6), including at least a point in each of his last five (0+6).
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded five points (3+2) in his last five games against Vancouver.
  • Sam Reinhart has scored in each of his last three games against the Canucks, totaling four points (3+1) in those matchups.
  • Marcus Johansson has totaled six points (4+2) in six career visits to Vancouver.
  • Evan Rodrigues has recorded a point in three of his four career games against the Canucks (1+2), including both of his road games (1+1).
  • Carter Hutton is 2-1-0 in four career appearances against the Canucks with a .943 save percentage and a 1.80 goals-against average.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game opens Buffalo’s eighth of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Edmonton. The Sabres are 3-4-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-4-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (1), two points (4), one point (0) and zero points (2).

GOING STREAKING

  • Jack Eichel enters today’s game on an 11-game point streak that began on Nov. 16, tying as the longest streak of his career. Entering play Friday, his 10 goals and 20 points during the league’s longest active streak led the NHL during that timeframe.
  • With a point today, Eichel would have his first career 12-game point streak. It would be the longest point streak recorded by a Sabre since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 straight from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (1+3) and Brandon Montour (0+4) each enter the game with points in four straight contests. Montour has already tied his longest career point streak, set from Nov. 18 to 25, 2018 (1+5). With a point today, Ristolainen would have his first five-game streak since Jan. 18 to 25, 2018 (1+5) and would be one game shy of his career-best six straight games with a point.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen positive trends at even strength in the team’s 12 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 12 Games 60.42 51.13 50.70 49.06

During the 12-game stretch that began on Nov. 14 vs. Carolina, the team has tied or led its opponent at 5-on-5 in…

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

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 18 goals in 29 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 29 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 51 goals and 110 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.
  • LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93 are the only two Sabres ever to have recorded more even-strength points in a season than the 76 Eichel is currently on pace for.
  • 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 (31) since Ray Sheppard’s 38 in 1987-88 and the most points by a Sabres rookie (68) since Rick Martin’s franchise-record 74 in 1971-72. Gilbert Perreault (72 in 1970-71) is the only other player in franchise history to finish his rookie season with a point total higher than Olofsson’s current pace.
  • Sam Reinhart’s 10 goals in 29 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (28).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 10 multi-point games this season, tying for 10th-most in the NHL before Friday’s games.
  • Entering play Friday, 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 Friday.
  • Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied for the league lead entering play Friday. 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 12/6 games)

  • Eichel: 18 G (T-4th), 13 EVG (T-4th), 27 EVP (T-6th), 39 PTS (7th), 109 S (T-7th), 21 A (T-8th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-2nd)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-7th)
  • Ristolainen: 91 hits (10th)
  • Skinner: 109 S (T-7th), 11 EVG (T-10th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-10th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (91), McCabe (46), Girgensons (40)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (48), Ristolainen (38), Jokiharju (27)
Shots: Eichel (109), Skinner (109), Olofsson (70)

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: 3-4-2 (8), 29/28, 3/29, 22/30

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 … 3 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Marco Scandella … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jack Eichel … 2 points … 300 career points
Jimmy Vesey … 3 points … 100 career points
Zach Bogosian … 9 points … 200 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Asplund … 1st NHL goal … Dec. 2 vs. NJD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s