Game Preview: 12/10/19 vs. St. Louis

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, December 8
Buffalo 3 at Edmonton 2 (OT)
Goals: Okposo, Larsson, Miller
Goalie: Ullmark (26 saves/28 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Edmonton 28 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 147)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 31 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 15 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 11 games
Rasmus Dahlin (concussion, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 7 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/4: Assigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea to Rochester (AHL)
12/7: Activated F Kyle Okposo from IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Dec. 19: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BLUES at SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blues this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated St. Louis 4-3 (SO) in Buffalo on March 17
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Jan. 9 in St. Louis
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blues; 3-7-0 at home.
  • This is the 121st game all-time between Buffalo and St. Louis; Buffalo has a 47-56-17 series record.
  • The Sabres are 32-23-6 at home against the Blues all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-2 all-time on December 10.
  • December 10, 1983: Phil Housley records his 100th NHL point in a 4-2 win at Boston. Housley remains the only defenseman ever to record 100 points for the Sabres before his 20th birthday.
  • December 10, 1989: Dave Andreychuk records his 500th NHL point in a 4-3 win vs. Washington. Andreychuk, who ranks second in Sabres history with 804 points, is one of just 10 players to record 500 points with the team.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • After winning the last meeting between the teams in a shootout, the Sabres are looking for consecutive wins against the Blues for the first time since Nov. 12, 2008 and Dec. 27, 2009.
  • Linus Ullmark has stopped 51 of 55 shots (.927) in his two career meetings with St. Louis.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres entered play Monday with three players among the league’s leaders in 5-on-5 goals: Jeff Skinner (11, T-7th), Jack Eichel (9, T-15th), Sam Reinhart 9, T-15th).

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has been selected as the NHL’s Third Star of the Week for the week ending Dec. 8 after leading all NHL players with seven points (2+5) in four games last week. It is the fifth “Star of the Week” honor for Eichel in his career and his first of the 2019-20 season.
  • Johan Larsson enters tonight’s game with seven points (1+6) and a plus-6 rating in Buffalo’s last six contests. A point tonight would give him his first three-game point streak since November 2016.
  • Kyle Okposo has scored a goal in both games since returning from a 10-game injury absence. He’s seeking his first three-game goal streak since October 2018.
  • Marcus Johansson currently has points in three straight games (1+2) and his seeking his first four-game point streak since January.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded 16 points (6+10) in his last 16 games.
  • Linus Ullmark is 4-1-1 with a .922 save percentage in his last six appearances. In those games, Ullmark has posted a .941 save percentage at 5-on-5.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel enters today’s game on a career-best 13-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. Entering play Monday, his 10 goals, 23 points and plus-13 rating during the streak all led the NHL during that timeframe. His 13 assists tied Evgeni Malkin for the league lead.
  • Eichel’s streak is the longest active point streak in the NHL and ties as the second-longest streak in the league this season, two games shy of Patrick Kane’s 15-game streak from Nov. 2 to 30 (11+13)
  • The streak is the longest by a Sabre since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 consecutive games from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010. Only six players in Sabres history have recorded a point streak of more than 13 games: Dave Andreychuk (2x), Gilbert Perreault (2x), Tim Connolly, Phil Housley, Rick Martin and Rene Robert.
  • Gilbert Perreault holds Buffalo’s franchise record with points in 18 consecutive games from Oct. 24 to Dec. 4, 1971 (10+21).

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen positive trends at even strength in the team’s 14 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 14 Games 57.89 50.68 51.16 49.91

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

  • goals: 10 times
  • shots: nine times
  • shot attempts: nine times
  • scoring chances: nine times

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 18 goals in 31 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 31 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 48 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.
  • 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 77 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 (32) since Ray Sheppard’s 38 in 1987-88 and the most points by a Sabres rookie (69) 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 11 goals in 31 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (29).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 11 multi-point games this season, tying for ninth-most in the NHL before Monday’s games.
  • Entering play Monday, his four multi-goal games tied for fourth-most (one shy of the league lead) and his eight multi-assist games tied for the league lead.
  • 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 Monday.
  • Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied for the league lead entering play Monday. 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 12/9 games)

  • Eichel: 18 G (T-5th), 13 EVG (T-4th), 29 EVP (T-5th), 42 PTS (7th), 24 A (8th),111 S (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-2nd)
  • Olofsson: 7 PPG (T-5th)
  • Ristolainen: 95 hits (9th)
  • Skinner: 115 S (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (95), McCabe (46), Girgensons (45)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (50), Ristolainen (40), Jokiharju (28)
Shots: Skinner (115), Eichel (111), Olofsson (75)

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: 3-4-3 (8), 34/34, 4/33, 23/32
31-40: 1-0-0 (2), 3/2, 0/3, 2/3

OVERTIME RESULTS (3-5; 123-133 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)
Dec. 7 at VAN: L, 6-5 (GWG-Miller, 3:21)
Dec. 8 at EDM: W, 3-2 (GWG-Miller, 1:13)

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
Jeff Skinner … 8 games … 700 career games played
Goals
Sam Reinhart … 2 goals … 100 career goals
Kyle Okposo … 10 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Marco Scandella … 9 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jimmy Vesey … 2 points … 100 career points
Kyle Okposo … 6 points … 500 career points
Zach Bogosian … 9 points … 200 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Asplund … 1st NHL goal … Dec. 2 vs. NJD
Jack Eichel … 300th NHL point … Dec. 7 at VAN

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