Game Preview: 12/14/19 at NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, December 12
Nashville 3 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Eichel (2), Vesey, Olofsson
Goalie: Ullmark (36 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Nashville 39 – Buffalo 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 154)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 33 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 17 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 13 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/12: Activated D Rasmus Dahlin from IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Dec. 17: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 19: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 21: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 23: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 27: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
SABRES at ISLANDERS

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 1-0 in Buffalo on Nov. 2
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 26 in New York
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 173rd game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-66-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-37-12 on the road against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-7-4 all-time on December 14.
  • December 14, 1982: Tony McKegney scores twice and adds an assist to lead the Sabres to a 5-3 win over the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
  • December 14, 2005: Martin Biron stopped 32 shots in a 4-3 win against the Dallas Stars, winning his 11th consecutive start. Biron would post wins in each of his next two starts, bringing his streak to 13 straight starts.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • A win today would give the Sabres wins in a season-best four straight games.
  • After scoring a pair of goals in both of Buffalo’s last two games, Jack Eichel entered play Friday with the second-most goals in the league this season (22).
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded 19 points (7+12) in his last 18 games, including two-point performances in four of the team’s last six games. He has failed to record a point in just three of those 18 games and entered play Friday leading all NHL rookies in goals (13) and points (29) this season.
  • Jimmy Vesey is currently on a three-game point streak (1+2).
  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 12-for-13 (92.3%) in the team’s last eight games against the Islanders.

HOT AGAINST THE ISLANDERS

  • Jack Eichel has totaled eight points (2+6) in his seven meetings with the Islanders since the beginning of the 2017-18 season, including points (1+3) in all three road games.
  • Colin Miller has recorded four points (1+3) in four meetings games against the Islanders since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
  • Victor Olofsson scored his first NHL goal in his only previous road game against the Islanders on March 30, 2019.
  • Linus Ullmark is 3-1-0 in four career games against the Islanders with a .938 save percentage and a 1.75 goals-against average.

DECEMBER TO REMEMBER
In Buffalo’s six games since the beginning of December (all stats before Friday’s games):

  • The Sabres are 4-1-1 and have the second-best goal differential (plus-9) in the NHL.
  • Jack Eichel leads all NHL players with 11 points and is tied for the league lead with six goals. His plus-9 rating ranks third in the league.
  • Victor Olofsson’s six assists and nine points both tie for second-most in the league.
  • Johan Larsson is tied for second in the league in assists (6), tied for third in points (8) and tied for fourth in plus/minus (plus-8).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen’s plus-10 rating is tied for the NHL lead and his five assists tie for fifth-most among all NHL players.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled seven points (3+4), including three two-point performances, to tie for 10th-most in the league.
  • Linus Ullmark is 4-1-0 with a .930 save percentage in five appearances, tying for the most wins in the NHL.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel enters today’s game on a career-best 15-game point streak that began on Nov. 16.
  • Entering play Friday, his 14 goals, 27 points and plus-18 rating during the streak all led the NHL during that timeframe. His 13 assists were one shy of league lead during that stretch.
  • Eichel’s streak ties Patrick Kane’s 15-game streak from Nov. 2 to 30 as the longest streak in the league this season.
  • The streak is the sixth-longest in franchise history and the longest by a Sabre since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 consecutive games from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.

Longest Point Streaks in Sabres History

Player Games Start Date End Date Goals Assists Points
Gilbert Perreault 18 Oct. 24, 1971 Dec. 4, 1971 10 21 31
Dave Andreychuk 17 Dec. 31, 1991 Feb. 4, 1992 11 25 36
Dave Andreychuk 17 Oct. 18, 1992 Nov. 14, 1992 17 14 31
Rick Martin 16 Oct. 27, 1974 Nov. 28, 1974 13 15 28
Tim Connolly 16 Dec. 23, 2009 Jan. 25, 2010 7 18 25
Jack Eichel 15 Nov. 16, 2019 Active 14 13 27

5-ON-5 GOALS

  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres entered play Friday with three players among the league’s leaders in 5-on-5 goals: Jack Eichel (12, T-5th), Jeff Skinner (11, T-9th), Sam Reinhart 10, T-14th).
  • Only 19 NHL players had at least 10 goals during 5-on-5 play entering play Wednesday. Buffalo joined the Edmonton Oilers (Draisaitl, Kassian, McDavid) as one of two teams with three players among those 18.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen positive trends at even strength in the team’s 16 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 16 Games 57.97 50.26 50.97 50.00

During the 16-game stretch that began on Nov. 14 vs. Carolina, the team has tied or led its opponent at 5-on-5 in…

  • goals: 12 times
  • shots: nine times
  • shot attempts: 10 times
  • scoring chances: 10 times

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 22 goals in 33 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 33 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 55 goals and 114 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 in 1992-93) is the only Sabre ever to have recorded more even-strength points in a season than the 82 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 (72) 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 as high as Olofsson’s current pace.
  • Sam Reinhart’s 12 goals in 33 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (30).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 13 multi-point games this season, tying for eighth-most in the NHL before Friday’s games.
  • Entering play Friday, his six multi-goal games led the league and his eight multi-assist games tied for second-most, trailing only Connor McDavid (9).
  • 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 Connor McDavid (9) and Leon Draisaitl (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 12/13 games)

  • Eichel: 17 EVG (1st), 22 G (2nd), 33 EVP (T-2nd), 46 PTS (T-5th), 4 GWG (T-7th), 16 EVA (T-7th), 24 A (T-8th), plus-15 (T-8th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-3rd)
  • Olofsson: 7 PPG (T-5th)
  • Ristolainen: 102 hits (T-7th)
  • Skinner: 118 S (8th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (102), McCabe (50), Girgensons (49)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (53), Ristolainen (40), Jokiharju/Scandella (28)/
Shots: Skinner (118), Eichel (116), Olofsson (81)

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: 3-0-0 (6), 12/7, 0/6, 6/7

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 … 6 games … 700 career games played
Goals
Sam Reinhart … 1 goal … 100 career goals
Kyle Okposo … 10 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Marco Scandella … 9 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Kyle Okposo … 6 points … 500 career points
Zach Bogosian … 8 points … 200 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
Jimmy Vesey … 100th NHL point … Dec. 12 vs. NSH

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