Game Preview: 12/17/19 at Toronto

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, December 14
Buffalo 2 at NY Islanders 3 (OT)
Goals: Olofsson, Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (23 saves/26 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 35 – NY Islanders 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 157)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 34 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 18 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 14 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/12: Activated D Rasmus Dahlin from IR
12/15: Assigned F Casey Mittelstadt to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Sunday, Dec. 29: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at MAPLE LEAFS

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo 2-1 (OT) in Toronto on Nov 30.
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Feb. 16 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 3-5-2 on the road.
  • This is the 217th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 116-72-28 series record.
  • The Sabres are 45-43-19 on the road against the Maple Leafs all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-9-2 all-time on December 17.
  • December 17, 1978: Danny Gare scores seven seconds after the opening faceoff in a 6-3 win vs. Vancouver.
  • December 17, 1983: Adam Creighton gets his first NHL point in his NHL debut, assisting on the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win at Hartford.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo enters the game with a point in each of the team’s last five games (3-0-2). A win or overtime loss tonight would give the Sabres their second six-game point streak of the season after going 5-0-1 in the first six games of 2019-20.
  • After scoring at least a goal in each of Buffalo’s last three games, Jack Eichel entered play Monday with the second-most goals in the league this season (23). Eichel has been selected as the NHL’s Third Star of the week for each of the last two weeks.ac
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded 20 points (8+12) in his last 19 games, including two-point performances in four of the team’s last seven games. He has failed to record a point in just three of those 19 games and entered play Monday leading all NHL rookies in goals (14) and points (30) this season.

EICHEL AND THE LEAFS

  • Jack Eichel has totaled 20 points (12+8) in 15 career games against Toronto, including nine (5+4) in eight road games.
  • His 1.33 points per game against the Maple Leafs ties as his second-best career output against any NHL team, trailing only his 1.64 points per game against the Ottawa Senators.
  • Eichel has scored more goals against the Maple Leafs (12) than against any other NHL opponent.
  • His .80 goals per game against Toronto represent his highest rate against any NHL team.

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

  • The Sabres are 4-1-2 and are tied for the third-best goal differential (plus-8) in the NHL.
  • Jack Eichel leads all NHL players with 13 points and is tied for second in the league lead with seven goals. His plus-8 rating ranks fourth in the league.
  • Victor Olofsson is tied for sixth in the NHL with six assists and tied for third with 10 points
  • Johan Larsson is tied for sixth in the league in assists (6) and tied for fifth in plus/minus (plus-7).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen’s plus-9 rating ranks third in the NHL and his six assists tie for sixth-most among all NHL players.
  • Linus Ullmark is 4-1-1 with a .924 save percentage in six appearances, tying for the most wins in the NHL.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel enters today’s game on a career-best 16-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. The streak is the longest recorded by an NHL player this season.
  • Entering play Monday, his 15 goals, 29 points and plus-19 rating during the streak all led the NHL during that timeframe. His 13 assists were one shy of the league lead during that stretch.
  • The streak is tied for the fourth-longest in franchise history and is 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
Jack Eichel 16 Nov. 16, 2019 Active 15 14 29
Rick Martin 16 Oct. 27, 1974 Nov. 28, 1974 13 15 28
Tim Connolly 16 Dec. 23, 2009 Jan. 25, 2010 7 18 25

5-ON-5 GOALS

  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres entered play Monday with three players among the league’s leaders in 5-on-5 goals: Jack Eichel (12, T-5th), Jeff Skinner (11, T-10th), Sam Reinhart 10, T-17th).
  • Only 21 NHL players had at least 10 goals during 5-on-5 play entering play Monday. Buffalo joined the Edmonton Oilers (Draisaitl, Kassian, McDavid) as one of two teams with three players among those 21.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen positive trends at even strength in the team’s 17 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 17 Games 53.73 49.21 50.00 48.80

During the 17-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: 10 times
  • shot attempts: 11 times
  • scoring chances: 10 times

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 23 goals in 34 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 34 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 55 goals and 116 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 80 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 (34) 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 34 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (29).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 14 multi-point games this season, tying for sixth-most in the NHL before Monday’s games.
  • Entering play Monday, 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 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 12/16 games)

  • Eichel: 17 EVG (1st), 23 G (2nd), 33 EVP (T-3rd), 48 PTS (T-5th), 15 PPP (T-7th), 4 GWG (T-8th), 25 A (9th), 123 S (9th), 6 PPG (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-3rd)
  • Olofsson: 8 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 103 hits (T-9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (103), Girgensons (51), McCabe (51)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (54), Ristolainen (40), Jokiharju (30)
Shots: Eichel (123), Skinner (118), Olofsson (85)

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: 3-0-1 (7), 14/10, 2/9, 9/10

OVERTIME RESULTS (3-6; 123-134 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)
Dec. 14 at NYI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Beauvillier, 3:04)

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 … 5 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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