Game Preview: 12/19/19 at Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 17
Buffalo 3 at Toronto 5
Goals: Dahlin, Eichel, Okposo
Goalie: Ullmark (28 saves/32 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/2; PK: 1/1; Shots: Toronto 33 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 160)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 35 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 19 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 15 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/15: Assigned F Casey Mittelstadt to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, Dec. 31: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at FLYERS

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Philadelphia on Feb. 26.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 7 in Philadelphia
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 180th game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 69-86-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-52-14 on the road against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-8-5 all-time on December 19.
  • December 19, 1987: Lindy Ruff appears in his 500th NHL game, a 2-1 Sabres win at Montreal.
  • December 19, 1993: Dave Hannan plays his 100th game as a member of the Sabres, recording two assists in a 3-3 tie vs. Tampa Bay.
  • December 19, 2005: Ryan Miller stops 33 of 34 Philadelphia shots (plus three of four in the shootout) and Maxim Afinogenov scores the shootout winner as the Sabres top the Flyers 2-1 in Philadelphia.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Carter Hutton is 4-1-0 in his career against Philadelphia, posting a .917 save percentage in those games.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (8+3) in his 11 career games against Philadelphia, including at least a point in each of the last five meetings (5+2).
  • Jeff Skinner enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak against the Flyers (1+3) and has 11 points (6+5) in his last 11 visits to Philadelphia.
  • Sam Reinhart and Evan Rodrigues both recorded one goal and two assists in three games against the Flyers last season.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded four points (3+1) in his last three visits to Philadelphia.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has been selected as the NHL’s Third Star of the week for each of the last two weeks. Entering play Wednesday, his 15 points since the beginning of December led all NHL players and his eight goals during that span tied for second-most in the league.
  • Eichel, who has recorded two points in each of Buffalo’s last four games, is the first player to do so for the Sabres since Andrej Sekera recorded five straight multi-point games from Feb. 26 to March 6, 2011.
  • Victor Olofsson entered play Wednesday tied for second in the NHL during the month of December with 12 points and tied for third with eight assists.
  • Olofsson has now recorded 22 points (8+14) in his last 20 games, including two-point performances in five of the team’s last eight games. He has failed to record a point in just three of those 20 games and entered play Wednesday leading all NHL rookies in goals (14) and points (30) this season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded at least a point (1+3) in each of his three games since returning from an eight-game injury absence and now has six points (1+5) in his last six games played, dating back to Nov. 21.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled eight points (3+5) in Buffalo’s last seven games, including three multi-point games during that stretch.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has eight points (1+7) in the Sabres’ last 10 games, dating back to Nov. 29 vs. Toronto. His plus-11 mark in those games ties as the third-best plus/minus rating in the NHL during that span.
  • Linus Ullmark has posted a 6-2-2 record in his last 10 appearances.

JACK ATTACK

  • After scoring in each of Buffalo’s last four games, Jack Eichel is currently on the longest goal streak of his career. He entered play Wednesday ranked second in the league with 24 goals this season.
  • With two points (1+1) on Tuesday night at Toronto, Eichel became the first Buffalo player to reach 50 points in 35 or fewer games since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine and Alexander Mogilny). He joins Rick Martin as the only other player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals and 50 points in each of his first five NHL seasons.
  • Eichel enters tonight’s game on a career-best 17-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. The streak is the longest recorded by an NHL player this season.
  • Entering play Wednesday, his 16 goals, 31 points and plus-17 rating during the streak all led the NHL during that timeframe. His 15 assists were one shy of the league lead during that stretch.
  • The streak is tied for the second-longest in franchise history and is the longest by a Sabre since Dave Andreychuk tallied points in 17 consecutive games from Oct. 18 to Nov. 14, 1992.

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 17 Nov. 16, 2019 Active 16 15 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

5-ON-5 GOALS

  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres entered play Wednesday with three players among the league’s leaders in 5-on-5 goals: Jack Eichel (13, T-5th), Jeff Skinner (11, T-12th), Sam Reinhart 10, T-17th).
  • Only 23 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 21.

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 24 goals in 35 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 35 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 56 goals and 117 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 (33) since Ray Sheppard’s 38 in 1987-88 and the most points ever recorded by a Sabres rookie (75), topping Rick Martin’s franchise-record 74 in 1971-72.
  • Sam Reinhart’s 12 goals in 35 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (28).

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen positive trends at even strength in the team’s 18 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 18 Games 52.86 49.18 50.02 48.59

During the 18-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: 12 times
  • scoring chances: 10 times

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 15 multi-point games this season, tying for third-most in the NHL before Wednesday’s games.
  • Entering play Wednesday, his six multi-goal games led the league and his eight multi-assist games tied for second-most, trailing only Connor McDavid (10).
  • 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 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 12/18 games)

  • Eichel: 18 EVG (1st), 24 G (2nd), 34 EVP (T-2nd), 50 PTS (5th), 16 PPP (T-6th), 128 S (T-7th), 4 GWG (T-8th), 26 A (T-8th), 6 PPG (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-3rd)
  • Olofsson: 8 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 103 hits (9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (103), Girgensons (54), McCabe (53)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (55), Ristolainen (42), Jokiharju (30)
Shots: Eichel (128), Skinner (119), Olofsson (90)

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: 3-1-1 (7), 17/15, 3/11, 10/11

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 … 4 games … 700 career games played
Conor Sheary … 9 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Sam Reinhart … 1 goal … 100 career goals
Kyle Okposo … 9 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Marco Scandella … 9 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Kyle Okposo … 5 points … 500 career points
Zach Bogosian … 8 points … 200 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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