Game Preview: 12/23/19 at Ottawa

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, December 21
Los Angeles 2 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Ristolainen, Scandella, Olofsson
Goalie: Ullmark (25 saves/27 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 28 – Los Angeles 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 168)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 37 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 21 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 17 games
Johan Larsson (lower body, Dec. 21) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/20: Recalled F Curtis Lazar from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Jan. 2: Edmonton at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday. Jan. 4: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at SENATORS

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Senators this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Ottawa 4-2 in Buffalo on Nov. 16
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 28 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Senators; 5-3-2 on the road.
  • This is the 143rd game all-time between Buffalo and Ottawa; Buffalo has a 70-52-20 series record.
  • The Sabres are 31-29-12 on the road against the Senators all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 17-11-4 all-time on December 23.
  • December 23, 1989: Phil Housley records five points (1+4) in a 6-5 win over the Quebec Nordiques, earning his share of the Sabres’ record for most points in one game by a defenseman.
  • December 23, 2013: The Sabres top the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime despite dressing only 16 skaters and losing Drew Stafford to a game misconduct in the second period.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres have gone 11-3-3 in their last 17 games against the Senators.
  • The home team has won each of the five meetings between these teams since the beginning of last season.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 23 points (9+14) in 14 career games against the Senators, including at least a point in all but two of those games and eight points (3+6) in six road games. His 23 points and 1.64 points per game against the Senators represent his best outputs against any NHL opponent.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 16 points (6+10) in 17 career meetings with the Senators, including two-point games in three of the last four matchups.
  • Colin Miller has recorded at least a point in each of his last three games against Ottawa, totaling five points (1+4) in those games.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled five points (3+2) in five meetings with the Senators since the beginning of last season.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded points in both of his previous games against Ottawa, totaling three points (1+2), eight shots and a plus-4 rating in those contests.
  • Linus Ullmark has earned a win in both of his career matchups with the Senators, logging a .923 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average in those games.

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 Sunday, his 16 points since the beginning of December tied to lead all NHL players and his eight goals during that span tied for second-most in the league.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded points in each of Buffalo’s last six games (4+4). He has joined John Tucker (1984-85) as just the second Sabres rookie to record two different six-game point streaks in a season
  • Olofsson has now recorded 24 points (10+14) in his last 22 games, including two-point performances in five of the team’s last 10 games. He has failed to record a point in just three of those 22 games and entered play Saturday leading all NHL rookies in goals (16) and points (34) this season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded five points (1+4) in five games since returning from an eight-game injury absence.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 10 points (3+7) in Buffalo’s last nine games, including four multi-point games during that stretch.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has nine points (2+7) in the Sabres’ last 12 games dating back to Nov. 29 vs. Toronto. His plus-11 mark in those games was the fourth-best plus/minus rating in the NHL during that span before Sunday’s games.
  • Linus Ullmark has posted a 7-2-2 record in his last 11 appearances.

JACK ATTACK

  • With two points (1+1) on Tuesday night at Toronto, Jack 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.
  • Since scoring four goals on Nov. 16 vs. Ottawa, Eichel has recorded a point in a career-best 18 straight games played. He has tied Gilbert Perreault (Oct. 24 to Dec. 4, 1971) for the most consecutive games played with a point in franchise history. It’s the NHL’s fifth-longest personal point streak in the last decade, trailing only Taylor Hall (26 in 2017-18), Patrick Kane (26 in 2015-16), Sidney Crosby (25 in 2010-11) and Patrick Kane (20 in 2018-19).
  • Entering play Sunday, Eichel’s 16 goals, 32 points and plus-19 rating since the run started all led the NHL during that timeframe. His 16 assists were three shy of the league lead during that stretch.

5-ON-5 GOALS

  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres entered play Sunday with three players among the league’s leaders in 5-on-5 goals: Jack Eichel (13, T-5th), Jeff Skinner (11, T-13th), Sam Reinhart (10, T-21st).
  • Only 32 NHL players had at least 10 goals during 5-on-5 play entering play Sunday. Buffalo joined the Edmonton Oilers (Draisaitl, Kassian, McDavid) as one of two teams with three players among those 32.

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 24 goals in 36 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 37 team games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 54 goals and 115 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 79 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 (35) 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 37 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (27).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 15 multi-point games this season, tying for third-most in the NHL before Sunday’s games.
  • Entering play Sunday, his six multi-goal games tied to lead 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 Sunday.
  • Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied for the league lead entering play Sunday. 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 (11), Connor McDavid (10), Johnny Gaudreau (9), Brad Marchand (9), Alex Ovechkin (9) and Steven Stamkos (9).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/22 games)

  • Eichel: 18 EVG (1st), 35 EVP (T-1st), 24 G (2nd), 51 PTS (T-4th), 16 PPP (T-8th), 4 GWG (T-8th), 27 A (9th), plus-16 (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-4th)
  • Olofsson: 9 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 112 hits (9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (112), Girgensons (56), McCabe (56)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (57), Ristolainen (44), Jokiharju (33)
Shots: Eichel (130), Skinner (122), Olofsson (92)

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: 4-2-1 (9), 21/23, 4/16, 14/18

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 … 2 games … 700 career games played
Conor Sheary … 8 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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