Game Preview: 12/27/19 vs. Boston

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, December 23
Buffalo 1 at Ottawa 3
Goals: Girgensons
Goalie: Ullmark (27 saves/29 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 44 – Ottawa 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 173)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 38 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 22 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 18 games
Johan Larsson (lower body, Dec. 21) – 2 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, Dec. 23) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/24: Assigned F Curtis Lazar to Rochester (AHL)
12/27: Recalled F Curtis Lazar from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Jan. 9: Buffalo at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BRUINS at SABRES

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo 3-2 in Boston on Nov. 21
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Dec. 29 in Boston
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 1-6-3 at home.
  • This is the 295th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 125-124-45 series record.
  • The Sabres are 74-50-24 at home against the Bruins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-8-3 all-time on December 27.
  • December 27, 1991: Dave Andreychuk and Pat LaFontaine each score twice, and Clint Malarchuk makes 38 saves, in an 8-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at The Aud.
  • December 27, 2003: Jason Pominville makes his NHL debut in a 3-1 win at Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Jeff Skinner is expected to appear in his 700th NHL game tonight.
  • The road team has won six of the nine games between these teams in the last two seasons.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded five points (2+3) in his last three games against Boston.
  • Linus Ullmark has stopped 98 of 105 shots (.933) in his three career games against the Bruins.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded 24 points (10+14) in his last 23 games, including two-point performances in five of the team’s last 11 games. He has failed to record a point in just four of those 23 games and leads all NHL rookies in goals (16) and points (34) this season.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 10 points (3+7) in Buffalo’s last 10 games, including four multi-point games during that stretch.
  • Linus Ullmark has posted a 7-3-2 record in his last 12 appearances.

HOME COOKING

  • The Sabres have won each of their last five home games and are seeking their first six-game home winning streak of the season. They have outscored their opponents 25-12 at home during the five-game streak.
  • Buffalo’s plus-19 goal differential at home is tied for third-best in the NHL.
  • The Sabres are 11-3-3 (.735) through their first 17 home games of the season, putting the team on pace for its sixth-best home record in a season and its best since 1979-80.
  • Linus Ullmark has won each of his last five games at KeyBank Center, posting a .929 save percentage and a 2.40 goals-against average in those games.
  • Jack Eichel’s 31 points (17+14) in 17 home games this season tie for third-most home points in the league. He has recorded at least a point in each of Buffalo’s last eight home games, totaling 17 points (11+6) and a plus-10 rating at KeyBank Center during that stretch.
  • Victor Olofsson has at least a point in each of Buffalo’s 10 home games dating back to Nov. 8 vs. Tampa Bay, totaling 12 points (5+7) and a plus-12 rating in those games.
  • Sam Reinhart has tallied two points in each of the Sabres’ last three home games, totaling one goal and five assists during that span.
  • Johan Larsson has recorded seven points (2+5) and a plus-7 rating in his last six home games.
  • Jimmy Vesey has totaled six points (3+3) and a plus-6 rating in the Sabres’ last six home games, including a point in each of the last three.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has posted four points (1+3) and a plus-10 rating in his last five games at KeyBank Center.
  • Brandon Montour has recorded an assist in four of his last five home games, posting a plus-5 rating in those games.
  • Henri Jokiharju has three points (1+2) and a plus-5 rating in Buffalo’s four home games since the beginning of December.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel’s 16 points since the beginning of December rank him third among all NHL players and his eight goals during that span are tied for second-most in the league.
  • With his 50th point of the season on Dec. 17 at Toronto, Eichel became the first Sabre 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 hasn’t been held without a point in consecutive appearances since early November. In his 21 games played since then, he has totaled 34 points (17+17), including a stretch of 18 straight games (Nov. 16 to Dec. 21) that tied Gilbert Perreault (Oct. 24 to Dec. 4, 1971) for the most consecutive games played with a point in franchise history.
  • The streak was 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).

HOME-AND-HOME

  • The Sabres have played in 166 previous home-and-home series in franchise history, going 94-49-23 (.636) in the home games and 57-79-30 (.434) in the road games in previous series.
  • The team is 72-65-29 (.521) all-time in the first game of these previous series and 79-63-24 (.548) in the second.
  • Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (32), three points (25), two points (67), one point (17), zero points (25).
  • This season, the Sabres have swept San Jose in a home-and-home series on Oct. 19 and 22 and were swept by the Lightning on Nov. 8 and 9 in Stockholm, Sweden. They earned three points on Dec. 29 and 30 against Toronto. They will face the Carolina Hurricanes in their final home-and-home of the season on March 15 and 17.

5-ON-5 GOALS

  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the Sabres have three players among the league’s leaders in 5-on-5 goals: Jack Eichel (13, T-5th), Jeff Skinner (11, T-14th), Sam Reinhart (10, T-24th).
  • Only 36 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 36.

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 24 goals in 37 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 38 team games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 53 goals and 112 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) and Mogilny (78 in 1992-93) are the only 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 (35) since Ray Sheppard’s 38 in 1987-88 and the second-most points ever recorded by a Sabres rookie (73), trailing only Rick Martin’s franchise-record 74 in 1971-72.
  • Sam Reinhart’s 12 goals in 38 games put him on pace for a career-high goal total (26).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 15 multi-point games this season, tying for sixth-most in the NHL.
  • His six multi-goal games tie to lead the league and his eight multi-assist games tie for third-most.
  • 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) have more games with at least three points this season.
  • Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tie for the league lead. 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)

  • Eichel: 18 EVG (T-1st), 35 EVP (T-2nd), 24 G (T-2nd), 51 PTS (6th), 4 GWG (T-8th), 27 A (T-9th), 16 PPP (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-4th)
  • Olofsson: 9 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 113 hits (T-9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (113), McCabe (58), Girgensons (57)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (58), Ristolainen (46), Scandella (34)
Shots: Eichel (134), Skinner (127), Olofsson (96)

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: 4-3-1 (9), 22/26, 4/18, 16/20

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 … 1 game … 700 career games played
Conor Sheary … 7 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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