Game Preview: 12/29/19 at Boston


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Friday, December 27
Boston 3 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Ullmark (22 saves/24 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/2; PK: 3/4; Shots: Buffalo 26 – Boston 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 178)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 39 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 23 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 19 games
Johan Larsson (lower body, Dec. 21) – 3 games
Marco Scandella (illness, Dec. 27) – 1 game
Jeff Skinner (upper body, Dec. 29) – 0 games

12/24: Assigned F Curtis Lazar to Rochester (AHL)
12/27: Recalled F Curtis Lazar from Rochester (AHL)

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.
Saturday, Jan. 11: Vancouver at Buffalo, 1 p.m.


  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo 3-0 in Buffalo on Dec. 27
  • Next meeting: Friday, March 13 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 5-4-1 on the road.
  • This is the 296th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 125-125-45 series record.
  • The Sabres are 51-74-21 on the road against the Bruins all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-11-5 all-time on December 29.
  • December 29, 1983: Real Cloutier scores three times in a span of 5:21 in the second period to kick-start the Sabres’ offense in an 8-5 win vs. Quebec.
  • December 29, 2017: Jake McCabe records an assist in his 200th NHL game, a 4-3 overtime win at New Jersey.
  • December 29, 2018: Carter Hutton makes 39 saves and Marco Scandella records two points (1+1), but the Sabres fall to the Bruins 3-2 in overtime.


  • The road team has won seven of the last 10 games between these teams.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 11 points (5+6) in seven career road games against the Bruins.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled three assists in three career visits to Boston.
  • Marcus Johansson has posted eight points (4+4) in his last nine road games in Boston, including a point in each of his last four games at TD Garden as a member of the visiting team (2+2). The current streak began on Jan. 5, 2016, when he scored a goal against the Bruins as a member of the Washington Capitals.
  • Sam Reinhart has tallied five assists in his five road games against the Bruins since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has scored in three of his last four visits to TD Garden, including each of his last two.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded 24 points (10+14) in his last 24 games, including two-point performances in five of the team’s last 12 games. He has failed to record a point in just five of those 24 games and leads all NHL rookies in goals (16) and points (34) this season.


  • Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s fourth of five home-and-home sets this season after a 3-0 Bruins win on Friday in Buffalo.
  • 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.


  • Entering play Saturday, Jack Eichel’s 16 points since the beginning of December tied for third-most among all NHL players and his eight goals during that span tied for fifth-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 three consecutive appearances since early November. In his 22 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).


  • According to, the Sabres entered play Saturday with three players among the league’s leaders in 5-on-5 goals: Jack Eichel (13, T-5th), Jeff Skinner (11, T-16th), Sam Reinhart (10, T-26th).
  • Only 38 NHL players had at least 10 goals during 5-on-5 play entering play Saturday. Buffalo joined the Edmonton Oilers (Draisaitl, Kassian, McDavid) as one of two teams with three players among those 38.


  • With 24 goals in 38 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 39 team games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 51 goals and 109 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 75 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 third-most points ever recorded by a Sabres rookie (71), trailing only Rick Martin (74 in 1971-72) and Gilbert Perreault (72 on 1970-71).
  • Sam Reinhart’s 12 goals in 39 games put him on pace to tie his career-high goal total (25) from 2017-18.


  • Jack Eichel has recorded 15 multi-point games this season, tying for sixth-most in the NHL entering play Saturday.
  • Prior to Saturday’s games, his six multi-goal games tied to lead the league and his eight multi-assist games tied 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) had more games with at least three points this season entering play Saturday.
  • Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied for the league lead before Saturday’s games. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, only seven players had 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).


  • The Sabres and the Buffalo Bills are playing on the same day for the fifth time this season after doing so three times last season.
  • The teams have previously played on the same date 224 times, with both teams winning their respective games on 50 of those days.
  • The Sabres are 121-69-34 when playing on a Bills game day and the Bills enter this game 95-127-2 on those dates.
  • The last time the Sabres and Bills both won on the same date was Nov. 24, 2019.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/28 games)

  • Eichel: 18 EVG (T-1st), 24 G (T-2nd), 35 EVP (T-3rd), 51 PTS (6th), 4 GWG (T-8th), 27 A (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-5th)
  • Olofsson: 9 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 116 hits (T-8th)

Hits: Ristolainen (116), Girgensons (58), McCabe (58)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (59), Ristolainen (46), Jokiharju/Scandella (34)
Shots: Eichel (139), Skinner (128), Olofsson (97)

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: 4-4-1 (9), 22/29, 4/20, 19/24

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
Conor Sheary … 6 games … 300 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 1 goal … 100 career goals
Kyle Okposo … 9 goals … 200 career goals
Marco Scandella … 9 assists … 100 career assists
Kyle Okposo … 5 points … 500 career points
Zach Bogosian … 8 points … 200 career points 

Jeff Skinner … 700th NHL game … 12/27 vs. BOS

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