Game Preview: 1/2/20 vs. Edmonton

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 31
Tampa Bay 6 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Sheary, Johansson, Vesey, Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (21 saves/26 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 3/5; Shots: Buffalo 27 – Tampa Bay 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 187)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 41 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 25 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 21 games
Jeff Skinner (upper body, Dec. 29; injured reserve) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/27: Recalled F Curtis Lazar from Rochester (AHL)
12/30: Signed F Dalton Smith to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000; Placed F Jeff Skinner on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Jan. 4: Florida at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 9: Buffalo at St. Louis, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 11: Vancouver at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 12: Buffalo at Detroit, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 14: Vegas at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
OILERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Oilers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Edmonton 3-2 (OT) in Edmonton on Dec. 8, 2019
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Oilers; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 79th game all-time between Buffalo and Edmonton; Buffalo has a 27-40-11 series record.
  • The Sabres are 15-16-8 at home against the Oilers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-6-5 all-time on January 2.
  • January 2, 1993: Alexander Mogilny scores his third hat trick in an 11-day span in a 7-2 win at Ottawa. Mogilny would finish the season with seven hat tricks, tying Rick Martin’s franchise record set in 1975-76.
  • January 2, 1999: Miroslav Satan extends his goal streak to eight games with a game-winning tally in a 7-1 win at home against Calgary.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would sweep the season series with the Oilers for the third time in four seasons. Edmonton won both matchups in the 2018-19 season. The teams haven’t split a series since 2013-14, the first season that they resumed facing off twice a year.
  • Kyle Okposo has tallied 15 points (8+7) in 15 career games against Edmonton. The Oilers are one of four NHL teams (San Jose, Vancouver, Vegas) that he has recorded exactly a point per game against, his highest per-game rate against any team.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 14 points (2+12) in 12 career games against the Oilers, including at least a point in six of his seven meetings with Edmonton since the beginning of the 2016-17 season. It’s his highest point total and best career per-game output against any NHL opponent.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 10 points (5+5) in eight career games against Edmonton.
  • Victor Olofsson recorded 14 points (6+8) in 14 games in December. He leads all NHL rookies in goals (16) and points (34) this season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin’s .64 points per game so far this season represent the best scoring rate by a Sabres defenseman since Brian Campbell (.68) in 2007-08.

PACIFIC DIVISION

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 5-2-3 record against the Pacific Division in 2019-20, including a 2-0-2 mark at home.
  • Since the beginning of last season, Edmonton is the only Pacific Division team to win a game in Buffalo in regulation.
  • The Sabres are 8-1-3 at home against the division during that span, including a 4-3 record in games that were tied after regulation.

HOME COOKING

  • The Sabres are 11-5-3 through their first 19 home games of the season. The team has yet to go three straight home games without recording a point in 2019-20.
  • With 32 points (18+14) in 19 home games this season, Jack Eichel’s 1.68 points per game at home rank second in the league. His plus-19 rating at home leads the league, with Colorado’s Ryan Graves ranking second at plus-15.
  • Victor Olofsson (9+9) and Sam Reinhart (7+10) are also producing near a point-per-game rate through 19 home games this season.
  • Johan Larsson has recorded seven points (2+5) and a plus-7 rating in his last seven home games.
  • Linus Ullmark has won five of his last six games at KeyBank Center, posting a .914 save percentage and a 2.74 goals-against average in those games.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has been selected to represent the Sabres at NHL All-Star Weekend on Jan. 24 and 25 in St. Louis. With his third consecutive All-Star nod, Eichel becomes the seventh player in franchise history to represent the team in at least three NHL All-Star Games, joining Rick Martin (7), Gilbert Perreault (6), Dominik Hasek (5), Mike Ramsey (4), Phil Housley (3) and Alexander Mogilny (3).
  • Eichel’s 24 goals tie for third-most among all NHL players and his 52 points tie for seventh-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 24 games played since then, he has totaled 36 points (18+18), 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).

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 25 goals in 40 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 41 team games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 51 goals and 107 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 73 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 (32) since Ray Sheppard’s 38 in 1987-88 and the third-most points ever recorded by a Sabres rookie (68), trailing only Rick Martin (74 in 1971-72) and Gilbert Perreault (72 on 1970-71).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 15 multi-point games this season, tying for 10th-most in the NHL.
  • His six multi-goal games rank second in the league and his eight multi-assist games tie for fifth-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 eight players had totaled at least four points more times than Eichel’s eight: Nikita Kucherov (15), Patrick Kane (12), Connor McDavid (10), Johnny Gaudreau (9), Brad Marchand (9), Alex Ovechkin (9), Artemi Panarin (9) and Steven Stamkos (9).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/1 game)

  • Eichel: 18 EVG (2nd), 25 G (3rd), 36 EVP (T-4th), 53 PTS (T-7th), 4 GWG (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-5th)
  • Olofsson: 9 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 127 hits (8th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (127), Girgensons (61), McCabe (60)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (60), Ristolainen (47), Jokiharju (37)
Shots: Eichel (141), Skinner (128), Olofsson (98)

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: 4-5-1 (9), 24/32, 4/23, 23/30
41-50: 0-1-0 (0), 4/6, 0/4, 3/5

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

RECENT MILESTONES
Jeff Skinner … 700th NHL game … 12/27 vs. BOS
Dalton Smith … 1st NHL game … 12/31 vs. TBL

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