Game Preview: 1/4/20 vs. Florida

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, January 2
Edmonton 2 at Buffalo 3 (OT)
Goals: Lazar, Reinhart, Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (25 saves/27 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 1/1; Shots: Edmonton 27 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 191)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 42 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 26 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 22 games
Jeff Skinner (upper body, Dec. 29; injured reserve) – 3 games
Victor Olofsson (lower body, Jan. 4) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/30: Signed F Dalton Smith to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000; Placed F Jeff Skinner on IR
1/2: Placed F Dalton Smith on waivers; Acquired a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for D Marco Scandella; Acquired F Michael Frolik from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft
1/3: Recalled F Scott Wilson from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Jan. 16: Buffalo at Dallas, 8:30 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
PANTHERS at SABRES

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Florida 5-2 in Florida on Nov. 24, 2019
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 19 in Florida
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 4-6-0 at home.
  • This is the 103rd game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 51-42-9 series record.
  • The Sabres are 29-19-4 at home against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-8-3 all-time on January 4.
  • January 4, 1976: The Sabres defeat the Soviet Wings 12-6 in an international exhibition game at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, handing the Soviets the worst loss ever by a USSR squad in international play. The Sabres were one of only two teams from the NHL to defeat the Wings on their tour.
  • January 4, 1984: Real Cloutier scores his second hat trick in six days and Gilbert Perreault registers five assists as the Sabres roll to a 9-4 win at Winnipeg.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With wins in their first two meetings of the season, the Sabres have multiple victories against the Panthers in a season for the first time since 2016-17. A win today would give Buffalo wins in three consecutive matchups with Florida for the first time since they won three straight from Feb. 10 to Oct. 20, 2011.
  • Sam Reinhart has 19 points (9+10) in 19 career games against the Panthers, including six multi-point games. It’s his highest point total against any NHL team and ties his rate against Nashville (6+3 in 9 GP) for his best career per-game output against any opponent.
  • Jack Eichel has posted 10 points (2+8) in his last 10 matchups with the Panthers, including the game-winner in the last game between the teams and the shootout winner in their first meeting of the season.
  • Zemgus Girgensons has recorded at least a point in each of his last three games against Florida, totaling five points (2+3) in those contests.
  • Johan Larsson (1+2) has also contributed a point in each of the Sabres’ last three games against the Panthers.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled nine points (2+7) in nine games against the Panthers since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Carter Hutton is 2-1-0 in four career appearances against the Panthers with a .933 save percentage and a 2.03 goals-against average.
  • Linus Ullmark has posted a 4-2-1 record in seven career games against Florida with a .927 save percentage and a 2.81 goals-against average.
  • Rasmus Dahlin’s .62 points per game so far this season represent the best scoring rate by a Sabres defenseman since Brian Campbell (.68) in 2007-08.

HOME COOKING

  • The Sabres are 12-5-3 through their first 20 home games of the season. The team has totaled 27 points through its first 20 home games for the second consecutive season.
  • The team’s .675 points percentage at home ranked 10th in the NHL before Friday’s games. If they finished the season at this pace, it would tie as the Sabres’ 11th-best home record ever and would be their best since the 1989-90 season (27-11-2, .700).
  • With 33 points (19+14) in 20 home games this season, Jack Eichel’s 1.65 points per game at home tied for second in the league entering play Friday. His plus-19 rating at home led the league, with Colorado’s Ryan Graves ranking second at plus-15.
  • Sam Reinhart (8+10) is also producing near a point-per-game rate through 20 home games this season. Reinhart has totaled seven points (2+5) in his last six games at KeyBank Center.
  • Johan Larsson has recorded six points (1+5) and a plus-7 rating in his last six home games.
  • Conor Sheary has posted five points (3+2) and a plus-4 rating in his last four home games.
  • Linus Ullmark has won six of his last eight games at KeyBank Center, posting a .915 save percentage and a 2.64 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).
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel’s 25 goals ranked third among all NHL players and his 54 points ranked him eighth 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 25 games played since then, he has totaled 37 points (19+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 26 goals in 41 games so far this season, Jack Eichel is two goals from tying his previous best total set in the 2018-19 season.
  • Eichel’s output through 42 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.
  • Sam Reinhart’s 13 goals in 42 games put him on pace to tie his career-high goal total (25) from 2017-18.

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 15 multi-point games this season, tying for 11th-most in the NHL.
  • Entering play Friday, his six multi-goal games ranked second in the league and his eight multi-assist games tied for sixth-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 Friday.
  • Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied for second-most in the league before Friday’s games. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, only nine 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), Nathan MacKinnon (0), Brad Marchand (9), Alex Ovechkin (9), Artemi Panarin (9) and Steven Stamkos (9).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/3 games)

  • Eichel: 19 EVG (2nd), 26 G (3rd), 37 EVP (T-4th), 5 GWG (T-6th), 54 PTS (8th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-5th)
  • Olofsson: 9 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 132 hits (7th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (132), Girgensons (63), McCabe (60)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (60), Ristolainen (48), Jokiharju (37)
Shots: Eichel (142), Skinner (128), Olofsson (99)

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: 1-1-0 (2), 7/8, 0/6, 4/6

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-6; 124-134 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)
Jan. 2 vs. EDM: W, 3-2 (GWG-Eichel, 1:09)

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 … 3 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 9 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Kyle Okposo … 5 points … 500 career points
Zach Bogosian … 7 points … 200 career points
Johan Larsson … 9 points … 100 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
Dalton Smith … 1st NHL game … 12/31 vs. TBL
Sam Reinhart … 100th NHL goal … 1/2 vs. EDM

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