Game Preview: 1/11/20 vs. Vancouver

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, January 9
Buffalo 1 at St. Louis 5
Goals: Eichel
Goalie: Ullmark (26 saves/30 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/1; PK: 0/1; Shots: St. Louis 31 – Buffalo 19

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 202)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 44 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 28 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 24 games
Jeff Skinner (upper body, Dec. 29; injured reserve) – 5 games
Victor Olofsson (lower body, Jan. 4; injured reserve) – 2 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Jan. 9) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/6: Assigned F Dalton Smith to Rochester (AHL)
1/7: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL)
1/8: Placed F Victor Olofsson on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Saturday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 28: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
CANUCKS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
  • Last meeting: Vancouver defeated Buffalo 6-5 (OT) in Vancouver on Dec. 7, 2019
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 6-4-0 at home.
  • This is the 124th game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 50-53-20 series record.
  • The Sabres are 32-21-8 at home against the Canucks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-7-4 all-time on January 11.
  • January 11, 1976: Gerry Desjardins earns his second shutout of the season with 28 saves in a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh.
  • January 11, 1994: Randy Wood scores his first career penalty-shot goal in a 5-2 win at Chicago.
  • January 11, 2019: Jason Pominville scores his 211th goal as a member of the Sabres, tying Alexander Mogilny for 11th-most in franchise history. Pominville would finish the season with 217 goals as a Sabre, ranking him 10th all-time.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Conor Sheary is expected to appear in his 300th NHL game today.
  • Kyle Okposo has totaled 14 points (4+10) in his last 12 games against Vancouver, including a point in each of the last six meetings (4+2). His career point-per-game output through 14 games against the Canucks ties his mark against the San Jose Sharks (5+11 in 16 GP) and the Vegas Golden Knights (0+3 in 3 GP) as his best against any NHL team.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen enters today’s game with 10 points in his last nine games against the Canucks (2+8), including at least a point in each of his last six (0+8).
  • Sam Reinhart has scored in each of his last four games against Vancouver, totaling six points (4+2) in those matchups.
  • Marcus Johansson (3+1) and Johan Larsson (1+3) have each recorded four points in their last four games against the Canucks.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has recorded points in each of Buffalo’s last five games (3+2). His current stretch trails only his run of 18 consecutive games played with a point (Nov. 16 to Dec. 21) for his longest streak this season.
  • Marcus Johansson has totaled six points (1+5) in his last five games.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled five points (2+3) in the Sabres’ last five contests.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded four points (2+2) in Buffalo’s last four games.
  • Rasmus Dahlin enters today’s game with points in two straight games. His .64 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 13-5-3 through their first 21 home games of the season. The team’s .690 points percentage at home ranked ninth in the NHL before Friday’s games. If they finished the season at this pace, it would rank as the Sabres’ 12th-best home record in franchise history.
  • With 34 points (19+15) in 21 home games this season, Jack Eichel’s 1.62 points per game at ranked fourth in the league entering play Friday. His plus-19 rating at home led the league.
  • Sam Reinhart (9+11) is also producing near a point-per-game rate through 21 home games this season. Reinhart has totaled nine points (3+6) in his last seven games at KeyBank Center.
  • Marcus Johansson enters today’s game with at least a point in each of his last three home games, totaling five points (1+4) in those contests.
  • Jimmy Vesey has recorded eight points (4+4) and a plus-7 rating in his last 10 home games.
  • Conor Sheary has posted six points (4+2) and a plus-4 rating in his last five home games.
  • Linus Ullmark has won seven of his last nine games at KeyBank Center, posting a .918 save percentage and a 2.57 goals-against average in those games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game opens Buffalo’s ninth of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Detroit. The Sabres are 3-4-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-4-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (2), two points (4), one point (0) and zero points (2).

WELCOME TO BUFFALO

  • Michael Frolik is expected to make his home debut for the Sabres today. He logged two shots in 16:44 of ice time his first game with the Sabres on Thursday at St. Louis.
  • The Sabres acquired Frolik on Jan. 2 from the Calgary Flames in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.
  • The 12-year NHL veteran has scored at least 15 goals in five of the last six seasons, including at least 10 goals at even strength in each of those five seasons.
  • Frolik has totaled 19 points (7+12) in 47 career NHL playoff contests, appearing in the postseason six times. He played in all 23 playoff games for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2013, culminating in his first Stanley Cup championship.
  • He has represented the Czech Republic in major international tournaments nine times in his career. Most recently, he served as an alternate captain and recorded 14 points (7+7) in 10 games at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.

JACK ATTACK

  • Entering play Friday, Jack Eichel’s 27 goals this season ranked third among all NHL players and his 56 points tied for eighth in the league.
  • 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).
  • 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 27 games played since then, he has totaled 39 points (20+19), 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 27 goals in 43 games so far this season, Jack Eichel is one goal from tying his previous best total set in the 2018-19 season.
  • Eichel’s output through 44 team games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 51 goals and 105 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 14 goals in 44 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, ranking as the 11th-most in the NHL before Friday’s games.
  • Entering play Friday, his six multi-goal games tied for second-most in the league and his eight multi-assist games tied for eighth-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 (10) 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 third-most in the league before Wednesday’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 (11), 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 1/10 games)

  • Eichel: 20 EVG (2nd), 27 G (3rd), 39 EVP (T-5th), 5 GWG (T-6th), 56 PTS (T-8th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-5th)
  • Olofsson: 9 PPG (T-3rd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (133), Girgensons (69), McCabe (60)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (61), Ristolainen (51), Jokiharju (37)
Shots: Eichel (150), 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: 2-2-0 (4), 11/15, 1/10, 7/10

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 … 1 game … 300 career games played
Linus Ullmark … 9 games … 100 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
N/A

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