Game Preview: 1/18/20 at Nashville

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, January 16
Buffalo 4 at Dallas 1
Goals: Vesey, Dahlin, Frolik, Girgensons
Goalie: Ullmark (28 saves/29 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 4/4; Shots: Dallas 29 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 222)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 48 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 32 games
Tage Thompson (shoulder, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 28 games
Jeff Skinner (upper body, Dec. 29; injured reserve) – 9 games
Victor Olofsson (lower body, Jan. 4; injured reserve) – 6 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Jan. 28: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 30: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 1: Columbus at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 4: Colorado at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 6: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PREDATORS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Predators this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Nashville 4-3 in Buffalo on Dec. 12, 2019
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Predators; 6-4-0 on the road.
  • This is the 29th game all-time between Buffalo and Nashville; Buffalo has an 11-13-4 series record.
  • The Sabres are 9-5-0 on the road against the Predators all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-5-4 all-time on January 18.
  • Four different Sabres goaltenders (Don Edwards, Tom Barrasso, Dominik Hasek, Martin Biron) have earned a shutout on Jan. 18. It is one of only three dates on which the Sabres have recorded four shutouts; the others are Feb. 16 and Nov. 19.
  • January 18, 1984: Tom Barrasso makes 30 saves in his first NHL shutout as the Sabres top the Los Angeles Kings 4-0.
  • January 18, 2008: Derek Roy records his third career hat trick and Drew Stafford records his first in a 10-1 win against the Atlanta Thrashers, marking the 12th game in franchise history to feature two Sabres hat tricks.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game on the team’s fourth three-game winning streak of the season and seeking their first four-game streak.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would earn their first season sweep of the Predators in the 10 multi-game season series between the teams.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (5+6) in nine career games against the Predators. Seven of those points (2+5) have come on the road, including a franchise record-tying five assists on March 31, 2018 in Nashville.
  • Kyle Okposo has 12 points (7+5) in 14 career games against Nashville. His .50 goals per game trail only his eight in 15 games against Chicago (.53) for his best scoring rate against any NHL opponent.
  • Sam Reinhart has nine points (6+3) in nine career games against the Predators, including at least a point in each of his four visits to Nashville (6+1).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled five assists in his last four games against Nashville.
  • Brandon Montour has tallied an assist in three straight meetings with the Predators entering tonight’s game.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has recorded points in each of Buffalo’s last nine games (4+7), marking the longest active streak in the NHL. He already owns the longest streak in the NHL this season after recording 31 points (16+15) in 17 consecutive team games from Nov. 16 to Dec. 17.
    • Eichel joins David Pastrnak (13 & 12) as the only other NHL player to record two separate point streaks of at least nine games this season.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 20 points (7+13) in the Sabres’ last 20 contests.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded six points (1+5) in his last six games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak (1+3). With a point tonight, he would extend his streak to five games for the second time this season.
  • Curtis Lazar has points in each of the Sabres’ last three games (1+3), marking his second three-game point streak in the last three weeks and tying his run from March 26 to 29, 2015 as the longest of his career.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded four points (1+3) in Buffalo’s last four games, including points in each of the last two.
  • Zemgus Girgensons, who logged his highest ice time (18:36) since March 2017 on Thursday at Dallas, has scored in three of the Sabres’ last four games.
  • Linus Ullmark is 5-1-0 since the beginning of January with a .929 save percentage and a 2.00 goals-against average. He has allowed just one even-strength goal in each of Buffalo’s last three games, stopping 65 of 68 shots (.956) at even strength in those contests.

SPECIAL OPS

  • Since the beginning of January, the Sabres have gone 6-for-18 (33.3%) on the power play. Their conversion rate tied as the fifth-best rate in the league during the new year entering play Friday.
    • Their plus-6 goal differential with the man advantage during that stretch tied for second in the league.
  • Through seven games in January, Buffalo has killed 15 of the team’s shorthanded situations (88.2%), tying for the sixth-best penalty kill percentage in the NHL in the new year.
    • With two shorthanded goals during that span, they joined the Dallas Stars as one of just two teams with an even goal differential while shorthanded in 2020.
    • Entering play Friday, Jake McCabe ranked fifth in the league among regular penalty killers (min. 10 shorthanded minutes) during this stretch in fewest shots against per two minutes of ice time (.704) and ranked sixth in fewest scoring chances allowed per two minutes (.528). (Data via NaturalStatTrick.com)

TEEN TITAN

  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled 71 points (12+59) through his first 122 NHL games, including 27 points (3+24) in 40 games this season.
  • With his goal on Thursday at Dallas, Dahlin passed Scott Stevens (70) for most points recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 20th birthday. He now trails only Phil Housley (132), Ray Bourque (79), Rick Hampton (76) and Bobby Orr (72) for most points ever recorded by a teenage defenseman.
  • Aaron Ekblad’s 61 points (22+39) in 129 games as a teenager led active NHL defensemen for most points before turning 20 until Dahlin recorded his 62nd point with an assist in his 108th NHL game on Dec. 14 at NY Islanders.
  • Andrei Svechnikov is the only active teenager in the NHL with more career points than Dahlin’s 71. He had 79 points (38+41) in 129 career games entering Friday’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.
  • Dahlin’s .58 points per game in his career currently ranks as the 19th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with at least 10 career games played. His .675 points per game so far this season represent the best scoring rate by a Sabres defenseman since Brian Campbell (.683) in 2007-08.

JACK ATTACK

  • Entering play Friday, Jack Eichel’s 28 goals this season ranked him fourth among all NHL players and his 62 points tied for seventh 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 60th point of the season on Jan. 14 vs. Vegas, Eichel became the first Sabre to reach 60 points in 46 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 31 games played since then, he has totaled 45 points (21+24), including a stretch of 18 straight apperances (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 his 28th goal in his 46th game of the season on Tuesday vs. Vegas, Jack Eichel tied his previous best total set in the 2018-19 season (77 GP).
  • Eichel’s output through 48 team games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 48 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 72 Eichel is currently on pace for.
  • Despite missing eight games due to injury, Rasmus Dahlin is currently on pace to record 50 points this season, which would make him the Sabres’ first 50-point defenseman since Garry Galley (54) in 1995-96.
  • Sam Reinhart is currently on pace to set career-high totals in goals (27) and points (68).

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 17 multi-point games this season, tying for the ninth-most in the NHL before Friday’s games. The Sabres are 12-3-2 (.765) in those games.
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel’s six multi-goal games tied for third-most in the league and his nine multi-assist games tied for seventh-most.
  • Eichel has 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 (11), Leon Draisaitl (9), Artemi Panarin (8) and David Pastrnak (8) had more games with at least three points this season entering play Friday.
  • Sam Reinhart ranks second on the Sabres with 11 multi-point games this season. The team is 8-2-1 this season (.773) and 39-7-8 (.796) in his career when he records at least two points.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/17 games)

  • Eichel: 21 EVG (2nd), 28 G (4th), 6 GWG (T-3rd), 41 EVP (T-3rd), 62 PTS (T-7th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-7th)
  • Olofsson: 9 PPG (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (143), Girgensons (75), McCabe (65)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (62), Ristolainen (54), Jokiharju (43)
Shots: Eichel (160), 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: 5-3-0 (10), 27/25, 6/22, 18/22

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
Linus Ullmark … 6 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 8 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Jack Eichel … 8 assists … 200 career assists
Points
Kyle Okposo … 1 point … 500 career points
Zach Bogosian … 6 points … 200 career points
Johan Larsson … 9 points … 100 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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