Game Preview: 2/22/20 at Pittsburgh

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 18
Buffalo 4 at Ottawa 7
Goals: Montour (2), Okposo, Olofsson
Goalie: Hutton (33 saves/39 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/4; PK: 0/2; Shots: Ottawa 40 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 294)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 60 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 44 games
Tage Thompson (shoulder, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 40 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Jan. 30; injured reserve) – 10 games
Michael Frolik (illness, Feb. 16) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/17: Signed F Taylor Leier to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000; Placed Leier on waivers; Recalled F Scott Wilson from Rochester (AHL); Assigned G Andrew Hammond to Rochester (AHL)
2/18: Assigned F Taylor Leier to Rochester (AHL)
2/21: Placed D Zach Bogosian on unconditional waivers; Assigned F Scott Wilsonto Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Feb. 23: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at Colorado, 8 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 28: Buffalo at Vegas, 10 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 29: Buffalo at Arizona, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3: Buffalo at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
SABRES at PENGUINS

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Pittsburgh 3-1 in Pittsburgh on Oct. 3, 2019.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 5 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 193rd game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 68-81-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 26-50-21 on the road against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-4-2 all-time on February 22.
  • February 22, 2007: Patrick Kaleta records his first career point (an assist) in his NHL debut vs. Ottawa. The Sabres would win the game 6-5 in a shootout after the teams combined to record 136 penalty minutes.
  • February 22, 2011: Terry Pegula announces his purchase of the Buffalo Sabres. The Sabres would finish the season by going 16-4-4 in the 24 games after the purchase to make the playoffs.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 5-2-2 in afternoon games this season.
  • The Sabres have earned wins in both of their visits to Pittsburgh since the beginning of last season, marking their first consecutive road wins against the Penguins since 2012-13. With a win this afternoon, they would have wins in three straight visits for the first time since they won four in a row from Jan. 5, 1980 to Feb. 21, 1981.
  • Rasmus Dahlin enters today’s game with a point in each of his last five games (1+5) and is seeking his first career six-game point streak.
    • Dahlin has recorded at least a point in 13 of his last 16 games (2+13) dating back to Jan. 4.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded at least a point in each of his last four games played, including five points (3+2) in three games since returning from an injury that sidelined him for 15 games.
  • Kyle Okposo has scored a goal in both of Buffalo’s last two games and is seeking his first three-game goal streak of the season.

HOT AGAINST PITTSBURGH

  • Jack Eichel has totaled six points (3+3) in six games against the Penguins since the beginning of the 2017-18 season, including five points (2+3) in four road games.
  • Carter Hutton is 4-0-0 with two shutouts in six career visits to Pittsburgh. In his seven total appearances against the Penguins, he has posted a .936 save percentage and a 1.94 goals-against average.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled six points (4+2) in his first four games against his former team.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded six points (1+5) in five road games against the Penguins since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Colin Miller has posted three assists in his last two meetings with Pittsburgh, including his 100th NHL point (an assist) in the 2019-20 season-opener.
  • Marcus Johansson has recorded three points (1+2) in his last three games against the Penguins

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game opens Buffalo’s 11th of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow afternoon vs. Winnipeg. The Sabres are 3-5-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-4-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (3), two points (5), one point (0) and zero points (2).

RETURN OF THE ROOKIE

  • Victor Olofsson, who missed 15 games with a lower body injury from Jan. 4 to Feb. 11, has recorded five points (3+2) in three games since returning from injury.
  • Entering play Friday, Olofsson ranked second among all NHL rookies with 19 goals this season. His .89 points per game led all rookies with more than one game played.
  • Olofsson’s 40 points in 45 games so far this season (.889 points per game) this season ranks as the third-best scoring rate all-time among Sabres rookies with at least 15 games played:
    • Rick Martin (1971-72): 1.014 PTS/GP
    • Gilbert Perreault (1970-71): .923 PTS/GP
    • Victor Olofsson (2019-20): .889 PTS/GP
    • Ray Sheppard (1987-88): .878 PTS/GP
    • Dave Andreychuk (1982-83): .860 PTS/GP

TEEN TITAN

  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled 80 points (13+67) through his first 132 NHL games, including 36 points (4+32) in 50 games this season.
  • With his assist on Feb. 18 at Ottawa, Dahlin passed Ray Bourque (79) for the second-most points recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 20th birthday. He now trails only Phil Housley (132) for the 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 80.
  • Entering play Friday, Dahlin’s .61 points per game in his career ranked as the 12th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with at least 10 career games played. His .72 points per game so far this season represent the best single-season scoring rate by a Sabres defenseman with more than one game played since Phil Housley (1.01) in 1989-90.

SETTING THE PACE

  • With his 29th goal in his 49th game of the season on Jan. 28 vs. Ottawa, Jack Eichel topped his previous best total set in the 2018-19 season (77 GP). He now has 33 goals in 59 games played this season.
  • Eichel’s output through 60 team games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 45 goals and 103 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), Mogilny (78 in 1992-93) and Gilbert Perreault (70 in 1975-76) are the only Sabres ever to have recorded more even-strength points in a season than the 69 Eichel is currently on pace for.
  • Eichel needs five points to become just the ninth player in franchise history to record 80 points in back-to-back seasons at least once. He would join Danny Gare, Dale Hawerchuk, Pat LaFontaine, Rick Martin, Alexander Mogilny, Gilbert Perreault, Rene Robert and Pierre Turgeon.
  • Sam Reinhart scored his 20th goal of the season in his 55th game on Feb. 7 at NY Rangers, surpassing the 2015-16 season as his previous quickest season to 20 goals (69 games). Reinhart is currently on pace to set career-high totals in both goals (29) and points (66).
  • Despite missing 10 games due to injury, Rasmus Dahlin is currently on pace to record 52 points this season, which would make him the Sabres’ first 50-point defenseman since Garry Galley (54) in 1995-96.
  • Victor Olofsson, who has missed 15 games due to injury this season, is on pace for 60 points. If he maintains that pace, his output will supplant Eichel’s 2015-16 season as the seventh-most prolific rookie season in Sabres history and would be the best since Ray Sheppard’s 65 points in 1987-88. He is on pace for 27 goals, which would rank him sixth among all rookies in franchise history.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel has been held without a point in just four of his last 41 games played. During that stretch, which began with a four-goal performance vs. Ottawa on Nov. 16, Buffalo’s captain has totaled 56 points (25+31) in 41 appearances, also missing one game due to injury. Only Nathan MacKinnon (58), Artemi Panarin (58) and Nikita Kucherov (57) had more points during that stretch entering play Friday.
    • Entering play Friday, only three NHL players had recorded at least a point in more games this season than Eichel’s 45: Leon Draisaitl (49), Nathan MacKinnon (48) and Patrick Kane (47).
  • With his assist on Feb. 11 vs. Detroit, Eichel became the 14th player ever to record 70 points in consecutive seasons at least once as a member of the Sabres. The last player to do so was Derek Roy in 2007-08 (81) and 2008-09 (70).
  • Eichel recorded his 70th point of the season in his 56th game on Feb. 11 vs. Detroit, tying for the 10th-fastest season to 70 points in Sabres history. Only six different players in franchise history have reached the 70-point mark quicker: Gilbert Perreault (3x), Pat Lafontaine (2x), Rick Martin, Alexander Mogilny, Rene Robert, Pierre Turgeon.
  • With his 40th assist on Feb. 13 vs. Columbus, Eichel became the first Sabres player to record 30 goals and 40 assists in a season since Jason Pominville (30+43) in 2011-12. He became the 16th different player in franchise history to accomplish this feat at least once.

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded 19 multi-point games this season, tying as the 11th-most in the NHL before Friday’s games. The Sabres are 14-3-2 (.789) in those games.
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel’s six multi-goal games ranked sixth in the league and his 11 multi-assist games tied for ninth-most.
  • Eichel has recorded at least three points eight times this season, topping his previous career-high total (6) set in the 2016-17 season. Only Leon Draisaitl (12), Connor McDavid (11) and David Pastrnak (10) had more games with at least three points this season entering play Friday.
  • Sam Reinhart ranks second on the Sabres with 12 multi-point games this season. The team is 9-2-1 this season (.792) and 40-7-8 (.800) in his career when he records at least two points.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/21 games)

  • Eichel: 3 OTG (T-2nd), 8 GWG (T-2nd), 24 EVG (T-6th), 33 G (T-6th), 50 EVP (T-6th), 75 PTS (T-7th), 24 PPP (T-7th)
  • Olofsson: 11 PPG (T-4th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (176), Girgensons (93), McCabe (76)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (79), Ristolainen (68), Jokiharju (55)
Shots: Eichel (201), Skinner (151), Reinhart (124)

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: 5-5-0 (10), 30/32, 7/29, 21/29
51-60: 5-4-1 (11), 28/33, 5/23, 13/17

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 126-134 all-time)
Oct. 7 at CBJ: L, 4-3 (Texier, 2:08)
Oct. 9 vs. MTL: W, 5-4 (Johansson, 1:30)
Oct. 22 vs. SJS: W, 4-3 (Eichel, 3:13)
Nov. 14 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (Hamilton, 2:28)
Nov. 27 vs. CGY: L, 3-2 (Lindholm, 1:17)
Nov. 30 at TOR: L, 2-1 (Tavares, 1:45)
Dec. 7 at VAN: L, 6-5 (Miller, 3:21)
Dec. 8 at EDM: W, 3-2 (Miller, 1:13)
Dec. 14 at NYI: L, 3-2 (Beauvillier, 3:04)
Jan. 2 vs. EDM: W, 3-2 (Eichel, 1:09)
Feb. 1 vs. CBJ: W, 2-1 (Eichel, 0:36)
Feb. 13 vs. CBJ: W, 4-3 (Olofsson, 2:44)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-2; 76-71 all-time)
Oct. 11 vs. FLA: W, 3-2 (GDG-Eichel)
Oct. 28 vs. ARI: L, 3-2 (GDG-Schmaltz)
Feb. 6 vs. DET: L, 4-3 (GDG-Larkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Henri Jokiharju … 2 games … 100 career games played
Jimmy Vesey … 4 games … 300 career games played
Colin Miller … 6 games … 300 career games played
Evan Rodrigues … 8 games … 200 career games played
Kyle Okposo … 9 games … 800 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 9 games … 400 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 6 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Johan Larsson … 5 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 8 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Kyle Okposo … 500th NHL point … Feb. 16 vs. TOR
Jack Eichel … 200th NHL assist … Feb. 18 at OTT

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