Game Preview: 2/28/20 at Vegas

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, February 26
Buffalo 2 at Colorado 3
Goals: Girgensons, Lazar
Goalie: Hutton (31 saves/34 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 1/3; Shots: Colorado 34 – Buffalo 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 307)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 63 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 47 games
Tage Thompson (shoulder, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 43 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Jan. 30; injured reserve) – 13 games
Dominik Kahun (lower body, Feb. 26) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/24: Acquired F Wayne Simmonds from New Jersey in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft; Acquired F Dominik Kahun from Pittsburgh in exchange for F Evan Rodrigues and F Conor Sheary
2/27: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL); Assigned D John Gilmour to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 29: Buffalo at Arizona, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 3: Buffalo at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 5: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 7: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 9: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at GOLDEN KNIGHTS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Golden Knights this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Vegas 4-2 in Buffalo on Jan. 14
  • This is the sixth game all-time between Buffalo and Vegas; Buffalo has a 2-1-2 series record.
  • The Sabres are 1-0-1 on the road against the Golden Knights all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-5-3 all-time on February 28.
  • February 28, 1971: Steve Atkinson scores three goals against the Minnesota North Stars in a 5-2 win at the Aud. Atkinson, Ron Anderson and Gilbert Perreault all score in a span of 1:15 in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and earn the win.
  • February 28, 2000: The Sabres score four goals on their first 19 shots, including two from Stu Barnes, on the way to a 5-2 victory at Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo is 7-4-3 against the Pacific Division this season, including a 3-2-1 record in road games.
  • If he dresses tonight, Jimmy Vesey will play his 300th NHL game.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded six assists and a plus-8 rating in Buffalo’s last six games.

HOT AGAINST VEGAS

  • Jack Eichel has recorded three two-point games in four career meetings with the Golden Knights, totaling three goals and three assists in those matchups.
  • Sam Reinhart has posted five points (2+3) in five career games against Vegas.
  • Kyle Okposo has totaled four points (1+3) in four career games against the Golden Knights, including at least a point in each of his last three.
  • Marcus Johansson has tallied two assists in two career games against Vegas.
  • Dominik Kahun has totaled three points (1+2) in his last three games against the Golden Knights.
  • Curtis Lazar has recorded a point in both of his last two meetings with Vegas (1+1), including an empty-net goal in the last meeting between these teams on Jan. 14.
  • Carter Hutton is 2-1-0 against the Golden Knights in his career with a .939 save percentage and a 2.05 goals-against average.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game opens up Buffalo’s 12th of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Arizona. The Sabres are 4-5-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-4-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (1), three points (3), two points (5), one point (0) and zero points (2).

THE LOG LINE

  • The line of Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson and Kyle Okposo has scored at least one goal in each of Buffalo’s last four games.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the line has outscored opponents 5-1, outshot them 26-20 and out-attempted them 40-38 when on the ice together in those four games despite having an offensive zone start percentage of just 32.1 percent.
  • After tallying an assist on Wednesday at Colorado, Kyle Okposo has recorded points in five consecutive games (4+2) for the first time since he tallied points in seven straight from Feb. 4 to 14, 2017.
  • Zemgus Girgensons, who scored on Wednesday at Colorado, enters tonight’s contest on his first three-game point streak (2+2) since Dec. 2017. With a point tonight, he would have points in four straight games for the first time in his career.
    • Girgensons’ 19 points through 63 games are his highest total since his career-best 30 points in 2014-15. He needs three more goals to tie his career high of 15 set in 2014-15.
  • With an assist on Wednesday at Colorado, Johan Larsson tied his previous career high of 17 points in his 56th game of the season. All 17 points have come at even-strength, topping his previous career high of 15 in 2017-18.
    • Larsson is now four goals and two assists from tying his career highs in those categories.

TEEN TITAN

  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled 81 points (13+68) through his first 135 NHL games, including 37 points (4+33) in 53 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.
  • Entering play Thursday, Dahlin’s .60 points per game in his career ranked as the 13th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with at least 10 career games played. His .70 points per game so far this season represent the best single-season scoring rate by a Sabres defenseman with more at least 15 games played since Phil Housley (1.01) in 1989-90.

SETTING THE PACE

  • Jack Eichel is currently on pace to finish the season with 46 goals and 101 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 and 67 in 1979-80) are the only Sabres ever to have recorded more even-strength points in a season than the 65 Eichel is currently on pace for.
  • 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 a new career high in goals (29) and to tie his career high in points (65).
  • Despite missing 10 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.
  • Victor Olofsson, who has missed 15 games due to injury this season, is on pace for 56 points. If he maintains his current pace, his output will tie Eichel and Derek Plante as the seventh-most prolific rookie season in Sabres history. 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 six of his last 44 games played. During that stretch, which began with a four-goal performance vs. Ottawa on Nov. 16, Buffalo’s captain has totaled 58 points (27+31) in 44 appearances, also missing one game due to injury. Only Artemi Panarin (64), Nikita Kucherov (59) and Nathan MacKinnon (59) had more points during that stretch entering play Thursday.
  • With an 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. He needs three 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.
  • 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 20 multi-point games this season, ranking as the 11th-most in the NHL before Tuesday’s games. The Sabres are 15-3-2 (.800) in those games.
  • Entering play Thursday, Eichel’s seven multi-goal games tied for fifth-most in the league and his 11 multi-assist games tied for 11th-most.
  • Sam Reinhart ranks second on the Sabres with 13 multi-point games this season. The team is 10-2-1 this season (.808) and 41-7-8 (.804) in his career when he records at least two points.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/27 games)

  • Eichel: 3 OTG (T-2nd), 9 GWG (T-2nd), 35 G (6th), 26 PPP (7th), 24 EVG (T-7th), 77 PTS (T-8th), 50 EVP (T-8th)
  • Olofsson: 11 PPG (T-5th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (186), Girgensons (99), McCabe (82)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (82), Ristolainen (78), Jokiharju (57)
Shots: Eichel (212), Skinner (157), Reinhart (130)

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
61-70: 2-1-0 (4), 9/6, 2/8, 4/6

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
Jimmy Vesey … 1 game … 300 career games played
Colin Miller … 3 games … 300 career games played
Kyle Okposo … 6 games … 800 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 6 games … 400 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Wayne Simmonds … 2 points … 500 career points
Johan Larsson … 4 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 7 wins … 100 career wins

 RECENT MILESTONES
Henri Jokiharju … 100th NHL game … Feb. 23 vs. WPG
Jonas Johansson … 1st NHL win … Feb. 23 vs. WPG

 

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