Game Preview: 2/29/20 at Arizona

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, February 28
Buffalo 2 at Vegas 4
Goals: Kahun, Skinner
Goalie: Hutton (24 saves/27 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/1; PK: 0/0; Shots: Buffalo 34 – Vegas 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 311)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 64 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 48 games
Tage Thompson (shoulder, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 44 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Jan. 30; injured reserve) – 14 games

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
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.
Thursday, March 12: Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at COYOTES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Coyotes this season.
  • Last meeting: Arizona defeated Buffalo 3-2 (SO) in Buffalo on Oct. 28, 2019.
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Coyotes; 8-2-0 on the road.
  • This is the 82nd game all-time between Buffalo and Arizona; Buffalo has a 48-23-10 series record.
  • The Sabres are 22-15-2 on the road against the Coyotes all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 3-3-0 all-time on February 29.
  • February 29, 2012: The Sabres and Ducks combine for 106 penalty minutes and Ryan Miller stops 43 shots to earn a shutout in Buffalo’s 2-0 win in Anaheim. Miller’s 43 saves set a franchise record for most saves in a shutout that now belongs to Carter Hutton (47 saves, Oct. 17, 2019 at Los Angeles).

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 14-3-2 in their 19 games against the Coyotes since the beginning of the 2008-09 season. The team is 10-2-0 in its last 12 visits to Arizona, dating back to Jan. 19, 2002.
  • Brandon Montour has recorded five points (2+3) in the Sabres’ last five games.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 12 points (4+8) in nine career games against Arizona, including at least a point in each of his four road games (2+4).
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled 10 points (5+5) in his last eight games against the Coyotes, including points in each of the last four (5+3).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled eight points (2+6) in 11 career meetings with Arizona. It’s his third-best per-game output against any opponent, trailing only his 1.1 points per game against the Edmonton Oilers and his .79 points per game against the Vancouver Canucks.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded six points (1+5) in his last six games against the Coyotes, including assists in all three meetings since the beginning of last season.
  • Marcus Johansson has tallied four assists in his last four games against Arizona.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 12th of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 4-2 loss last night at Vegas. The Sabres are 4-6-2 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 NEW GUYS

  • The Sabres acquired forwards Dominik Kahun and Wayne Simmonds in trades before the trade deadline on Feb. 24.
  • With a goal on his first shot as a member of the Sabres last night at Vegas, Dominik Kahun became the 57th player ever to score in his Sabres debut.
    • Kahun joined Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons, Curtis Lazar and Kyle Okposo as the fifth active Sabre to score in his debut. Girgensons, Lazar and Okposo also scored with their first shots as Sabres, and Eichel scored on his second.
  • Through his first two games with the Sabres, Simmonds has totaled nine hits, trailing only Rasmus Ristolainen (10) for most on the team in those games.

THE LOG LINE

  • The line of Zemgus Girgensons, Johan Larsson and Kyle Okposo has scored five goals in Buffalo’s last five games.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, the line has outscored opponents 5-1, outshot them 33-28 and out-attempted them 52-50 when on the ice together in those five games despite having an offensive zone start percentage of just 30.3 percent.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded six points (4+2) in Buffalo’s last six games.
  • Zemgus Girgensons enters tonight’s contest with four points (2+2) in the Sabres’ last four games.
    • Girgensons’ 19 points through 64 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 136 NHL games, including 37 points (4+33) in 54 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.
  • Dahlin’s .60 points per game in his career rank as the 14th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with at least 10 career games played. His .685 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 Garry Galley (.692) in 1995-96.

SETTING THE PACE

  • Jack Eichel is currently on pace to finish the season with 45 goals and 99 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.
  • 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 (28).
  • Despite missing 10 games due to injury, Rasmus Dahlin is currently on pace to record 49 points this season, giving him a chance to become 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 to score 26 goals. If he maintains his current pace, his output will supplant Thomas Vanek (25) for sixth-most among all rookies in franchise history. It would be the most goals scored by a Sabres rookie since Donald Audette scored 31 in 1991-92.

JACK ATTACK

  • With an assist on Feb. 11 vs. Detroit, Jack 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. The Sabres are 15-3-2 (.800) in those games.
  • Eichel’s seven multi-goal games tie for fifth-most in the league and his 11 multi-assist games tie 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)

  • Eichel: 3 OTG (T-2nd), 9 GWG (T-2nd), 35 G (6th), 26 PPP (T-7th), 24 EVG (T-8th), 77 PTS (T-9th), 50 EVP (10th)
  • Olofsson: 11 PPG (T-5th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (189), Girgensons (103), McCabe (82)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (84), Ristolainen (79), Jokiharju (57)
Shots: Eichel (216), Skinner (165), Reinhart (131)

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, 23/32a
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: 2-2-0 (4), 11/10, 2/9, 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
Colin Miller … 2 games … 300 career games played
Kyle Okposo … 5 games … 800 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 5 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
Jimmy Vesey … 300th NHL game … Feb. 28 at VGK

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