Game Preview: 1/18/21 at Philadelphia


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Friday, January 15
Washington 2 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Ristolainen
Goalie: Ullmark (19 saves/21 shots)
PP: 0/5; PK: 0/0; Shots: Buffalo 31 – Washington 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 4)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 2 games
Kyle Okposo (lower body, Jan. 14) – 2 games

1/12: Assigned F Andrew Oglevie, F Arttu Ruotsalainen, D Jacob Bryson and D Mattias Samuelsson to Rochester (AHL)
1/13: Assigned F Rasmus Asplund, F Casey Mittelstadt, D William Borgen, D Brandon Davidson and G Jonas Johansson to the taxi squad
1/14: Assigned F Jack Quinn to the taxi squad
1/18: Recalled G Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad

Tuesday, Jan. 19: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 28: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the first of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Philadelphia on March 7, 2020.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Philadelphia
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 182nd game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 69-88-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-54-14 on the road against the Flyers all-time.


  • The Sabres are 12-6-4 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.


  • Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s first of seven nationally televised games this season.
  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Flyers since a 5-2 victory at home on Nov. 21, 2018 and their first win in Philadelphia since Oct. 27, 2015.
  • The home team has won seven of the last eight meetings between these teams.


  • Taylor Hall has totaled 24 points (10+14) in 20 career games against Philadelphia, tallying at least a point in all but three of those games.
  • Eric Staal has been a point-per-game player against the Flyers in his 26 meetings with the team dating back to Nov. 14, 2011 (10+16), including two-point outputs in three of his last four matchups. He has also produced a point-per-game clip in his last 11 games in Philadelphia (4+7).
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 10 points (7+3) in his last eight games against Philadelphia.
  • Victor Olofsson posted a point in both of his first two career meetings with the Flyers in 2019-20, tallying two points (1+1) in two visits to Philadelphia.
  • Riley Sheahan has recorded five assists in his five visits to Philadelphia dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including at least a point in four of those games.


  • Taylor Hall has recorded three points (1+2) in his first two games with the Sabres, averaging 20:33 of ice time in Buffalo’s season-opening series against the Washington Capitals.
  • With a point tonight, Hall would become the 20th player to begin his Sabres career with a three-game point streak and the fourth to do so beginning with the team’s first game of the season, joining Real Cloutier (1983-84), Calle Johansson (1987-88) and John Van Boxmeer (1979-80).


  • With his goal on Friday vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen ascended the Sabres’ record books in two categories:
    • His 43rd career goal broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by two goals for eighth-most.
    • He tied Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman (228). He now trails Bill Hajt by 16 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen already held the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (13th), .37 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)


  • Jack Eichel is one goal from tying Jochen Hecht for the 19th-most goals in franchise history (138).
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (14th), .57 A/GP (10th), .96 PTS/GP (11th)


  • Rasmus Dahlin’s career points-per-game rate (.59) currently ranks as the 15th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with more than 10 career games played and as the fifth-best such rate in Sabres history.
  • Only six defensemen in Sabres history have had at least one season as prolific as Dahlin’s .68 points per game in his second NHL season in 2019-20: Phil Housley (8x), John Van Boxmeer (2x), Garry Galley (2x), Doug Bodger, Brian Campbell and Jerry Korab
  • The 20-year-old leads all Sabres with 22:56 of ice time per game in 2020-21.

Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s second of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Philadelphia. The Sabres are 0-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 0-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (0), one point (0) and zero points (1).

The Sabres had seven new players on their opening-night roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Dylan Cozens, C Draft (2019) KUH-zihns Buffalo’s first-round pick (7th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft recently earned a silver medal and was named to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship all-star team after leading all players with eight goals in the tournament.
Cody Eakin, C Free Agency EE-kihn His 10 career shorthanded goals tie for 20th-most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2011-12.
Taylor Hall, LW Free Agency HAWL Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 2017-18; his 1.05 points per game in the last three seasons ranks 17th in the NHL.
Matt Irwin, D Free Agency UHR-wihn Has a career shot attempts percentage (SAT%) of 51.3 percent and has never finished a full NHL season below 50.1 percent.
Tobias Rieder, LW Free Agency REE-duhr His three shorthanded goals in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs tied an NHL postseason record; he was the seventh player ever to score three in a single postseason.
Riley Sheahan, C Free Agency SHAY-uhn His 5.42 goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill in 2019-20 ranked 15th-best among the top 100 NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time.
Eric Staal, C Trade (MIN) STAWL Enters the 2020-21 season ranked in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played (7th), goals (6th) and points (8th).

Of the 22 players on Buffalo’s opening-night roster:

  • Eight were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round selections (Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Dahlin, 2018; Cozens, 2019), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012), one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012) and one was a seventh-round pick (Olofsson, 2014).
  • Six were acquired in trades: Jokiharju, Miller, Montour, Skinner, Staal, Thompson
  • Eight were signed as free agents: Eakin, Hall, Hutton, Irwin, Lazar, Okposo, Rieder, Sheahan
  • Fifteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: Dahlin, Eichel, Hutton, Jokiharju, Lazar, McCabe, Miller, Montour, Okposo, Olofsson, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Skinner, Thompson, Ullmark
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: Cozens, Eakin, Hall, Irwin, Rieder, Sheahan, Staal

Hits: Ristolainen (7), Eichel (4), Hall/ Miller/Thompson (3)
Blocked Shots: Thompson (3), Dahlin/Olofsson/Ristolainen/Staal (2)
Shots: Dahlin (6), Olofsson (6), Rieder (5)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-2-0 (0), 5/8, 1/8, 1/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 126-134 all-time)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 77-71 all-time)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 2 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 5 games … 500 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 229 career points (sole possession, 7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Brandon Montour … 9 points … 100 career points
Carter Hutton … 7 wins … 100 career wins

Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL game … Jan. 14 vs. WSH
Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL point (assist) … Jan. 14 vs. WSH
Rasmus Ristolainen … 43rd NHL goal (10th in franchise history, defensemen) … Jan. 15 vs. WSH
Rasmus Ristolainen … 228th NHL point (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen) … Jan. 15 vs. WSH

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