Game Preview: 1/19/21 at Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, January 18
Buffalo 6 at Philadelphia 1
Goals: Lazar (2), Reinhart (2), Jokiharju, Olofsson
Goalie: Hutton (21 saves/22 shots)
PP: 2/4; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Philadelphia 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 6)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 3 games
Kyle Okposo (lower body; injured reserve, Jan. 14) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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
1/19: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Placed F Kyle Okposo on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Jan. 22: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 28: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30: New Jersey at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at FLYERS

  • This is the second of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Philadelphia 6-1 in Philadelphia on Jan. 18
  • Next meeting: Friday, Feb. 26 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 3-6-1 on the road.
  • This is the 183nd game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 70-88-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 26-54-14 on the road against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-8-3 all-time on January 19.
  • January 19, 1978: Led by a trio of two-goal performances (Don Luce, Rick Martin, Craig Ramsay), the Sabres defeat the Cleveland Barons 9-2.
  • January 19, 2001: Dominik Hasek records his 50th shutout as a member of the Sabres, blanking the Florida Panthers 1-0.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in consecutive meetings with the Flyers for the first time since they won three in a row from Feb. 19 to Oct. 30, 2015.
  • The road team has won just 60 of the 182 regular-season matchups between the Sabres and Flyers, including just two of the last nine. A win tonight would mark the first consecutive road wins in the series since the Sabres won consecutive games in Philadelphia on Feb. 19 and Oct. 27, 2015.

BULLYING THE BULLIES
Buffalo’s 6-1 win last night tied the Sabres’ second-best goal differential in their 182 regular-season matchups with the Flyers. It also tied their greatest winning margin in a road game in Philadelphia.

Buffalo’s Biggest Wins Against Philadelphia
Date Score Location
Oct. 17, 2006 9-1 Buffalo
Nov. 10, 1982 7-2 Buffalo
Nov. 13, 1993 7-2 Philadelphia
Feb. 23, 1996 7-2 Buffalo
Jan. 18, 2021 6-1 Philadelphia

HOT AGAINST PHILADELPHIA

  • Taylor Hall has totaled 27 points (10+17) in 21 career games against Philadelphia, tallying at least a point in all but three of those games. His 1.29 points per game against the Flyers represent his highest scoring rate against any team.
  • Eric Staal has been a point-per-game player against the Flyers in his 27 meetings with the team dating back to Nov. 14, 2011 (10+17), including two-point outputs in three of his last five matchups. He has also produced a point-per-game clip in his last 12 games in Philadelphia (4+8).
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 14 points (8+6) in his 13 career games against Philadelphia.
  • Victor Olofsson has posted a point in each of his first three career meetings with the Flyers (2+1).
  • Riley Sheahan has recorded six assists in his six visits to Philadelphia dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including at least a point in five of those games.

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

  • Taylor Hall has recorded six points (1+5) in his first three games with the Sabres after signing as a free agent in the offseason.
  • With three assists last night, Hall became the 20th player to begin his Sabres career with a three-game point streak. With a point tonight, he would become the 10th player ever to begin his Sabres career with a point streak of at least four games. The last player to do so was Steve Heinze in 2000-01.
  • Hall also became the fourth player to record at least six points through his first three regular-season games with Buffalo, joining Bob Sweeney (3+5 in 3 GP), Steve Heinze (4+2 in 3 GP) and Doug Gilmour (2+4 in 3 GP).

RISTO’S RECORDS

  • 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)

WE LIKE EICH

  • With his three-assist performance at Philadelphia last night, Jack Eichel joined Thomas Vanek (2+6 in 2012-13) as just the second Sabres player ever to register six assists through the team’s first three games of a season.
  • 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), .58 A/GP (10th), .96 PTS/GP (10th)

HE’S DAHL HE’S CRACKED UP TO BE

  • Rasmus Dahlin’s career points-per-game rate (.58) currently ranks as the 18th-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 21:56 of ice time per game in 2020-21.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s second of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 6-1 win last night at Philadelphia. The Sabres are 1-1-0 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 previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (0), one point (0) and zero points (1).

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
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).

2020-21 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 23 players on Buffalo’s roster:

  • Nine 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 third-round pick (Johansson, 2014), 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
  • Sixteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: Dahlin, Eichel, Hutton, Jokiharju, Johansson, 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

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Eichel: 6 A (1st), 6 PTS (T-1st), 3 PPP (T-2nd), 3 EVP (T-7th)
  • Hall: 5 A (T-2nd), 6 PTS (T-1st), 3 PPP (T-2nd), 1 PPG (T-6th)
  • Olofsson: 1 PPG (T-6th), 2 PPP (T-7th)
  • Reinhart: 1 GWG (T-2nd), 1 PPG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 15 hits (2nd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (15), Miller (7), Lazar (6)
Blocked Shots: Jokiharju (4), Montour (4), Eichel/McCabe/Thompson (3)
Shots: Reinhart (10), Dahlin/Olofsson/Montour/Skinner (9)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 1-2-0 (2), 11/9, 3/12, 2/3

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 126-134 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 77-71 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 2 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 4 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 229 career points (sole possession, 7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Brandon Montour … 8 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
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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