Game Preview: 2/16/21 vs. NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, February 15
NY Islanders 3 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Olofsson
Goalie: Ullmark (26 saves/29 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 1/2; Shots: NY Islanders 29 – Buffalo 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 28)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 11 games
Dylan Cozens (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 1 game
Curtis Lazar (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 1 game
Jake McCabe (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 1 game
Casey Mittelstadt (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 1 game
Brandon Montour (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 1 game
Rasmus Ristolainen (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/10: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Reassigned F C.J. Smith from the taxi squad to Rochester (AHL)
2/11: Reassigned F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from the taxi squad to Rochester (AHL)
2/12: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Reassigned F C.J. Smith from the taxi squad to Rochester (AHL)
2/13: Reassigned F Steven Fogarty, F C.J. Smith and D Jacob Bryson from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from the taxi squad to Rochester (AHL)
2/15: Recalled F Steven Fogarty, D William Borgen and D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Rasmus Asplund and F Andrew Oglevie from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/16: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Loaned F Steven Fogarty and D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, Feb. 18: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 20: Buffalo at New Jersey, 12:30 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 22: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 23: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 25: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
ISLANDERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of eight meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 15, 2021.
  • Next meeting: Monday, February 22 in New York
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 4-6-0 at home.
  • This is the 175th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-67-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 46-30-12 at home against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 14-4-4 all-time on February 16.
  • February 16, 2004: Miroslav Satan scores a career-high four goals, including his 250th NHL goal and 500th NHL point, leading the Sabres to a 7-2 victory vs. Atlanta.
  • February 16, 2012: Thomas Vanek scores his 225th NHL goal in a 7-2 loss at Philadelphia, passing Miroslav Satan for seventh-most goals in team history. Vanek would finish his time with the Sabres ranked fifth in team history with 254 career regular-season goals.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 16-for-18 (88.9%) in the team’s last 10 games against the Islanders.
  • Victor Olofsson enters tonight’s game on a career-best, seven-game point streak (3+5).
  • The Sabres’ special teams are plus-8 this season, with 13 goals for and five goals against. Following last night’s game, they were tied with the Boston Bruins for the second-best differential in the league, trailing only the Colorado Avalanche (plus-11).
  • Rasmus Dahlin’s three shots on goal per game tied for fourth among all NHL defensemen at the conclusion of last night’s game.

HOT AGAINST NEW YORK

  • Taylor Hall has recorded 18 points (9+9) in his 17 games against the Islanders dating back to the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 10 points (3+7) in his nine meetings with the Islanders since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
  • Victor Olofsson has scored in three of his four career games against the Islanders.
  • Linus Ullmark is 3-2-1 in six career games against the Islanders with a .922 save percentage and a 2.16 goals-against average.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s fourth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 3-2 loss vs. NY Islanders. The Sabres are 2-2-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 0-3-0 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 (2), one point (0) and zero points (1).

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Following last night’s game, the Sabres ranked second in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 55.2 percent.
  • The Sabres joined the Anaheim Ducks (Ryan Getzlaf, Derek Grant, Sam Steel, Adam Henrique) as the only teams whose top four faceoff takers (Jack Eichel, Eric Staal, Cody Eakin and Riley Sheahan) all had a faceoff percentage of at least 50 percent at the conclusion of last night’s game. All four Sabres are currently on pace for career-high faceoff percentages.
  • Eichel ranked seventh in in the NHL in faceoffs taken per game (21.0) and fifth in faceoffs won per game (11.3) after last night’s game.
  • After last night’s game, Sheahan ranked fifth among all players with at least 30 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 62.3 percent (48-for-77).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo finished last night’s game with the fifth-ranked power play in the league. The team has scored on 13 of its 41 power play opportunities this season for a 31.7 percent conversion rate.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their last six games, going 10-for-24 (41.7%) in those contests.
  • Following last night’s game, the Sabres led the NHL with nine different players with at least one goal on the power play. Their 10 players with at least one power-play point this season tied for eighth-most in the league.
  • Victor Olofsson finished last night’s game tied for fourth in the league with four power-play goals. His 17 career power-play tallies trailed only David Pastrnak (22) and Leon Draisaitl (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

PLAYING WITH POWER

  • Victor Olofsson has recorded a power-play point in each of the Sabres’ last six games, totaling seven power-play points in those contests (3+4). His nine power-play points this season (4+5) tied for sixth-most in the league at the conclusion of last night’s game.
  • He is the first NHL player to record power-play points in six straight games since David Pastrnak (Dec. 23, 2019 to Jan. 4, 2020) and the first Sabres player to do so since Daniel Briere (Oct. 20 to Nov. 2, 2005).
  • Only two Sabres have recorded power-play points in more than six consecutive games: Dave Andreychuk (11, Oct. 21 to Nov. 14, 1992) and Pat LaFontaine (8, Jan. 21 to Feb. 4, 1992).

KILLING IT

  • Following last night’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:21 of penalty time per game. At plus-16 (44 drawn/28 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.
  • The Sabres have killed 14 of their last 16 penalties to improve to 80.0 percent on the penalty kill this season, tying for 15th in the NHL as of the conclusion of last night’s game.
  • Through 11 games, Buffalo has allowed just five power-play goals against. Following last night’s game, the team ranked fourth in the NHL with .45 power-play goals against per game.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen a positive trend at even strength through the team’s first 11 games of the season. So far, Buffalo’s 5-on-5 numbers have improved on the team’s per-60 rates from last season in several meaningful categories, including shot differential, shot attempt differential, scoring chance differential, high-danger scoring chance differential and expected goal differential.

Buffalo Sabres at 5-on-5 (via NaturalStatTrick.com as of 2/15)
SF% CF% SCF% HDCF% xGF%
2019-20 48.13 (23rd) 49.13 (19th) 48.73 (20th) 48.19 (25th) 47.56 (25th)
2020-21 49.12 (20th) 50.22 (15th) 50.27 (17th) 52.63 (11th) 50.51 (18th)

 BRICK WALL

  • Linus Ullmark stopped all three shooters in Buffalo’s last shootout on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to improve to 2-1 with nine saves on 10 attempts this season.
  • Ullmark is 6-3 in shootouts in his career with 30 saves on 35 career shots faced (.857). His six career shootout wins rank him third in franchise history behind Ryan Miller (49) and Jhonas Enroth (10).
  • Entering play Sunday, Ullmark’s shootout save percentage of .857 ranked second all-time among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 shots faced and first among active NHL goalies.

STAAL-TIME LEADERS

  • Eric Staal scored his 439th career goal on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to pass Gary Roberts and improve to 68th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. His next goal will tie Rick Tocchet for 67th.
  • Among active players, Staal’s total of 439 career regular-season goals trails only Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, and Sidney Crosby.
  • The goal was Staal’s 1,026th career point, breaking a tie with Patrik Elias for 82nd-most in NHL history. He is two points behind Brian Leetch for 81st.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He now trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • 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)

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 55.2% FOW% (2nd), 31.7% PP% (5th), 31.2 S/GP (8th)
  • Olofsson: 4 PPG (T-4th), 9 PPP (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (35), Lazar (25), Miller (19)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (13), Ristolainen (13), Montour (12)
Shots: Eichel (41), Dahlin (33), Olofsson (33)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 4-4-2 (10), 30/32, 12/39, 19/23
11-20: 0-1-0 (0), 1/3, 1/2, 1/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 126-135 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GDG-Lafrenière)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-1; 79-72 all-time)
Jan. 22 at.WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Carlson)
Jan. 24 at WSH: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)
Jan. 30 vs. NJD: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Cody Eakin … 3 games … 600 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

 

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