Game Preview: 2/27/21 vs. Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, February 25
New Jersey 4 at Buffalo 3 (OT)
Goals: Sheahan, Mittelstadt, Reinhart
Goalie: Ullmark (15 saves/15 shots) / Hutton (21 saves/25 shots)
PP: 2/4; PK: 3/4; Shots: New Jersey 40 – Buffalo 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 54)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 17 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (COVID-19, Feb. 15) – 7 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 3 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 3 games
Tobias Rieder (upper body, Feb. 23) – 2 games
Jack Eichel (lower body, Feb. 25) – 1 game
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/21: Reassigned D Jacob Bryson and D Casey Fitzgerald from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/22: Recalled F Casey Mittelstadt and D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad
2/23: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund and D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Reassigned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad; Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/24: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski to Rochester (AHL)
2/25: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Feb. 28: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 4: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 6: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 7: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 12 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
FLYERS at SABRES

  • This is the third of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 3-0 in Philadelphia on Jan. 19
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Feb. 28 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 5-5-0 at home.
  • This is the 184th game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 70-89-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-35-10 at home against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-9-3 all-time on February 27.
  • February 27, 1975: The Sabres get goals from five different players and Roger Crozier stops all 21 Los Angeles shots as Buffalo tops the Kings 5-0 at home.
  • February 27, 2008: Steve Bernier records three points (2+1) in his Sabres debut and Toni Lydman records a career-high four points (0+4) as the Sabres defeat the Nashville Predators 8-4 at home.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Curtis Lazar is expected to play in his 300th NHL game today.
  • The road team has won just 60 of the 183 regular-season matchups between the Sabres and Flyers, including just two of the last 10. Neither team has won consecutive road games in the series since the Sabres won in Philadelphia on Feb. 19 and Oct. 27, 2015.
  • The Sabres’ special teams are plus-9 this season, with 19 goals for and 10 goals against. Entering play Friday, they were tied with Colorado for the best differential in the league.

HOT AGAINST PHILADELPHIA

  • Taylor Hall has totaled 27 points (10+17) in 22 career games against Philadelphia, tallying at least a point in all but four of those games. His 1.23 points per game against the Flyers represent his third-highest scoring rate against any team, trailing only the Pittsburgh Penguins (1.28) and the Vegas Golden Knights (1.25).
  • Eric Staal has been a point-per-game player against the Flyers in his 26 meetings with the team dating back to Jan. 10, 2012 (10+16), including two-point outputs in three of his last six matchups.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 14 points (8+6) in his 14 career games against Philadelphia.
  • Victor Olofsson has posted a point in three of his first four career meetings with the Flyers (2+1).

GOOD DAY FOR A MATINEE

  • Today’s game is the fifth of 14 afternoon games for the Sabres this season. They are 3-1-0 in the first three.
  • Buffalo went 7-2-2 in afternoon games during the 2019-20 season, including a 6-2-0 record at home and a 1-0-2 mark on the road.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game opens Buffalo’s sixth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow afternoon vs. Philadelphia. The Sabres are 2-3-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-4-0 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 (3), one point (0) and zero points (2).

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres ranked third in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 53.9 percent.
  • The Sabres joined Anaheim and Nashville 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 entering play Friday. All four Sabres are currently on pace for career-high faceoff percentages.
  • Entering play Friday, Sheahan ranked sixth among all players with at least 50 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 61.2 percent (71-for-116).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo entered play Friday leading the NHL with a 34.6 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 12 games, going 16-for-38 (42.1%) during that stretch.
  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres tied the Chicago Blackhawks for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson entered play Friday tied for third in the league with six power-play goals and ranked third with 12 power-play points. His 19 career power-play tallies trailed only David Pastrnak (23), Leon Draisaitl (21) and Auston Matthews (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:07 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-17 (58 drawn/41 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.

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 Friday, 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.
  • With 1,029 career points, Staal is currently tied with Alex Kovalev for 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by three points for 79th.

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 currently 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 (15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on Jan. 15 vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen 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 one goal for eighth-most.
  • Ristolainen’s first assist on Jan. 24 at Washington moved him past Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman. He currently trails Bill Hajt by 11 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen holds 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 (14th), .38 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/26 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 34.6% PP% (1st), 53.9% FOW% (3rd)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-3rd), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (35), Lazar (34), Miller (32)
Blocked Shots: Miller (19), Irwin (18), Montour (18)
Shots: Eichel (50), Hall (48), Dahlin/Olofsson (45)

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: 2-4-1 (5), 14/19, 7/16, 11/16

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-2; 126-136 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lafrenière, 2:47)
Feb. 25 vs. NJD: L, 4-3 (GWG-Zacha, 1;17)

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
Curtis Lazar … 1 game … 300 career games played
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Jacob Bryson … 1st NHL game … Feb. 23 at NJD

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