Game Preview: 2/28/21 vs. Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 27
Philadelphia 3 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (36 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 3/3; Shots: Philadelphia 39 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 59)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 18 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 4 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 4 games
Jack Eichel (lower body, Feb. 25) – 2 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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
2/27: Recalled G Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Rasmus Asplund to the taxi squad; Placed G Linus Ullmark on injured reserve
2/28: Recalled D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad; Reassigned D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad; Reassigned F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Reassigned D Casey Fitzgerald from the taxi squad to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, March 9: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
FLYERS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 3-0 in Buffalo on Feb. 27
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, March 9 in Philadelphia
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 4-6-0 at home.
  • This is the 185th game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 70-90-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-35-10 at home against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-6-3 all-time on February 28.
  • February 28, 1971: Steve Atkinson scores three goals against the Minnesota North Stars in a 5-2 win at the Aud. Atkinson, Ron Anderson and Gilbert Perreault all score in a span of 1:15 in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and earn the win.
  • February 28, 2000: The Sabres score four goals on their first 19 shots, including two from Stu Barnes, on the way to a 5-2 victory at Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The road team has won just 61 of the 184 regular-season matchups between the Sabres and Flyers, including just three of the last 11. With Philadelphia’s win yesterday, the road team has won consecutive games in the series for the first time 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. At the conclusion of yesterday’s game, they ranked second behind the Colorado Avalanche (plus-10) for the second-best differential in the league.
  • Taylor Hall has totaled 27 points (10+17) in 23 career games against Philadelphia, tallying at least a point in all but five of those games.
  • Eric Staal has 26 points (10+16) in 27 meetings with the Flyers dating back to Jan. 10, 2012, including two-point outputs in three of his last seven matchups.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 14 points (8+6) in his 14 career games against Philadelphia.

GOOD DAY FOR A MATINEE

  • Today’s game is the sixth of 14 afternoon games for the Sabres this season. They are 3-2-0 in the first five.
  • 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 wraps up Buffalo’s sixth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-0 loss yesterday vs. Philadelphia. The Sabres are 2-4-0 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

  • Following yesterday’s game, the Sabres ranked fourth in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 52.9 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 at the conclusion of yesterday’s game. All four Sabres are currently on pace for career-high faceoff percentages.
  • Following yesterday’s game, Sheahan ranked 11th among all players with at least 50 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 59.0 percent (72-for-122).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo finished yesterday’s game second in the NHL with a 32.8 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 13 games, going 16-for-41 (39.0%) during that stretch.
  • Following yesterday’s game, 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 finished yesterday’s game tied for fourth in the league with six power-play goals and tied for 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

  • Following Saturday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:10 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-17 (61 drawn/44 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.

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 (13th), .38 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

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

  • Buffalo Sabres:8% PP% (2nd), 52.9% FOW% (4th)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-3rd), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (41), Lazar (36), Miller (33)
Blocked Shots: Miller (20), Montour (20), Irwin (18)
Shots: Eichel/Hall (50), Dahlin (47), 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: 2-5-1 (5), 14/22, 7/19, 14/19

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)
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
Curtis Lazar … 300th NHL game … Feb. 27 vs. PHI

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