Game Preview: 3/2/21 at NY Rangers

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, February 28
Philadelphia 3 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Johansson (35 saves/38 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: Philadelphia 38 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 68)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 20 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 6 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 6 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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 and F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Loaned D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad; Reassigned D Casey Fitzgerald from the taxi squad to Rochester (AHL)
3/1: Reassigned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
3/2: Recalled D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Loaned F Casey Mittelstadt to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, March 11: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES AT RANGERS

  • This is the third of eight meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 3-2 (OT) in Buffalo on Jan. 28.
  • Next meeting: Monday, March 22 in New York
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 3-7-0 in New York.
  • This is the 188th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 84-67-36 seri­­­es record.
  • The Sabres are 34-38-20 at on the road against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-6-3 all-time on March 2.
  • March 2, 1998: Alexei Zhitnik scores the game’s only goal and Dominik Hasek gets his second shutout in as many nights as the Sabres top the New York Rangers 1-0 at Madison Square Garden.
  • March 2, 2007: The Sabres score eight goals, including the first two of Mike Ryan’s career, to top the Montreal Canadiens 8-5 and improve to first place in the NHL.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a victory tonight, the Sabres would have wins in consecutive road games against the Rangers for the first time since April 2, 2016 and Jan. 3, 2017.
  • Eric Staal has totaled 12 points (5+7) in 10 games against the Rangers since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Carter Hutton is 5-2-0 in his career against New York with a .932 save percentage and a 2.16 goals-against average. Another win against the Rangers would tie his six wins against the San Jose Sharks as his highest win total against any team.

CONNECTIONS

  • Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux was drafted by the Sabres in the second round (31st overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Sabres forward Dylan Cozens and Rangers forward Alexis Lafrenière won a gold medal for Team Canada together at the 2020 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel, Rangers defenseman Adam Fox and Rangers Chris Kreider all played for Team USA at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel played for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup with Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba. The duo would later play for Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Entering play Monday, the Sabres ranked ninth in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 52.4 percent.
  • Buffalo’s top four faceoff takers (Jack Eichel, Eric Staal, Cody Eakin and Riley Sheahan) each had a faceoff percentage of at least 50 percent entering play Monday.
  • Entering play Monday, Sheahan ranked 6th among all players with at least 50 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 60.3 percent (76-for-126).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo entered play Monday third in the NHL with a 31.2 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 14 games, going 16-for-44 (36.4%) during that stretch.
  • Entering play Monday, the Sabres trailed only the Chicago Blackhawks (11) for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson entered play Monday tied for fourth in the league with six power-play goals and tied for fourth 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 Monday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:06 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-18 (64 drawn/46 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): .37 G/GP (T-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 (T-11th), .37 A/GP (T-12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings entering play Monday)

  • Buffalo Sabres:2% PP% (3rd), 52.4% FOW% (9th)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-4th), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (46), Lazar (37), Miller (33)
Blocked Shots: Montour (22), Miller (20), Irwin (18)
Shots: Eichel (53), Hall (53), Dahlin (49)

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: 2-6-1 (5), 14/25, 7/21, 16/21

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
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 10 assists … 600 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 8 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

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

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