Game Preview: 3/6/21 at NY Islanders


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, March 4
Buffalo 2 at NY Islanders 5
Goals: Hall, Ristolainen
Goalie: Johansson (40 saves/45 shots)
PP: 0/0; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 18 – NY Islanders 45

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 71)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 21 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 7 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 7 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 4 games

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

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.
Saturday, March 13: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


  • This is the fifth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 5-2 in New York on March 4, 2021.
  • Next meeting: Sunday, March 7 in New York
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 178th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-70-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-39-13 on the road against the Islanders all-time.


  • The Sabres are 15-5-5 all-time on March 6.
  • March 6, 1988: Phil Housley records his 400th point as a member of the Sabres, reaching a milestone in the sixth of his eight seasons with the Sabres that no other Buffalo defenseman has matched.
  • March 6, 1994: The Sabres earn the 900th win in franchise history, as Dominik Hasek stops 43 shots in Detroit on the night Terry Sawchuk’s number is raised to the rafters.


  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 22-for-25 (88.0%) in the team’s last 13 games against the Islanders.
  • The Sabres have killed off 11 consecutive penalties and have not surrendered a power-play goal in four straight games. If the team remains perfect on the penalty kill today, it will be the first time this season and first since Feb. 19, 2019 to Feb. 26, 2019 that Buffalo played five consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded 19 points (10+9) in 20 games against the Islanders dating back to the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (3+8) in 12 meetings with the Islanders since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
  • Victor Olofsson has three points (2+1), all on the power-play, in four career road games against the Islanders. Olofsson scored the first goal of his NHL career against the Islanders March 30, 2019.
  • Entering play Friday, Riley Sheahan ranked 4th among all players with at least 75 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 60.4 percent (84-for-139).


  • Today’s matchup is the second game of three straight against the Islanders. This series marks the first time the Sabres will play a team three straight times in the same regular season in franchise history.
  • Buffalo has previously played the same opponent in three straight regular-season games on four occasions by wrapping up one season and beginning the next against the same team: Montreal (1987-88 and 1988-89), Quebec (1981-82 and 1982-83; 1991-92 and 1992-93) and Washington (2019-20 and 2020-21).
  • The Sabres have previously played the same team three times in a 10-day period just 15 times in franchise history. Before doing so against New Jersey in February, Buffalo had never played the same team three times in a seven-day span.


  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo played for the Islanders from 2007-08 to 2015-16 after being drafted in by the team with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. Okposo totaled 369 points (139+230) in 529 games with the Islanders.
  • Islanders director of goaltending Mitch Korn was the Sabres’ goaltending coach from 1990-91 to 1997-98.
  • Islanders assistant video coordinator Corey Smith was the Sabres video coach in 2014-15 and 2015-16. He is the brother of current Sabres video coordinator Kyle Smith and the son of former Sabre Derek Smith.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin won a silver medal for Team Canada with Islanders forward Casey Cizikas at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel and Islanders forwards Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all played for Team USA at both the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2015.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle were teammates in Edmonton for six seasons (2010-11 to 2015-16).
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Islanders forward Leo Komarov both played for Finland’s National Team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle played for Team Canada together at three consecutive IIHF World Championships: in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck was also on the 2011 roster and Sabres forward Eric Staal played with the duo in 2013.
  • Jeff Skinner won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz was one of Canada’s assistant coaches at the tournament.
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart played for Team Canada with Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.


  • Buffalo entered play Friday ranked third in the NHL with a 7 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 16 games, going 16-for-45 (35.6%) during that stretch.
  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres were tied with the Carolina Hurricanes and 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 Friday 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 trail 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.


  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:25 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-14 (67 drawn/53 taken), the Sabres tied the Colordao Avalanche for the best penalty differential in the league.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 48 minor penalties this season. Entering play Friday, it marked the fewest in the league and was three fewer than the next closest team, the Vegas Golden Knights.


  • 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.


  • 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)


  • With his goal on March. 4 at the NY Islanders, Rasmus Ristolainen moved into a tie with Tyler Myers and Jom Schoenfeld for the eighth-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Richard Smehlik by two goals for seventh-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 nine 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:7% PP% (3rd), 81.6% PK% (9th) 52.3% FOW% (10th)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-4th), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-9th)

Hits: Ristolainen (52), Miller (41), Lazar (40)
Blocked Shots: Montour (23), Miller (21), Irwin (18)
Shots: Eichel (57), Hall (56), 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: 2-7-1 (5), 16/28, 7/23, 18/23
21-30: 0-1-0 (0), 2/5, 0/0, 3/3

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)
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals

Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 10 assists … 600 career assists

Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 7 points … 100 career points

Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

Rasmus Ristolainen … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen) … March 4 at NY Islanders

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