Game Preview: 3/16/21 at New Jersey

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 15
Washington 6 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (24 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Washington 30 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 101)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 27 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 13 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 13 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 10 games
Jack Eichel (upper body; March 9) – 4 games
Dylan Cozens (upper body; March 13) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/13: Recalled D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad; Loaned D Henri Jokiharju to the taxi squad
3/15: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Loaned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
3/16: Recalled D Brandon Davidson and D Henri Jokiharju from the taxi squad; Loaned F Rasmus Asplund and D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, March 18: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 20: Boston at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, March 22: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 24: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 25: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at DEVILS

  • This is the sixth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 4-3 (SO) in Buffalo on Feb. 25
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 6 in New Jersey
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 165th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has an 81-56-27 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-28-15 at on the road against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-7 all-time on March 16.
  • March 16, 1975: Gilbert Perreault scores three goals and assists on three more as the Sabres defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 11-3 on the road.
  • March 16, 1989: The Sabres get a goal from six different scorers (Andreychuk, Arniel, Foligno, Hogue, Krupp, Turgeon) in a 6-1 win at Hartford.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo has won back-to-back road games against New Jersey for the first time since Oct 23 and Nov. 10, 2010. With a win tonight, the Sabres will have wins in three straight trips to New Jersey for the first time since Nov. 3, 2008 to Oct, 28, 2009.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their five games against the Devils this season. Their seven power-play goals against New Jersey are the most against any opponent this season.
  • Buffalo has scored at least three goals in each of its five games against New Jersey this season. Their 16 goals against the Devils is the Sabres’ highest total against any team this season.
  • The home team had won six straight games between these teams before the road team won the four most recent games in the series

HOT AGAINST THE DEVILS

  • Six different Sabres have played at a point-per-game pace through the first five meetings of the season between these teams: Rasmus Dahlin (1+4, 5 GP), Jack Eichel (0+4, 4 GP), Taylor Hall (0+5, 5 GP), Victor Olofsson (2+3, 5 GP), Sam Reinhart (3+2, 3 GP) and Rasmus Ristolainen (1+1, 2 GP).
  • Reinhart has recorded nine points (7+2) and 22 shots in his last seven games against New Jersey, scoring at least one goal in five of those contests.
  • Dahlin has totaled 10 points (1+9) in nine career games against New Jersey.
  • Hall has posted 12 points (3+9) in 12 career games against the Devils.
  • Olofsson has recorded nine points (5+4) in seven career games against the Devils.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s eighth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 6-0 loss last night vs. Washington. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-6-0 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 (4).

POWER UP

  • Following their game Monday, Buffalo ranked sixth in the NHL with a 26.8 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • After Monday’s game, the Sabres tied the Nashville Predators and trailed only the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning (11) for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson tied for seventh in the league with six power-play goals at the conclusion of Monday’s game. His 19 career power-play tallies trail only Leon Draisaitl (25), David Pastrnak (24), and Auston Matthews (21) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Following Monday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:40 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-10 (77 drawn/67 taken), the Sabres are seventh in the league in penalty differential this season.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 67 penalties this season. Following their game Monday, it marked the fewest in the league and was 14 penalties fewer than the next closest teams, the New York Islanders and Vegas Golden Knights.

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 1,031 career points, Staal has recorded the 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by one point for 79th.

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on March. 4 at the NY Islanders, Rasmus Ristolainen moved into a tie with Tyler Myers and Jim 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)

BUF-NJD CONNECTIONS

  • Devils defenseman Dmitry Kulikov spent the 2016-17 season with the Sabres, recording five points (2+3) in 47 games.
  • Devils Head Coach Lindy Ruff played for the Sabres for 10 seasons (1979-80 to 1988-89) after being drafted by the team in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1979 NHL Draft. Ruff recorded 285 points (102+183) in 608 games as a defenseman and served as the team’s captain his final three years with the club. He would return to Buffalo to serve as the team’s head coach for the 1997-98 season, holding that role until 2013. As the team’s coach, Ruff amassed a 571-432-162 record and won the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season as the league’s top coach. His 571 regular-season wins and 101 playoff wins as a head coach both remain the most in franchise history.
  • Devils assistant coach Chris Taylor spent 15 years with the Sabres organization as both a player and a coach. As a player, Taylor split time between Buffalo and Rochester from 1999-2000 to 2005-06 before joining the Americans again from 2009-2011. He served as a development coach and then assistant coach from 2011-12 to 2015-16 before returning to be the team’s head coach from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall played for the Devils for parts of four seasons from 2016-17 to 2019-20. Hall totaled 208 points (76+132) in 211 games with the team and won the Hart Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.
  • Devils forward Miles Wood was born in Buffalo and is the son of former Sabre Randy Wood.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal with Devils defenseman Ryan Murray for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall, Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner all played for Team Canada with Devils defenseman K. Subban at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju and Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen both played for Finland’s team at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with Devils goaltender Eric Comrie.
  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo and Devils forward Kyle Palmieri both played for the United States National Team at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and defenseman Brandon Montour and Devils defenseman Damon Severson and goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood were all on Canada’s silver-medal-winning roster at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen both played for Finland’s national team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Devils forward Travis Zajac played for Team Canada together at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Devils defenseman Ryan Murray were both on Canada’s roster at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Devils goaltender Eric Comrie won a silver medal together while playing for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Tage Thompson and Devils defenseman Will Butcher won a bronze medal together while representing the United States at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings following Monday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres:8% PP% (6th), 51.6% FOW% (10th)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-7th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (80), Lazar (53), Miller (51)
Blocked Shots: Montour (36), Irwin (27), Dahlin/Miller (23)
Shots: Hall (71), Eichel (61), Olofsson (59)

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: 0-7-0 (0), 12/33, 0/9, 12/15

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 (2-2; 79-73 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)
March 9 at PHI: L 5-4 (GDG-Couturier)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals

Assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 8 assists … 600 career assists

Points
Brandon Montour … 4 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 5 points … 100 career points

Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Riley Sheahan … 100 career assists … March 11 vs. Pittsburgh

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