Game Preview: 3/18/21 vs. Boston


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, March 16
Buffalo 2 at New Jersey 3
Goals: Rieder, Skinner
Goalie: Johansson (24 saves/27 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/3; Shots: New Jersey 27 – Buffalo 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 107)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 28 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 14 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 14 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 11 games
Jack Eichel (upper body; March 9) – 5 games
Dylan Cozens (upper body; March 13) – 3 games

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
3/18: Recalled D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Loaned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad


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.
Saturday, March 27: Buffalo at Boston, 1 p.m.



  • This is the first of eight meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo 3-2 in Boston on Dec. 29, 2019
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 20 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 1-6-3 at home.
  • This is the 296th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 125-126-45 series record.
  • The Sabres are 74-51-24 at home against the Bruins all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-9-4 all-time on March 18.
  • March 18, 1997: The Sabres acquire Miroslav Satan from Edmonton in exchange for Barrie Moore and Craig Millar.
  • March 18, 2003: Lindy Ruff earns his 211th win as Sabres head coach, passing Scotty Bowman for most in franchise history.


  • Rasmus Ristolainen has four points (3+1) in his last four games against Boston.
  • Sam Reinhart has five assists in his last six games against the Bruins.
  • Taylor Hall tallied four points (2+2) in his last five home contests against Boston.

The Sabres have an all-time record of 11-7-2 in the first game with a new head coach:

Head Coach First Game Regular-Season Record
Punch Imlach 10/10/70 at PIT (2-1 W) 32-62-25
Joe Crozier 1/13/72 vs. NYR (5-2 L) 77-80-35
Floyd Smith 10/10/74 vs. BOS (9-5 W) 143-62-36
Marcel Pronovost 10/13/77 vs. NYI (3-2 W) 52-29-23
Billy Inglis 12/7/78 vs. LAK (3-3 T) 28-18-10
Scotty Bowman 10/11/79 vs. WSH (6-3 W) 210-134-60
Roger Neilson 10/9/80 at CHI (4-3 L) 39-20-21
Jim Roberts 12/12/81 at DET (4-2 W) 21-16-8
Jim Schoenfeld 10/10/85 vs. HFD (5-4 L) 19-19-5
Craig Ramsay 11/7/86 vs. VAN (7-6 L) 4-15-2
Ted Sator 12/23/86 vs. PHI (2-1 W) 96-89-22
Rick Dudley 10/5/89 at QUE (4-3 W) 85-72-31
John Muckler 12/13/91 vs. HFD (8-4 L) 125-109-34
Ted Nolan 10/7/95 at OTT (3-1 W) 73-72-19
Lindy Ruff 10/1/97 at STL (3-1 W) 571-432-162
Ron Rolston 2/21/13 at TOR (3-1 L) 19-26-6
Ted Nolan 11/15/13 at TOR (3-1 W) 40-87-17
Dan Bylsma 10/8/15 vs. OTT (3-1 L) 68-73-23
Phil Housley 10/5/17 vs. MTL (3-2 L (SO)) 58-84-22
Ralph Kruger 10/3/19 at PIT (3-1 W) 36-49-12


  • Entering play Wednesday, Buffalo ranked ninth in the NHL with a 26.0 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • Entering Wednesday’s games, 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 ninth 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 (25), and Auston Matthews (21) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.


  • Entering Wednesday’s games, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:45 of penalty time per game. Buffalo has been assessed 161 total penalty minutes this season, 22 fewer than the next closest team, the Los Angeles Kings.
  • At plus-9 (80 drawn/71 taken), the Sabres are tied for seventh in the league in penalty differential this season.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 71 penalties this season. Entering play Wednesday, it marked the fewest in the league and was 11 penalties fewer than the next closest teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets and 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 1,031 career points, Staal has recorded the 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by one point for 79th.


  • 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)


  • Sabres defenseman Colin Miller played the first two seasons of his NHL career 2015-16 to 2016-17) with the Bruins, totaling 29 points (9+20) in 103 games.
  • Sabres defenseman Colin Miller played the first two seasons of his NHL career 2015-16 to 2016-17) with the Bruins, totaling 29 points (9+20) in 103 games.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall and Bruins defenseman John Moore were teammates in New Jersey for two seasons: 2016-17 and 2017-18.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal with Bruins forward Brad Marchand while the trio played for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal with Bruins forward Nick Ritchie while playing for Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt and Bruins forward Trent Frederic won a bronze medal together while playing for Team USA at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour and Bruins forward Nick Ritchie were teammates in Anaheim for parts of three seasons (2016-17 to 2018-19). Bruins forward Chris Wagner also played in Anaheim during parts of the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo and Bruins forward Craig Smith both played for Team USA at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo and Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak both played for the Islanders during the 2014-15 season.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask played for Finland’s national team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Sabres forward Eric Staal and Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron won a gold medal together at the 2010 Winter Olympics while playing for Team Canada.
  • Sabres forward Eric Staal and Bruins forward Charlie Coyle were teammates in Minnesota for parts of three seasons (2016-17 to 2018-19).
  • Sabres forward Tage Thompson won a gold medal with Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy while playing for Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo would play for Team USA together again at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

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

  • Buffalo Sabres:0% PP% (9th), 51.9% FOW% (8th)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-9th)

Hits: Ristolainen (84), Lazar (55), Miller (53)
Blocked Shots: Montour (37), Irwin (27), Dahlin/Miller (23)
Shots: Hall (72), Olofsson (63), Eichel (61)

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: 0-8-0 (0), 14/36, 0/11, 14/18

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)
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 8 assists … 600 career assists
Brandon Montour … 2 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 5 points … 100 career points
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins


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