Game Preview: 3/22/21 at NY Rangers

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 18
Boston 4 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Okposo
Goalie: Hutton (33 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 3/5; Shots: Boston 37 – Buffalo 24

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 113)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 29 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 15 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 15 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 12 games
Jack Eichel (upper body; March 9) – 6 games
Dylan Cozens (upper body; March 13) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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
3/19: Signed G Michael Houser to a one-year contract worth $700,000
3/20: Acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for G Jonas Johansson
3/21: Reassigned F Steven Fogarty from the Rochester Americans (AHL) taxi squad; Loaned G Michael Houser to the taxi squad
3/22: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund and G Dustin Tokarski from the taxi squad

 

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Monday, March 29: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 31: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME

SABRES AT RANGERS

  • This is the fourth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 3-2 in New York on March 2.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, April 1 in Buffalo.
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 3-7-0 on the road.
  • This is the 189th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 84-68-36 seri­­­es record.
  • The Sabres are 34-39-20 on the road against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-5-1 all-time on March 22.
  • March 22, 1977: Bob Sauve records his first NHL win in a 6-3 victory over the Atlanta Flames.
  • March 22, 1992: Pat LaFontaine, Wayne Presley and Donald Audette score three times in a 39-second span, recording the fastest three goals in franchise history in a 6-2 win at Chicago.
  • March 22, 2016: Chad Johnson wins his 18th game of the season 3-2 over the Carolina Hurricanes, setting a career high for wins in a season. Johnson would finish the season with 22 wins, the most in his career.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are a perfect eight-for-eight on the penalty kill against the Rangers this season.
  • Buffalo has a 60.5 faceoff win percentage against the Rangers, its best percentage against any opponent this season.
  • Eric Staal has totaled 12 points (5+7) in 11 games against the Rangers since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Carter Hutton is 5-3-0 with a .925 save percentage and 2.27 goals-against average all-time against the Rangers. With a win tonight, Hutton would tie his career high with six wins against a single opponent (San Jose Sharks).
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled three points (2+1) in three games against the Rangers this season.
  • Victor Olofsson has tallied three assists in three meetings with New York this season.

GENERATING OPPORTUNITIES

  • According to Natural Stat Trick, the line of Curtis Lazar, Casey Mittelstadt and Jeff Skinner have combined for a 64.7 percent Corsi and 75.6 expected-goals percentage at 5-on-5 over the team’s last three games.
  • In 24:13 minutes of 5-on-5 ice time together during that span, the line is outshooting opponents 14-5 and have 17 scoring chances to their opponents’ six.
  • The group has seven high-danger scoring chances in their last three games at 5-on-5 and have not allowed a high-danger scoring chance against during that same span.

POWER UP

  • Entering play Sunday, Buffalo ranked seventh in the NHL with a 25.7 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • Entering Sunday’s games, the Sabres tied the Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators, trailing 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’s 19 career power-play tallies trail only David Pastrnak (26), Leon Draisaitl (25), and Auston Matthews (21) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Entering Sunday’s games, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:53 of penalty time per game. Buffalo has been assessed 171 total penalty minutes this season, 23 fewer than the next closest team, the Los Angeles Kings.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 76 penalties this season. Entering play Sunday, it marked the fewest in the league and was 11 penalties fewer than the next closest teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Taylor Hall is tied for sixth in the NHL with 14 penalties drawn this season. Hall’s penalty differential is tied for 15th in the league at plus-eight.

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-NYR 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 defenseman Henri Jokiharju and Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko played together on Finland’s national team at both the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the 2019 IIHF World Championship. The duo won a gold medal at both tournaments.
  • Sabres forward Casey Mittelstadt and Rangers defensemen Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren won a bronze medal together while representing the United States at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which was held in Buffalo.
  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo played for Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Championship with Rangers forward Chris Krieder.
  • Sabres forward Tage Thompson won a gold medal for Team USA with Rangers defensemen Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Tage Thompson won a bronze medal for Team USA with Rangers forward Chris Krieder at the 2018 IIFH World Championship.

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

  • Buffalo Sabres:7% PP% (7th), 51.5% FOW% (9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (86), Lazar (56), Miller (56)
Blocked Shots: Montour (37), Irwin (29), Dahlin (24)
Shots: Hall (72), Olofsson (65), 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: 0-9-0 (0), 15/40, 0/12, 17/23

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 … 3 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 8 assists … 600 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 2 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 5 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

 RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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