Game Preview: 4/6/21 at New Jersey


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, April 3
NY Rangers 2 at Buffalo 3 (SO)
Goals: Mittelstadt, Olofsson; GDG-Thompson
Goalie: Ullmark (28 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/3; Shots: NY Rangers 30 – Buffalo 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 174)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 37 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 23 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 23 games
Jack Eichel (upper body, March 9; injured reserve) – 14 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 7 games
Dylan Cozens (upper body, March 31) – 3 games
Curtis Lazar (upper body, April 1; injured reserve) – 2 games

3/31: Recalled F Steven Fogarty from the taxi squad
4/1: Placed F Curtis Lazar on IR; Activated F Rasmus Asplund off of IR
4/2: Reassigned F C.J. Smith and D Brandon Davidson to the Rochester Americans (AHL)
4/3: Reassigned F C.J. Smith and D Brandon Davidson from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad
4/5: Reassigned F Arttu Ruotsalainen from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad; Reassigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea to Rochester.


Thursday, April 8: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 9: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 11: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, April 13: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 15: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.


  • This is the seventh of eight meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 3-2 in New Jersey on March 16
  • Next meeting: Thursday, April 8 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 166th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has an 81-57-27 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-29-15 at on the road against the Devils all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-6-2 all-time on April 6.
  • April 6, 1980: Danny Gare scores twice in a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Aud to finish the regular season with 56 goals.
  • April 6, 1995: Craig Muni appears in his 100th game as a member of the Sabres, a 1-1 tie at Boston.
  • April 6, 2019: Kyle Okposo records his 300th career assist as the Sabres beat the Detroit Red Wings 7-1.


  • Buffalo has a 38.9 power-play percentage against the Devils, its best against any opponent this season.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in five of their six games against the Devils this season. Their seven power-play goals against New Jersey are the most against any opponent this season.
  • Sam Reinhart’s ten road goals this season are tied for the most in the NHL.
  • Kyle Okposo has seven points (2+5) in his last seven games.
  • Entering play Monday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 6:14 of penalty time per game. Buffalo has been assessed 231 total penalty minutes this season, 13 fewer than the closest team, the New Jersey Devils.


  • Sam Reinhart has five points (3+2) in four games against the Devils this season. In his last eight games against New Jersey, Reinhart has totaled nine points (7+2) and recorded 24 shots.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded five points (2+3) in six games against New Jersey this season. Olofsson’s nine career points (5+4) against the Devils are his most against any opponent and his 1.13 points per game are his second most against any team that he has played more than twice (Ottawa, 1.25).
  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled five points (1+4) in six outings against the Devils this season and has 10 points (1+9) in 10 career games against New Jersey. Dahlin’s 10 career points are his most against a single opponent.
  • Linus Ullmark is 3-0-0 with a .949 save percentage in four games against the Devils this season.
  • Taylor Hall has logged five assists in six games against New Jersey this season.
  • Brandon Montour has four assists against the Devils this season, his most against any opponent.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen totaled two points (1+1) in three games against the Devils this season. Ristolainen leads all Sabres in time on ice per game played against New Jersey with 26:23.


  • Tonight’s game kicks off Buffalo’s second of two home-and-home sets this season (both against the Devils,) which wraps up in Buffalo on Thursday.
  • The Sabres have played in 168 previous home-and-home series in franchise history, going 94-50-24 (.631) in the home games and 58-80-30 (.435) in the road games in the previous series.
  • The team is 73-66-29 (.521) all-time in the first game of the previous series and 79-64-25 (.545) in the second.
  • Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (32), three points (26), two points (67), one point (17), zero points (26).
  • With wins in the next two games, the Sabres would have their first home-and-home sweep since winning both games against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 19 and 22, 2019. Buffalo took three of a possible four points in their first home-and-home series of the season against the Devils on Feb. 23 and 25.


  • The Sabres have been perfect on the penalty kill in 19 of their 37 games played this season, including five of their last seven.
  • Tobias Rieder (2.35) ranks eighth among NHL forwards in power-play goals against per 60 this season (min. 12 minutes SH TOI).
  • Riley Sheahan currently leads all Sabres with 2:31 of shorthanded ice time per game.
  • Jacob Bryson ranks third among all NHL rookies this season with 2:30 of shorthanded ice time per game.


  • 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 seven 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 (12th), .37 A/GP (15th), .45 PTS/GP (12th)


  • 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 and Jeff Skinner 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 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 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 entering play Monday)

  • Montour: 2 SHG (T-2), 2 SHP (T-8); Okposo: 2 SHP (T-8)

Hits: Ristolainen (112), Miller (72), Lazar (64)
Blocked Shots: Montour (48), Irwin (38), Miller (36)
Shots: Hall (88), Olofsson (84), Reinhart (75)

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: 0-9-1 (1), 18/45, 0/14, 18/26
31-40: 2-3-2 (6), 17/22, 1/15, 23/26

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-4; 126-138 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lafrenière, 2:47)
Feb. 25 vs. NJD: L, 4-3 (GWG-Zacha, 1:17)
March 29 vs. PHI: L 4-3 (GWG-Provorov, 0:42)
April 1 vs. NYR: L 3-2 (GWG Zibanejad, 4:32)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-2; 80-73 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)
April 3 vs. NYR: W 3-2 (GDG-Thompson)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Victor Olofsson … 3 games played … 100 games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 2 goals … 200 career goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Rasmus Dahlin … 3 points … 100 career points

Steven Fogarty … first career NHL goal … March 31 vs. PHI

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