Game Preview: 4/9/21 vs. Washington

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, April 8
New Jersey 6 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Olofsson, Thompson, Skinner
Goalie: Ullmark (32 saves/37 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/3; PK: 2/4; Shots: New Jersey 38 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 188)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 39 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 25 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 25 games
Jack Eichel (upper body, March 9; injured reserve) – 16 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 9 games
Dylan Cozens (upper body, March 31) – 5 games
Curtis Lazar (upper body, April 1; injured reserve) – 5 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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
4/6: Signed Linus Weissbach to a two-year, entry-level contract
4/7: Reassigned F C.J. Smith and D Brandon Davidson to the Rochester Americans (AHL)
4/8: Reassigned F C.J. Smith and D Brandon Davidson from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad
4/9: Claimed F Drake Caggiuls off waivers
4/9: Recalled F Arttu Ruotsalainen from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Steven Fogarty to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Saturday, April 17: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 18: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 3 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the seventh of eight meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo 6-0 in Buffalo on March 15
  • Next meeting: Thursday, April 15 in Washington
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 4-6-0 at home.
  • This is the 170th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has a 91-56-22 series record.
  • The Sabres are 49-26-9 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-3-1 all-time on April 9.
  • April 9, 1980: Bob Sauve records the first playoff shutout in franchise history with a 6-0 win vs. Vancouver.
  • April 9, 1988: John Tucker sets a franchise playoff record with four goals in a 6-2 win vs. Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo has a plus-10 penalty differential (21 drawn/11 taken) against the Capitals this season.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded five points (3+2) against the Capitals this season.
  • Dustin Tokarski is 1-0-1 with a .935 save percentage and 1.86 goals against average in his career against the Capitals.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has seven points (1+6) in his last ten games against the Capitals dating back to the 2018-19 season.
  • Brandon Montour (0.12, 7th), Rasmus Dahlin (0.09, 13th) and Rasmus Ristolainen (0.09, 14th) all rank in the top 15 in goals-per-game in franchise history among defensemen who have played in at least 82 games.
  • Kyle Okposo has nine points (2+7) in his last nine outings.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has totaled five points (3+2) and a plus-three rating in his last five games.
  • Brandon Montour has five points (4+1) and 17 shots in his last six contests.
  • Following Thursday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 6:16 of penalty time per game. Buffalo has been assessed 245 total penalty minutes this season, nine fewer than the closest team, the New Jersey Devils.

SEASON SERIES
Tonight’s game is the seventh of eight meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season. The Sabres are 1-4-1 through the first six. Washington has won five of the first six games despite the Sabres having the edge in underlying 5-on-5 metrics:

 

5-on-5 Shot Attempts 5-on-5

Expected Goals

5-on-5 High-Danger Scoring Chances
Date BUF WSH BUF WSH BUF WSH
Jan. 14 35 33 1.27 0.94 7 3
Jan. 15 36 34 1.42 0.87 7 4
Jan. 22 49 42 1.80 1.52 9 6
Jan. 24 50 39 1.75 1.28 9 6
Feb. 18 40 42 1.75 1.54 8 5
March 15 48 43 1.89 1.66 11 5
Total 258 233 9.88 7.81 51 29
Percentage 52.5% 47.5% 55.9% 44.1% 63.8% 36.2%

(All data courtesy of NaturalStatTrick.com)

KEEPIN’ IT 100

  • Rasmus Dahlin’s assist last night marked his 100th career NHL point.
  • Dahlin (180 games played) is the second-fastest Sabres defenseman to reach the milestone after making his NHL debut with the team. He is second only to Phil Housley, who recorded his 100th point in his 106th game.
  • Dahlin, who turns 21 on April 13, is now the youngest Swedish defenseman in NHL history and the second-youngest Sabres blueliner to reach 100 career points, trailing only Housley (19 years, 273 days).
  • With the assist, Dahlin is now the first defenseman and third player from the 2018 NHL Draft to record 100 career points (Andrei Svechnikov, Brady Tkachuk).
  • Dahlin’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 (13th), .47 A/GP (5th), .56 PTS/GP (5th).
  • Dahlin’s power-play production positions him among the top 20 defensemen in franchise history with eight goals (T-16th), 40 assists (14th) and 48 points (15th).

ROAD TO 100 GAMES

  • If he dresses, tonight will be Victor Olofsson’s 100th career NHL game.
  • Among players who have debuted with the Sabres, Olofsson’s 19 career power-play goals ties Gilbert Perreault and trails only Rick Martin (23) for the most power-play goals by a Sabre in a player’s first 100 NHL games.
  • Since his NHL debut on March 28, 2019, Olofsson is third on the Sabres in goals (33) and points (69) He leads the team with 19 power-play goals and ranks second with 31 power-play points.
  • Olofsson’s 19 power-play goals ties him for fifth in the NHL since his debut.
  • His 0.70 points per game ranks sixth among players selected in the 2014 NHL Draft.

BRICK WALL

  • Among goaltenders who have played at least 10 games this season, Ullmark ranks seventh in the NHL with a .935 5-on-5 save percentage.*
  • Ullmark ranks ninth in the NHL at goals saved above average at 5-on-5 (7.25).*
  • His .862 save percentage when facing high-danger chances at 5-on-5 ranks seventh in the league (min. 10 GP).*

*Stats courtesy of NaturalStatTrick.com

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 11th of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 6-3 loss last night against New Jersey. The Sabres are 3-8-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-8-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (1), two points (3), one point (0) and zero points (6).

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on April 6 at New Jersey, Rasmus Ristolainen took sole possession of the eighth-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Richard Smehlik by one goal 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 six 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 (11th)

BUF-WSH CONNECTIONS

  • Capitals assistant coach Scott Arniel played for the Sabres for four seasons (1986-87 to 1989-90), recording 138 points (64+74) in 295 games. He would later serve as an assistant coach for the team for three seasons (2002-03 to 2003-04 and 2005-06).
  • Capitals forward Conor Sheary played parts of two seasons (2018-19 to 2019-20) with the Sabres, totaling 53 points (23+30) in 133 games with the team.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin was drafted by Washington in the third round (85th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft. He played one season (2011-12) for the Capitals, recording eight points (4+4) in 30 games.
  • Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams became the second player in league history born in D.C. to play in the NHL.
  • Sabres General Manager Kevyn Adams won the 2006 Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes when Capitals Head Coach Peter Laviolette was the head coach of the team. Capitals assistant coach Kevin McCarthy was also on Laviolette’s staff during this time.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner played for Canada’s national team at the 2013 IIHF World Championship with Capitals defensemen Brenden Dillon and Justin Schultz.
  • Sabres defensemen Matt Irwin and Colin Miller both played with Capitals defenseman Zdeno Chara in Boston, Irwin in 2015-16 and Miller from 2015-16 to 2016-17.
  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo and Capitals forward J. Oshie have played for Team USA together twice – at the 2009 and 2010 IIFH World Championships.
  • Sabres forward Tage Thompson won a bronze medal for Team USA with Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

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

  • Montour: 2 SHG (T-3rd), 2 SHP (T-8th); Okposo: 2 SHP (T-8th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (120), Miller (74), Lazar (64)
Blocked Shots: Montour (50), Miller (39), Irwin (38)
Shots: Olofsson (89), Hall (88), Reinhart (76)

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: 3-4-2 (8), 25/31, 3/20, 27/33

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 … 1 game played … 100 games played

Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 2 goals … 200 career goals

Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 8 assists … 100 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Dahlin … 100 career points … April 8 vs. NJD

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