Game Preview: 4/20/21 vs. Boston

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, April 18
Pittsburgh 2 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Reinhart (2), Ruotsalainen, Asplund
Goalie: Tokarski (34 saves/36 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Pittsburgh 36 – Buffalo 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 228)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 45 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 31 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 31 games
Jack Eichel (neck, March 9; injured reserve) – 22 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 15 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, April 15) – 3 games
Kyle Okposo (cheek, April 17) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/12: Acquired F Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Boston Bruins in exchange for F Taylor Hall and F Curtis Lazar
4/15: Recalled G Michael Houser from the taxi squad
4/17: Recalled F Steven Fogarty from the Rochester Americans (AHL); Reassigned G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from Rochester to the taxi squad
4/18: Recalled D Mattias Samuelsson from the Rochester Americans (AHL); Reassigned F Steven Fogarty to the taxi squad; Reassigned F C.J. Smith to Rochester
4/20: Recalled G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from the taxi squad; Reassigned G Michael Houser to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, April 22: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 23: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 25: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 29: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BRUINS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo 3-2 (SO) in Boston on April 13.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, April 22 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 1-7-2 at home.
  • This is the 300th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 125-128-46 series record.
  • The Sabres are 74-52-24 at home against the Bruins all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres have never played on April 20 in the regular season.
  • April 20, 1980: Buffalo completes its first seven-game series sweep in franchise history, defeating the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • April 20, 2007: Drew Stafford scores his first playoff goal as the Sabres defeat the Islanders 4-3 in game five to win the series 4-1.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW.

  • Boston is the first opponent the Sabres have played in the regular season 300 times in franchise history. Buffalo’s 125 wins against Boston are the team’s second-highest total against any opponent (Montreal, 130).
  • The Sabres will meet the Bruins five times in their next seven games during a 12=day span from April 20 to May 1.
  • Dustin Tokarski was named the NHL’s first star of the week for the week ending April 18.
    • Tokarski made a league-best 128 saves on 137 shots during the week, compiling a 2.27 goals-against average and .934 save percentage.
    • Tokarski ranks fourth in the NHL with 201 saves during the month of April.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has totaled ten points (7+3) in his last 11 games and leads all Sabres in both goals and points during that stretch.
    • Entering play Monday, Mittelstadt was tied for eighth in the NHL with six goals during the month of April.
  • Dylan Cozens has five assists in his last five games.
  • Rasmus Dahlin recorded eight points (2+6) in his last nine contests dating back to April 3.
    • Entering play Monday, Dahlin’s six even-strength points and eight total points since April 3 tied him for first and fourth, respectively, among all NHL defensemen during that stretch.
  • Sam Reinhart has five points (4+1) in his last five games, including at least one point in each of his last three. Reinhart is on pace to reach the 20-goal mark for the fourth consecutive season despite the shortened schedule.
  • 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 281 total penalty minutes this season, nine fewer than the closest team, the Chicago Blackhawks.

300 CLUB

  • Boston is the first opponent the Sabres have played 300 regular season games against in franchise history.
  • 394 skaters and 38 goaltenders have suited up for at least one contest against the Bruins.
  • The Sabres all-time leading goal scorer against the Bruins is Dave Andreychuk, who netted 39 goals in 79 games. His 18 power-play goals lead the team and 34 power-play points is tied with Gilbert Perreault for first.
  • Gilbert Perreault paces the team in career games (99), assists (64), and points (100) against the Bruins.
  • Nine Sabres players average a point per game or better against the Bruins (min. 10 GP)
    • Pat LaFontaine – 1.30, Daniel Briere – 26, Rene Robert – 1.20, Thomas Vanek – 1.14, Eddie Shack – 1.09, Richard Martin – 1.06, Alexander Mogilny – 1.03, Gilbert Perreault – 1.01 and Danny Gare – 1.00.
  • Ryan Miller started 42 career games for the Sabres against the Bruins and went 26-9-7. His 26 wins and 42 games played against the Bruins are first among Sabres goaltenders.
  • Among Sabres goalies to play in at least five games against Boston, Dominik Hasek leads with a .933 save percentage, a 2.02 goals-against average and three shutouts.

THREE IN A ROW

  • Today’s matchup is the first game of three straight against the Bruins. This series marks the second time the Sabres will play a team three straight times in the same regular season in franchise history.
  • The previous set of three straight games was on the road against the New York Islanders in March.
  • Buffalo has previously played the same opponent in three straight regular-season games on four occasions by wrapping up one season and beginning the next against the same team: Montreal (1987-88 and 1988-89), Quebec (1981-82 and 1982-83; 1991-92 and 1992-93) and Washington (2019-20 and 2020-21).
  • The Sabres have previously played the same team three times in a 10-day period just 15 times in franchise history. Before doing so against New Jersey in February, Buffalo had never played the same team three times in a seven-day span.

HOT AGAINST THE BRUINS

  • Anders Bjork tallied an assist in his first game against his former team on April 13. It was his first game as a Sabre after being traded with a second-round draft pick for Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar April 12.
  • Henri Jokiharju has recorded two assists in two games against Boston this season.
  • Dustin Tokarski is 1-0-1 in his career against the Bruins with a .954 save percentage and 1.50 goals-against average. Tokarski recorded his first NHL assist against Boston March 13, 2012

THREE’S COMPANY

  • In the team’s last eight games, the line of Rasmus Asplund, Casey Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson has skated together more than any other forward line at 5-on-5 (77:15). During that time, they have outscored opponents 4-1 and have a 51.6 expected-goals percentage at 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick.
  • The trio has recorded 17 high-danger chances-for and given up only 12 high-danger chances-against for a 58.62 high-danger chances-for percentage.
  • All three players have scored at least three during the eight-game stretch – Asplund on April 6, 11 and 18, Mittelstadt on April 6, 9, 11, 15, and 17 and Thompson on April 8, 9, 15 and 17.
  • Mittelstadt (5+2) leads the Sabres in goals and is tied for the team lead in points during the stretch, while Asplund (3+2) and Thompson (4+1) are tied for fourth. The trio are also the team’s three leaders in plus/minus since April 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 three 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 (14th), .37 A/GP (15th), .45 PTS/GP (11th)

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

  • Okposo: 2 SHP (T-10th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (152), Miller (83), Dahlin (60)
Blocked Shots: Miller (48), Ristolainen (48), Irwin (43)
Shots: Olofsson (106), Reinhart (93), Dahlin (92)

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: 3-5-2 (8), 28/35, 3/23, 28/34
41-50: 3-1-1 (7), 18/12, 2/13, 7/9

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 (3-3; 80-74 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)
April 13 at BOS: L 3-2 (GDG-Coyle)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
N/A

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

Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 5 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 8 assists … 100 career assists

Points
N/A

RECENT MILESTONES
Mattias Samuelsson … 1st NHL game … April 18 vs PIT

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