Game Preview: 5/3/21 vs. NY Islanders


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, May 1
Buffalo 2 at Boston 6
Goals: Sheahan, Ruotsalainen
Goalie: Luukkonen (26 saves/29 shots), Tokarski (11 saves/14 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 3/4; Shots: Boston 43 – Buffalo 19

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 271)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 52 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 38 games
Jack Eichel (neck, March 9; injured reserve) – 29 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 22 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, April 15) – 10 games
Kyle Okposo (cheek, April 17) – 9 games

5/3: Recalled G Michael Houser; Signed G Stefanos Lekkas to a professional tryout contract; Reassigned F C.J. Smith to the taxi squad and F Jean-Sebastien Dea to the Rochester Americans (AHL)


Tuesday, May 4: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 6: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 8: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 3 p.m.


  • This is the seventh of eight meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 5-2 in New York on March 7.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, May 4 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 3-7-0 at home.
  • This is the 180th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-72-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 46-31-12 at home against the Islanders all-time.


  • The Sabres are 1-0-0 all-time on May 3 (regular season).
  • May 3, 1995: Wayne Primeau scores the game-winning goal and Yuri Khmylev tallies three assists as the Sabres beat New Jersey 5-4 to close out the 1994-95 regular season.


  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 24-for-27 (88.9%) in the team’s last 15 games against the Islanders dating back to April 2, 2017.
  • Sam Reinhart has scored six goals in his last five games.
  • Casey Mittelstadt enters tonight’s game riding a career-high five-game point streak (2+4). He has totaled 16 points (9+7) in his last 18 games dating back to March 31.
    • His nine goals are second on the team in that span, trailing only Sam Reinhart (11) and ties Reinhart for the team lead in points.
  • Dylan Cozens has seven assists since April 11, which ranks second among rookies.
  • Since making his NHL debut on April 9, Arttu Ruotsalainen is tied for fourth among rookies in goals (5) and tied for ninth in points (6).
  • Entering play Sunday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 6:23 of penalty time per game. Buffalo’s 332 total penalty minutes are the fewest in the NHL.


Today’s game begins the final of Buffalo’s 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which wraps up tomorrow night in Buffalo against the Islanders. The Sabres are 3-10-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-9-1 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 (5), one point (0) and zero points (7).


  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game with 11 points (9+2) in his last nine games dating back to April 15. His nine goals since April 15 leads the NHL.
  • Reinhart recorded 15 points (10+5) in 16 games during the month of April, leading the team in both goals and points during that stretch.
    • Reinhart tied for fifth in the NHL with 10 goals during the month of April.
  • Reinhart has 23 goals in 50 games this season, two shy of tying his career high, which he set in 82 games during the 2017-18 season. It’s the fastest he has reached the 20-goal mark in his career. He is one of 15 players in franchise history to have at least five 20-goal seasons with the Sabres.
  • His 15 road goals this season are tied for the most in the NHL and he is tied for fourth in the league with 10 power-play goals.
  • Reinhart is one of eight players in the league this season to score double digit even-strength and power-play goals.
  • Outside of a stretch from March 11 to 18, Reinhart has not gone more than two consecutive games without a point this season.


  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded 11 points (3+8) in 16 games dating back to April 3. Dahlin ranks in the top 10 among all NHL defensemen in goals (T-4th), and points (T-7th) during that stretch.
  • Dahlin’s eight even-strength points (3+5) since April 3 are tied for ninth in the league among defensemen.
  • He currently ranks among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (12th), .46 A/GP (5th) and .55 PTS/GP (5th).


  • 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), .36 A/GP (15th), .45 PTS/GP (14th)


  • Sabres forward Anders Bjork played for Team USA at the 2017 IIHF World Championship with Islanders forward Brock Nelson.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin won a silver medal for Team Canada with Islanders forward Casey Cizikas at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Islanders forward Leo Komarov both played for Finland’s National Team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle played for Team Canada together at three consecutive IIHF World Championships: in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Islanders forwards Cal Clutterbuck and Travis Zajac were also on the 2011 roster.
  • Jeff Skinner won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship. Islanders Head Coach Barry Trotz was one of Canada’s assistant coaches at the tournament.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart played for Team Canada with Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Islanders director of goaltending Mitch Korn was the Sabres’ goaltending coach from 1990-91 to 1997-98.
  • Islanders assistant video coordinator Corey Smith was the Sabres’ video coach in 2014-15 and 2015-16. He is the brother of current Sabres video coordinator Kyle Smith and the son of former Sabre Derek Smith.

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

  • Reinhart: 10 PPG (T-4th)
  • Ristolainen: 176 Hits (4th)

Hits: Ristolainen (176), Miller (86), Dahlin (74)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (60), Miller (50), Jokiharju (44)
Shots: Reinhart (120), Olofsson (118), Dahlin (105)

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: 4-5-1 (9), 29/32, 6/33, 17/22
51-56: 0-2-0 (0), 4/11, 0/4, 4/6

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
Rasmus Dahlin … 7 games … 200 career games
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Rasmus Ristolainen … 5 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 7 assists … 100 career assists
Sam Reinhart … 8 points … 300 career points


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