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Game Preview: 3/7/21 at NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 6
Buffalo 2 at NY Islanders 5
Goals: Bryson, Reinhart
Goalie: Hutton (24 saves/29 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 0/0; Shots: NY Islanders 29 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 75)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 22 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 8 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 8 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 5 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/1: Reassigned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
3/2: Recalled D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Loaned F Casey Mittelstadt to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, March 9: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 11: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 13: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 15: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 16: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
SABRES at ISLANDERS

  • This is the sixth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 5-2 in New York on March 6.
  • Next meeting: Monday, May 3 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 179th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-71-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-40-13 on the road against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-10-6 all-time on March 7.
  • March 7, 2002: Martin Biron turns aside 26 New York Islanders shots to earn the first of two shutouts on back-to-back nights, a feat he would complete with another 26-save performance the following night against Montreal.
  • March 7, 2016: Jack Eichel becomes the youngest Sabre ever to reach the 20-goal mark (19 years, 131 days) with his goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 22-for-25 (88.0%) in the team’s last 14 games against the Islanders.
  • The Sabres have killed off 11 consecutive penalties and have not surrendered a power-play goal in five straight games. If the team remains perfect on the penalty kill today, it will be the first time since Dec. 4 to 16, 2018 that Buffalo played six consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded 19 points (10+9) in 21 games against the Islanders dating back to the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 12 points (3+9) in 13 meetings with the Islanders since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
  • Victor Olofsson has four points (2+2) in five career road games against the Islanders. Olofsson scored the first goal of his NHL career against the Islanders March 30, 2019.

THREE IN A ROW

  • Today’s matchup is the third game of three straight against the Islanders. This series marks the first time the Sabres will play a team three straight times in the same regular season in franchise history.
  • 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.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game wraps up Buffalo’s seventh of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 5-2 loss yesterday at New York. The Sabres are 2-5-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-5-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (3), one point (0) and zero points (3).

POWER UP

  • After yesterday’s game, Buffalo ranked third in the NHL with a 2 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 17 games, going 16-for-46 (34.8%) during that stretch.
  • At the conclusion of Saturday’s game, the Sabres were tied with the Carolina Hurricanes and trailed only the Chicago Blackhawks (11) for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson tied for fourth in the league with six power-play goals and tied for fourth with 12 power-play points after Saturday’s game. His 19 career power-play tallies trail only David Pastrnak (23), Leon Draisaitl (21) and Auston Matthews (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • After Saturday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:10 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-15 (68 drawn/53 taken), the Sabres tied the Colorado Avalanche for the best penalty differential in the league.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 53 penalties this season. At the conclusion of Saturday’s game, it marked the fewest in the league and was 13 penalties fewer than the next closest team, the New Jersey Devils.

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 1,029 career points, Staal is currently tied with Alex Kovalev for 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by three points for 79th.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He currently trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .37 G/GP (T-15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

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 Jom 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 (12th), .37 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

BUF-NYI CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo played for the Islanders from 2007-08 to 2015-16 after being drafted in by the team with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. Okposo totaled 369 points (139+230) in 529 games with the Islanders.
  • 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 forward Cody Eakin won a silver medal for Team Canada with Islanders forward Casey Cizikas at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel and Islanders forwards Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all played for Team USA at both the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2015.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle were teammates in Edmonton for six seasons (2010-11 to 2015-16).
  • 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 forward Cal Clutterbuck was also on the 2011 roster and Sabres forward Eric Staal played with the duo in 2013.
  • 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 forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart played for Team Canada with Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after Saturday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres:2% PP% (3rd), 52.3% FOW% (9th)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-4th), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-10th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (56), Miller (44), Lazar (43)
Blocked Shots: Montour (23), Miller (22), Irwin (19)
Shots: Eichel (60), Hall (57), Dahlin/Olofsson (50)

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: 0-2-0 (0), 4/10, 0/1, 3/3

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 (2-1; 79-72 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)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 10 assists … 600 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 5 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 6 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins 

RECENT MILESTONES
Jacob Bryson … First career NHL goal … March 6 at NY Islanders
Rasmus Ristolainen … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen) … March 4 at NY Islanders

Game Preview: 3/6/21 at NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 4
Buffalo 2 at NY Islanders 5
Goals: Hall, Ristolainen
Goalie: Johansson (40 saves/45 shots)
PP: 0/0; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 18 – NY Islanders 45

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 71)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 21 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 7 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 7 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/28: Recalled D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad and F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Loaned D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad; Reassigned D Casey Fitzgerald from the taxi squad to Rochester (AHL)
3/1: Reassigned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
3/2: Recalled D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Loaned F Casey Mittelstadt to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, March 7: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 12 p.m.
Tuesday, March 9: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 11: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 13: Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 15: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
SABRES at ISLANDERS

  • This is the fifth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo 5-2 in New York on March 4, 2021.
  • Next meeting: Sunday, March 7 in New York
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 178th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 82-70-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-39-13 on the road against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 15-5-5 all-time on March 6.
  • March 6, 1988: Phil Housley records his 400th point as a member of the Sabres, reaching a milestone in the sixth of his eight seasons with the Sabres that no other Buffalo defenseman has matched.
  • March 6, 1994: The Sabres earn the 900th win in franchise history, as Dominik Hasek stops 43 shots in Detroit on the night Terry Sawchuk’s number is raised to the rafters.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo’s penalty kill is 22-for-25 (88.0%) in the team’s last 13 games against the Islanders.
  • The Sabres have killed off 11 consecutive penalties and have not surrendered a power-play goal in four straight games. If the team remains perfect on the penalty kill today, it will be the first time this season and first since Feb. 19, 2019 to Feb. 26, 2019 that Buffalo played five consecutive games without allowing a power-play goal.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded 19 points (10+9) in 20 games against the Islanders dating back to the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 11 points (3+8) in 12 meetings with the Islanders since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.
  • Victor Olofsson has three points (2+1), all on the power-play, in four career road games against the Islanders. Olofsson scored the first goal of his NHL career against the Islanders March 30, 2019.
  • Entering play Friday, Riley Sheahan ranked 4th among all players with at least 75 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 60.4 percent (84-for-139).

THREE IN A ROW

  • Today’s matchup is the second game of three straight against the Islanders. This series marks the first time the Sabres will play a team three straight times in the same regular season in franchise history.
  • 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.

CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo played for the Islanders from 2007-08 to 2015-16 after being drafted in by the team with the seventh overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft. Okposo totaled 369 points (139+230) in 529 games with the Islanders.
  • 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 forward Cody Eakin won a silver medal for Team Canada with Islanders forward Casey Cizikas at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel and Islanders forwards Anders Lee and Brock Nelson all played for Team USA at both the 2015 and 2017 IIHF World Championships, winning a bronze medal in 2015.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall and Islanders forward Jordan Eberle were teammates in Edmonton for six seasons (2010-11 to 2015-16).
  • 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 forward Cal Clutterbuck was also on the 2011 roster and Sabres forward Eric Staal played with the duo in 2013.
  • 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 forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart played for Team Canada with Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

POWER UP

  • Buffalo entered play Friday ranked third in the NHL with a 7 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 16 games, going 16-for-45 (35.6%) during that stretch.
  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres were tied with the Carolina Hurricanes and trailed only the Chicago Blackhawks (11) for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson entered play Friday tied for fourth in the league with six power-play goals and tied for fourth with 12 power-play points. His 19 career power-play tallies trail only David Pastrnak (23), Leon Draisaitl (21) and Auston Matthews (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:25 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-14 (67 drawn/53 taken), the Sabres tied the Colordao Avalanche for the best penalty differential in the league.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 48 minor penalties this season. Entering play Friday, it marked the fewest in the league and was three fewer than the next closest team, the Vegas Golden Knights.

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 1,029 career points, Staal is currently tied with Alex Kovalev for 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by three points for 79th.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He currently trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .37 G/GP (T-15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

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 Jom 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)

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

  • Buffalo Sabres:7% PP% (3rd), 81.6% PK% (9th) 52.3% FOW% (10th)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-4th), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (52), Miller (41), Lazar (40)
Blocked Shots: Montour (23), Miller (21), Irwin (18)
Shots: Eichel (57), Hall (56), Dahlin (49)

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: 0-1-0 (0), 2/5, 0/0, 3/3

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 (2-1; 79-72 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)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals

Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 10 assists … 600 career assists

Points
Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 7 points … 100 career points

Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Ristolainen … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen) … March 4 at NY Islanders

Game Preview: 2/28/21 vs. Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 27
Philadelphia 3 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (36 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 3/3; Shots: Philadelphia 39 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 59)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 18 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 4 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 4 games
Jack Eichel (lower body, Feb. 25) – 2 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/22: Recalled F Casey Mittelstadt and D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad
2/23: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund and D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Reassigned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad; Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/24: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski to Rochester (AHL)
2/25: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/27: Recalled G Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Rasmus Asplund to the taxi squad; Placed G Linus Ullmark on injured reserve
2/28: Recalled D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad; Reassigned D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad; Reassigned F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Reassigned D Casey Fitzgerald from the taxi squad to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, March 2: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 4: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 6: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 1 p.m.
Sunday, March 7: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 12 p.m.
Tuesday, March 9: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
FLYERS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 3-0 in Buffalo on Feb. 27
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, March 9 in Philadelphia
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 4-6-0 at home.
  • This is the 185th game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 70-90-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-35-10 at home against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-6-3 all-time on February 28.
  • February 28, 1971: Steve Atkinson scores three goals against the Minnesota North Stars in a 5-2 win at the Aud. Atkinson, Ron Anderson and Gilbert Perreault all score in a span of 1:15 in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and earn the win.
  • February 28, 2000: The Sabres score four goals on their first 19 shots, including two from Stu Barnes, on the way to a 5-2 victory at Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The road team has won just 61 of the 184 regular-season matchups between the Sabres and Flyers, including just three of the last 11. With Philadelphia’s win yesterday, the road team has won consecutive games in the series for the first time since the Sabres won in Philadelphia on Feb. 19 and Oct. 27, 2015.
  • The Sabres’ special teams are plus-9 this season, with 19 goals for and 10 goals against. At the conclusion of yesterday’s game, they ranked second behind the Colorado Avalanche (plus-10) for the second-best differential in the league.
  • Taylor Hall has totaled 27 points (10+17) in 23 career games against Philadelphia, tallying at least a point in all but five of those games.
  • Eric Staal has 26 points (10+16) in 27 meetings with the Flyers dating back to Jan. 10, 2012, including two-point outputs in three of his last seven matchups.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 14 points (8+6) in his 14 career games against Philadelphia.

GOOD DAY FOR A MATINEE

  • Today’s game is the sixth of 14 afternoon games for the Sabres this season. They are 3-2-0 in the first five.
  • Buffalo went 7-2-2 in afternoon games during the 2019-20 season, including a 6-2-0 record at home and a 1-0-2 mark on the road.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game wraps up Buffalo’s sixth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-0 loss yesterday vs. Philadelphia. The Sabres are 2-4-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-4-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (3), one point (0) and zero points (2).

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Following yesterday’s game, the Sabres ranked fourth in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 52.9 percent.
  • The Sabres joined Anaheim and Nashville as the only teams whose top four faceoff takers (Jack Eichel, Eric Staal, Cody Eakin and Riley Sheahan) all had a faceoff percentage of at least 50 percent at the conclusion of yesterday’s game. All four Sabres are currently on pace for career-high faceoff percentages.
  • Following yesterday’s game, Sheahan ranked 11th among all players with at least 50 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 59.0 percent (72-for-122).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo finished yesterday’s game second in the NHL with a 32.8 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 13 games, going 16-for-41 (39.0%) during that stretch.
  • Following yesterday’s game, the Sabres tied the Chicago Blackhawks for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson finished yesterday’s game tied for fourth in the league with six power-play goals and tied for third with 12 power-play points. His 19 career power-play tallies trailed only David Pastrnak (23), Leon Draisaitl (21) and Auston Matthews (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Following Saturday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:10 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-17 (61 drawn/44 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.

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 1,029 career points, Staal is currently tied with Alex Kovalev for 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by three points for 79th.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He currently trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on Jan. 15 vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by one goal for eighth-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 11 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 (13th), .38 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after yesterday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres:8% PP% (2nd), 52.9% FOW% (4th)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (T-3rd), 6 PPG (T-4th)
  • Reinhart: 5 PPG (T-6th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (41), Lazar (36), Miller (33)
Blocked Shots: Miller (20), Montour (20), Irwin (18)
Shots: Eichel/Hall (50), Dahlin (47), Olofsson (45)

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: 2-5-1 (5), 14/22, 7/19, 14/19

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 (2-1; 79-72 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)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals

Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists

Points
Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points

Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Jacob Bryson … 1st NHL game … Feb. 23 at NJD
Curtis Lazar … 300th NHL game … Feb. 27 vs. PHI

Game Preview: 1/14/21 vs. Washington

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
N/A

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 0)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 0 games
Kyle Okposo (lower body, Jan. 14) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/8: Signed F Riley Sheahan to a one-year contract worth $700,000
1/11: Assigned F Brandon Biro, F Steven Fogarty, F Brett Murray, F C.J. Smith, D Casey Fitzgerald, D Ryan Jones, G Michael Houser and G Dustin Tokarski to Rochester (AHL)
1/12: Assigned F Andrew Oglevie, F Arttu Ruotsalainen, D Jacob Bryson and D Mattias Samuelsson to Rochester (AHL).
1/13: Assigned F Rasmus Asplund, F Casey Mittelstadt, D William Borgen, D Brandon Davidson and G Jonas Johansson to the taxi squad
1/14: Assigned F Jack Quinn to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Jan. 15Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 19: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7: p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME 
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the first of eight meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Washington 3-2 (SO) in Buffalo on March 9, 2020
  • Next meeting: Friday, Jan. 15 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 5-3-2 at home.
  • This is the 164th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has a 90-52-21 series record.
  • The Sabres are 49-23-9 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-10-3 all-time on January 14.
  • January 14, 1972: The Sabres acquire Jim Lorentz from the New York Rangers in exchange for a second-round pick in the 1972 draft.
  • January 14, 1983: Steve Patrick records his first career two-goal game to lead the Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Capitals at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • January 14, 2003: Ryan Miller stops all 22 Minnesota shots to earn a 1-0 victory and his first career shutout.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in three consecutive visits from the Capitals for the first time since they won four in a row from Nov. 17, 2005 to Oct. 13, 2007.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded seven points (2+5) in five career meetings with the Capitals.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled seven points (4+3) in his last seven games against Washington.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded six points (2+4) in his last six meetings with the Capitals.
  • Jack Eichel has posted six points (3+3) in six games against the Capitals since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

OPENING NIGHT

  • Tonight’s game marks the 50th season-opener in franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 25-19-5 all-time in season-openers; 17-10-5 when opening at home.
  • Buffalo is 22-20-7 all-time in their first home game of the season. This is the team’s sixth season-opener in the last seven seasons to take place at home.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO

The Sabres have seven new players on their opening-day roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Dylan Cozens, C Draft (2019) KUH-zihns Buffalo’s first-round pick (7th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft recently earned a silver medal and was named to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship all-star team after leading all players with eight goals in the tournament.
Cody Eakin, C Free Agency EE-kihn His 10 career shorthanded goals tie for 20th-most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2011-12.
Taylor Hall, LW Free Agency HAWL Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 2017-18; his 1.05 points per game in the last three seasons ranks 17th in the NHL.
Matt Irwin, D Free Agency UHR-wihn Has a career shot attempts percentage (SAT%) of 51.3 percent and has never finished a full NHL season below 50.1 percent.
Tobias Rieder, LW Free Agency REE-duhr His three shorthanded goals in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs tied an NHL postseason record; he was the seventh player ever to score three in a single postseason.
Riley Sheahan, C Free Agency SHAY-uhn His 5.42 goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill in 2019-20 ranked 15th-best among the top 100 NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time.
Eric Staal, C Trade (MIN) STAWL Enters the 2020-21 season ranked in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played (7th), goals (6th) and points (8th).

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Sabres have had a newly acquired player score in five of their last nine season-openers: Jason Pominville (Oct. 5, 2017 vs. MTL), Jack Eichel (Oct. 8, 2015 vs. OTT), Zemgus Girgensons (Oct. 2, 2013 at DET), Steve Ott (Jan. 20, 2013 vs. PHI) and Ville Leino (Oct. 7, 2011 vs. ANA). Each player scored on his first shot, except for Eichel, who scored on his second shot.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s first of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. Washington. The Sabres were 4-6-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-5-1 in the second game last season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in 2019-20 back-to-back sets was: four points (1), three points (3), two points (5), one point (0) and zero points (3).

2020-21 ROSTER NOTES 
Of the 22 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • Eight were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round selections (Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Dahlin, 2018; Cozens, 2019), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012), one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012) and one was a seventh-round pick (Olofsson, 2014).
  • Six were acquired in trades: JokiharjuMillerMontourSkinnerStaal, Thompson
  • Eight were signed as free agents: EakinHall, HuttonIrwinLazarOkposoRiederSheahan
  • Fifteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: DahlinEichelHuttonJokiharjuLazarMcCabeMillerMontourOkposoOlofssonReinhartRistolainenSkinnerThompsonUllmark
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: CozensEakinHallIrwin, RiederSheahanStaal

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: N/A
Blocked Shots: N/A
Shots: N/A

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 0-0-0 (0), 0/0, 0/0, 0/0

OVERTIME RESULTS (00126-134 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (007771 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 3 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Brandon Montour … 9 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 7 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

SABRES SIGN SHEAHAN TO 1-YEAR CONTRACT

The Sabres have signed forward Riley Sheahan to a one-year contract worth $700,000.


Highlights:

  • Signed a professional tryout contract with the Sabres on Dec. 29, 2020 to join the team for the beginning of training camp.
  • Has 164 points (66+98) in 513 career NHL games for the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings.
  • Established career-high totals in assists (23) and points (36) in 79 games for Detroit during the 2014-15 season.
  • Won a Calder Cup in 2013 for the Grand Rapids Griffins and led all AHL rookies with 13 assists in the playoffs.