Author Archives: chrisdierken

Game Preview: 3/29/21 vs. Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, March 27
Buffalo 2 at Boston 3
Goals: Reinhart, Okposo
Goalie: Ullmark (33 saves/36 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 5/5; Shots: Boston 36 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 146)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 33 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 19 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 19 games
Jack Eichel (upper body, March 9; injured reserve) – 10 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 3 games
Tobias Rieder (upper body, March 24; injured reserve) – 3 games
Tage Thompson (illness March 24) – 3 games
Rasmus Asplund (upper body; March 25) – 2 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/23: Reassigned G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad
3/24: Recalled G Michael Houser from the taxi squad; Placed F Kyle Okposo on injured reserve
3/25: Recalled F Steven Fogarty and F C.J. Smith from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea and F Brett Murray from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad; Placed F Rasmus Asplund and F Tobias Rieder on injured reserve
3/26: Acquired a third- and fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for center Eric Staal
3/27: Activated F Kyle Okposo and G Linus Ullmark from injured reserve; Recalled F Jean-Sebastien Dea from the taxi squad; Loaned F C.J. Smith and G Michael Houser to the taxi squad
3/28: Reassigned F Brett Murray and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

UPCOMING GAMES
Wednesday, March 31: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 1: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 3: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 6: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 8: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
FLYERS at SABRES

  • This is the sixth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 5-4 (SO) in Philadelphia on March 9
  • Next meeting: Wednesday, March 31 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 4-6-0 at home.
  • This is the 187th game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 70-91-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-36-10 at home against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-7-3 all-time on March 29.
  • March 29, 2004: Martin Biron stops 23 shots to record his 17th career shutout and 100th NHL victory, a 6-0 win vs. Columbus.
  • March 29, 2016: Ryan O’Reilly records his 300th NHL point with a shorthanded goal as part of a two-point night (1+1) in a 5-4 shootout loss at Pittsburgh.
  • March 29, 2018: Casey Mittelstadt plays his first NHL game and records his first NHL point, an assist, in a 6-3 loss to Detroit.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The team that has scored first has won all five of the games so far between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Buffalo is 11-for-12 on the penalty kill against the Flyers this season, including a perfect 5-for-5 at home. The team’s 91.7 penalty kill percentage is its best rate against any opponent this season.
  • Taylor Hall has 29 points (10+19) in 25 career contests against the Flyers. He has recorded five assists in five meetings with Philadelphia this season.
  • Sam Reinhart has four goals in five games against Philadelphia this season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen leads the Sabres with 98 hits this season. His 26 hits against the Flyers is his highest total against a single opponent.
  • Brandon Montour’s 12 blocked shots against the Flyers are his most against an opponent this season. 

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Entering play Sunday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 6:16 of penalty time per game. Buffalo has been assessed 207 total penalty minutes this season, 13 fewer than the closest team, the New Jersey Devils.
  • Buffalo has been assessed a league-low 94 penalties this season.
  • Taylor Hall was tied for ninth in the NHL entering play Sunday with 14 penalties drawn this season. Hall’s penalty differential was good for 14th in the league at plus-8.

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 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 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 (15th), .45 PTS/GP (12th)

BUF-PHI CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin won a silver medal for Team Canada with Flyers forward Sean Couturier at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo would reunite, along with Sabres forward Taylor Hall, at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, winning a gold medal.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall and Cody Eakin won a gold medal with Claude Giroux while representing Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall and Jeff Skinner played for Team Canada with Flyers forward Claude Giroux at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada with Flyers assistant coach Mike Yeo, who was one of the team’s assistant coaches, at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart and Flyers forward Scott Laughton all played for Team Canada at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Curtis Lazar and Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott both played for the Calgary Flames during the 2016-17 season.
  • Sabres forward Victor Olofsson played for Team Sweden at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and defenseman Brandon Montour both played for Team Canada with Flyers forward Sean Couturier, Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers and Flyers goaltender Carter Hart at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, taking home a silver medal. Flyers Head Coach Alain Vigneault was the Canada’s head coach during the tournament.

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

  • Okposo: 1 SHG (T-9th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (98), Miller (67), Lazar (64)
Blocked Shots: Montour (43), Irwin (32), Miller (31)
Shots: Hall (79), Olofsson (72), Dahlin (68)

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: 0-3-0 (0), 4/12, 1/10, 12/14

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 (2-2; 79-73 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)

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

Assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists

Points
Rasmus Dahlin … 4 points … 100 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
Steven Fogarty … 1st career point (assist) … March 27 at BOS
Brandon Montour … 100 career points … March 24 at PIT

Statement from the Buffalo Sabres

In accordance with NHL COVID-19 protocols, Interim Head Coach Don Granato and Interim Assistant Coach Matt Ellis are self-isolating and are unavailable for tonight’s game in Pittsburgh. General Manager Kevyn Adams will be on the bench tonight and will serve as head coach for the game. Adams will address the media on Zoom at 5:30 p.m.

Game Preview: 3/25/21 at Pittsburgh

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, March 24
Buffalo 2 at Pittsburgh 5
Goals: Dahlin, Olofsson
Goalie: Tokarski (37 saves/42 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 5/5; Shots: Pittsburgh 42 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 127)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 31 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 17 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 17 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 14 games
Jack Eichel (upper body, March 9; injured reserve) – 8 games
Kyle Okposo (upper body; injured reserve, March 22) – 2 games
Carter Hutton (lower body; March 24) – 1 game
Tobias Rieder (upper body; March 24) – 1 game
Rasmus Asplund (upper body) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/19: Signed G Michael Houser to a one-year contract worth $700,000
3/20: Acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for G Jonas Johansson
3/21: Reassigned F Steven Fogarty from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad; Loaned G Michael Houser to the taxi squad
3/22: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund and G Dustin Tokarski from the taxi squad
3/23: Reassigned G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad
3/24: Recalled G Michael Houser from the taxi squad; Placed F Kyle Okposo on injured reserve
3/25: Recalled F Steven Fogarty and F C.J. Smith from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea and F Brett Murray from the Rochester Americans (AHL) to the taxi squad; Placed F Rasmus Asplund and F Tobias Rieder on injured reserve

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, March 27: Buffalo at Boston, 1 p.m.
Monday, March 29: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 31: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 1: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 3: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PENGUINS at SABRES

  • This is the fourth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Pittsburgh on March 24.
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 3-5-2 on the road.
  • This is the 198th game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 69-85-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 27-51-21 on the road against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-9-3 all-time on March 25.
  • March 25, 1992: Donald Audette scores twice in 14 seconds as the Sabres improve to 30-16-2 against the Maple Leafs at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium. The team would finish with a 32-16-3 record against Toronto at the Aud.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The road team has won six of the last seven meetings between Buffalo and Pittsburgh.
  • The Sabres have gone 2-1-0 in each of the last two seasons against the Penguins, winning consecutive season series against Pittsburgh for the first time since 2005-06 and 2006-07. If Buffalo wins this year’s series, it would be the first time it has won three consecutive season series against Pittsburgh since 1979-80 to 1981-82.
  • The last eight meetings between the Sabres and Penguins have been won by the team who scored first.
  • Victor Olofsson scored on his first career penalty shot in last night’s game. It was the Sabres’ first successful penalty shot attempt since Jack Eichel beat Mike Smith on Jan. 2, 2020 vs. Edmonton.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded 24 points (9+15) in 21 career meetings with Pittsburgh, including four multi-point outings.
  • Eric Staal has 56 points (23+33) in 60 career contests against the Penguins, including 10 (4+6) in his last 12.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded eight points (2+6) and a plus-3 rating in his last seven games in Pittsburgh.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has three points (1+2) in three career road games against the Penguins.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s ninth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 5-2 loss last night at Pittsburgh. The Sabres are 2-7-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-7-0 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 (5).

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Following Wednesday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 6:05 of penalty time per game. Buffalo has been assessed 189 total penalty minutes this season, 23 fewer than the next closest team, the New Jersey Devils.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 85 penalties this season. Following Wednesday’s game, it marked the fewest in the league and was four penalties fewer than the next closest teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Taylor Hall is tied for seventh in the NHL with 14 penalties drawn this season. Hall’s penalty differential is tied for 14th in the league at plus-8.

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 1,031 career points, Staal has recorded the 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by one point for 79th.

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 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 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), .45 PTS/GP (T-11th)

BUF-PIT CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres assistant coach Mike Bales was part of the Penguins organization for six seasons (2011-12 to 2016-17). He began as a goaltending development coach before becoming the team’s goaltending coach at the start of the 2013-14 season.
  • Sabres forward Riley Sheahan played for the Penguins for parts two seasons (2017-18 to 2018-19), totaling 41 points (18+23) in 122 games.
  • Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues played for the Sabres for parts of five seasons (2015-16 to 2019-20) after being signed by the team as a college free agent in 2015. Rodrigues totaled 71 points (26+45) in 192 games with the club.
  • Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel played parts of four seasons (2012-13 to 2015-16) with the Sabres, tallying two assists in 33 games.
  • Sabres forwards Cody Eakin and Taylor Hall won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins forward Sidney Crosby at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin and Penguins forward Colton Sceviour were teammates in Dallas from 2012-13 to 2015-16. Penguins hockey operations advisor Trevor Daley also played for the Stars during Eakin’s tenure with the team.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins defensemen Cody Ceci and Mike Matheson at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Curtis Lazar played in Ottawa with Penguins defenseman Cody Ceci for parts of three seasons (2014-15 to 2016-17).
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Tobias Rieder both played with Penguins forward Mark Jankowski in Calgary, Lazar from 2016-17 to 2018-19 and Rieder in 2019-20. Penguins president of hockey operations Brian Burke held the same role with the Flames during Lazar’s tenure with the team.
  • Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour, forward Sam Reinhart and Penguins forward Jared McCann were all on Canada’s silver-medal-winning roster at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola represented Finland together at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson won a silver medal together for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Eric Staal and Penguins forward Sidney Crosby won a gold medal together while playing for Canada’s National Team at the 2010 Olympics.

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

  • Buffalo Sabres:5% FOW% (10th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (93), Miller (62), Lazar (59)
Blocked Shots: Montour (40), Irwin (32), Miller/Ristolainen (27)
Shots: Hall (75), Olofsson (66), Eichel (61)

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

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 (2-2; 79-73 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)

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

Assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 8 assists … 600 career assists

Points
Rasmus Dahlin … 4 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Brandon Montour … 100 career points … March 24 at Pittsburgh

SABRES ACQUIRE 6TH-ROUND PICK FROM COLORADO

The Sabres have acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for goaltender Jonas Johansson.

Game Preview: 3/16/21 at New Jersey

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 15
Washington 6 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (24 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Washington 30 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 101)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 27 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 13 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 13 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 10 games
Jack Eichel (upper body; March 9) – 4 games
Dylan Cozens (upper body; March 13) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/13: Recalled D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad; Loaned D Henri Jokiharju to the taxi squad
3/15: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Loaned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
3/16: Recalled D Brandon Davidson and D Henri Jokiharju from the taxi squad; Loaned F Rasmus Asplund and D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, March 18: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 20: Boston at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, March 22: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 24: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 25: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at DEVILS

  • This is the sixth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 4-3 (SO) in Buffalo on Feb. 25
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 6 in New Jersey
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 165th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has an 81-56-27 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-28-15 at on the road against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-7 all-time on March 16.
  • March 16, 1975: Gilbert Perreault scores three goals and assists on three more as the Sabres defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 11-3 on the road.
  • March 16, 1989: The Sabres get a goal from six different scorers (Andreychuk, Arniel, Foligno, Hogue, Krupp, Turgeon) in a 6-1 win at Hartford.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo has won back-to-back road games against New Jersey for the first time since Oct 23 and Nov. 10, 2010. With a win tonight, the Sabres will have wins in three straight trips to New Jersey for the first time since Nov. 3, 2008 to Oct, 28, 2009.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their five games against the Devils this season. Their seven power-play goals against New Jersey are the most against any opponent this season.
  • Buffalo has scored at least three goals in each of its five games against New Jersey this season. Their 16 goals against the Devils is the Sabres’ highest total against any team this season.
  • The home team had won six straight games between these teams before the road team won the four most recent games in the series

HOT AGAINST THE DEVILS

  • Six different Sabres have played at a point-per-game pace through the first five meetings of the season between these teams: Rasmus Dahlin (1+4, 5 GP), Jack Eichel (0+4, 4 GP), Taylor Hall (0+5, 5 GP), Victor Olofsson (2+3, 5 GP), Sam Reinhart (3+2, 3 GP) and Rasmus Ristolainen (1+1, 2 GP).
  • Reinhart has recorded nine points (7+2) and 22 shots in his last seven games against New Jersey, scoring at least one goal in five of those contests.
  • Dahlin has totaled 10 points (1+9) in nine career games against New Jersey.
  • Hall has posted 12 points (3+9) in 12 career games against the Devils.
  • Olofsson has recorded nine points (5+4) in seven career games against the Devils.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s eighth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 6-0 loss last night vs. Washington. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-6-0 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 (4).

POWER UP

  • Following their game Monday, Buffalo ranked sixth in the NHL with a 26.8 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • After Monday’s game, the Sabres tied the Nashville Predators and trailed only the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning (11) for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson tied for seventh in the league with six power-play goals at the conclusion of Monday’s game. His 19 career power-play tallies trail only Leon Draisaitl (25), David Pastrnak (24), and Auston Matthews (21) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Following Monday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:40 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-10 (77 drawn/67 taken), the Sabres are seventh in the league in penalty differential this season.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 67 penalties this season. Following their game Monday, it marked the fewest in the league and was 14 penalties fewer than the next closest teams, the New York Islanders and 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 1,031 career points, Staal has recorded the 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by one point for 79th.

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 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 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)

BUF-NJD CONNECTIONS

  • 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, Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner all 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 forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with Devils goaltender Eric Comrie.
  • 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 Jeff Skinner and Devils goaltender Eric Comrie won a silver medal together while playing for Team Canada at the 2017 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 following Monday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres:8% PP% (6th), 51.6% FOW% (10th)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-7th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (80), Lazar (53), Miller (51)
Blocked Shots: Montour (36), Irwin (27), Dahlin/Miller (23)
Shots: Hall (71), Eichel (61), Olofsson (59)

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: 0-7-0 (0), 12/33, 0/9, 12/15

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 (2-2; 79-73 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)

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
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 8 assists … 600 career assists

Points
Brandon Montour … 4 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 5 points … 100 career points

Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Riley Sheahan … 100 career assists … March 11 vs. Pittsburgh