Category Archives: Game Preview

Game Preview: 2/10/19 vs. Winnipeg

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 9
Detroit 1 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Sheary, Mittelstadt, Okposo
Goalie: Ullmark (28 saves/29 shots)
PP: 2/3; PK: 3/4; Shots: Detroit 29 – Buffalo 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 181)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 25 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/4: Recalled F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL)
2/8: Assigned Casey Nelson to Rochester (AHL) on a conditioning loan

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Feb. 12: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17: Buffalo at New Jersey, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 19: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 21: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
JETS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Jets this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Winnipeg 2-1 (SO) in Winnipeg on Nov. 16, 2018
  • The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Jets; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 63rd game all-time between Buffalo and Winnipeg/Atlanta; Buffalo has a 27-24-11 series record.
  • The Sabres are 17-10-4 at home against the Jets/Thrashers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-9-2 all-time on February 10.
  • February 10, 1980: George “Punch” Imlach, Roger Crozier and Frank Christie become the first three members of the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame.
  • February 10, 1993: Pat LaFontaine posts the last six-point game by a Sabres player, tallying one goal and five assists in a 6-2 Sabres win at Winnipeg.
  • February 10, 2008: Patrick Kaleta scores his first NHL goal in a 5-3 win at home against Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is Buffalo’s seventh afternoon game of the season. The Sabres are 5-1-0 in the first six.
  • Today’s matchup is the fifth game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • With a win today, the Sabres would sweep the season series against the Jets for the third time in four seasons. The teams have not split the series since the 2013-14 season.
  • Evan Rodrigues has totaled eight points (6+2) in his last nine games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied nine assists in his last nine contests.
  • Casey Mittelstadt enters today’s game on a career-best, four-game point streak and has seven points (2+5) in his last nine games.

HOT AGAINST WINNIPEG

  • Carter Hutton has a 5-4-1 record and a .936 save percentage in 11 career appearances against Winnipeg.
  • Linus Ullmark stopped 42 of 44 shots (.955) to earn the win in his only previous meeting with the Jets on Jan. 10, 2016.
  • Jason Pominville has seven points (3+4) in his last four games against Winnipeg.
  • Kyle Okposo has 15 points (5+10) in his last 15 games against the Jets. In 27 career games against Winnipeg/Atlanta, Okposo has posted nine multi-point outings, including four in his seven matchups with the Jets since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled six points (3+3) in six career games against Winnipeg.
  • Marco Scandella has five points (2+3) in his last six games against the Jets.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded five points (3+2) in five games against Winnipeg since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Evan Rodrigues has recorded two assists in two career games against the Jets.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 11th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began yesterday with a 3-1 win vs. Detroit. The Sabres are 6-4-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-3-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (1), two points (3), one point (2) and zero points (1).

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters today’s game with a 16-7-4 (.667) record at home. The team’s .667 points percentage at home tied for eighth in the NHL after yesterday’s game.
  • Carter Hutton is 10-5-2 at home this season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner (17+11) and Sam Reinhart (7+21) tie to lead all Sabres with 28 points in 27 home games this season. Reinhart has yet to play two consecutive home games without recording a point in 2018-19.
  • Jack Eichel is also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season, totaling 26 points (10+16) in 25 home games.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded a point in six of his last seven home games (1+5).

AT THE 50-GAME ULLMARK
After making 28 saves on 29 shots in Saturday’s win vs. Detroit, Linus Ullmark is 21-18-6 with a .914 save percentage through 50 career appearances. Ullmark’s .914 mark through 50 games is the best by any goaltender who played his first 50 games with the Sabres.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel recorded his 40th assist of the season on Thursday vs. Carolina, setting a new career high and becoming the first Sabres player to record 40 assists in a season since Jason Pominville tallied 43 in the 2011-12 season.
  • After yesterday’s game, Eichel’s 41 assists tied for 13th-most in the league and his 29 even-strength assists tied for ninth.
  • Eichel is currently on pace for 45 even-strength assists this season. Only five different players have recorded at least 45 even-strength assists since the 2005-06 season: Henrik Sedin (3x), Joe Thornton (3x), Connor McDavid (2x), Evgeni Malkin and Michael Nylander.

RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • With his goal on Thursday vs. Carolina, Jason Pominville moved past Mike Foligno into eighth place in franchise history with 512 points (213+299) as a member of the Sabres. He now trails Don Luce by 14 points for seventh-most.
  • Pominville is also just three goals from tying Luce for 10th-most goals in Sabres history, 11 assists behind Luce for seventh-most in franchise history and four games played from tying Alexei Zhitnik for eighth-most regular-season games played by a Sabre.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • After yesterday’s game, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 30 points this season. His 24 assists led all rookies.
  • With 30 points (6+24) through 54 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • Dahlin’s current point total puts him on pace for 46 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
  • With six multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Phil Housley (13) and Bobby Orr (8).

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for second-most in the NHL this season after yesterday’s game. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner was also tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has been playing above a point-per-game pace since the beginning of November, having totaled 43 points (12+31) in 42 games during that span.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (36) and multi-point games (15) this season. His 49 points leave him just one shy of his career high 50 from the 2017-18 season.
  • The Sabres are 20-8-5 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 29-4-7 (.813) in his career when he records at least two.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 51 17 41 58 13 29 42
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 26 64 90 20 45 65
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 54 33 16 49 26 12 38
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 50 24 74 39 18 58
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 54 13 36 49 12 26 38
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 20 55 74 18 39 58

MAKING HISTORY

  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel is on pace to become the first Sabres player to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07 and would also trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is on pace to become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 39 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 to tie for fourth-most in team history.

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.0% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 29 EVA (T-9th), 203 S (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:11 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 33 G (2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 26 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-WPG CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Jets goaltending coach Wade Flaherty was selected by the Sabres in the ninth round (181st overall) in the 1988 NHL Draft.
  • Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy spent parts of two seasons with the Sabres (1994-1996), playing in 84 games and recording 16 points (7+9).
  • Jets D Dmitry Kulikov spent one season with the Sabres (2016-17), skating in 47 games and recording five points (2+3).
  • Jets D Tyler Myers spent six seasons (2009-2015) with the Sabres after being selected by the team in the first round (12th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft, recording 151 points (45+106) in 485 games played. He won the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie and earned All-Rookie Team honors at the conclusion of the 2009-10 season.
  • Jets F Brendan Lemieux was selected by the Sabres in the second round (31st overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Former Jets:

  • Sabres D Zach Bogosian spent parts of seven seasons (2008-2015) with the Jets organization after being selected by the Thrashers in the first round (third overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft. He skated in 393 games and recorded 127 points (40+87), and currently ranks in the top five among franchise defensemen in goals (3rd), assists (5th), points (4th) and games played (3rd).
  • Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill grew up in Winnipeg and spent part of one season with the Jets franchise when they were located in Atlanta. In 25 games with the Thrashers, Botterill scored one goal and had five assists.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal with Jets F Mark Scheifele while representing Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team USA with Jets F Andrew Copp at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played for Team North America with Jets G Connor Hellebuyck, F Mark Scheifele and D Jacob Trouba at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Phil Housley:

  • Coached Jets D Jacob Trouba at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a gold medal together for the United States.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Jets F Blake Wheeler in Boston.

Jake McCabe:

  • Won a gold medal with Jets D Jacob Trouba for the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. Both McCabe and Trouba were named to the tournament’s All-Star Team.
  • Represented the United States with Jets F Blake Wheeler at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Jets F Kyle Connor at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Jets assistant coach Todd Woodcroft was a scout for the Kings.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Played for Team Canada with Jets D Josh Morrissey at the IIHF World Junior Championships in 2014 and 2015. The duo won a gold medal together in 2015 and both were named to the tournament’s All-Star Team.
  • Won a gold medal with Jets F Mark Scheifele while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Jets F Patrik Laine at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for the Hurricanes when Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice held the same role in Carolina.
  • Won a silver medal with Jets F Mark Scheifele for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Steve Smith:

  • Was a scout for the Blackhawks when Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff was the assistant general manager in Chicago.
  • Played with Jets assistant coach Charlie Huddy in Edmonton.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Jets F Blake Wheeler in Boston.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a gold medal with Jets F Jack Roslovic while representing the United States at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (159), Girgensons (87), McCabe (72)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (85), Ristolainen (84), McCabe (77)
Shots: Eichel (203), Skinner (179), Ristolainen (132)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 2-1-1 (5), 16/18, 5/10, 10/12

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 119-127 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (4-1; 74-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Jason Pominville … 4 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 5 games … 400 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 3 goals … 213 goals with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 10 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 9 assists … 200 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Jason Pominville … 512 points with Sabres (8th in franchise history) … Feb. 7 vs. CAR
Zach Bogosian … 600th NHL game … Feb. 7 vs. CAR
Rasmus Ristolainen … 400th NHL game … Feb. 9 vs. DET
Marco Scandella … 500th NHL game … Feb. 9 vs. DET

Game Preview: 2/9/19 vs. Detroit

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, February 7
Carolina 6 at Buffalo 5 (OT)
Goals: Skinner (2), Rodrigues, Pominville, Scandella
Goalie: Ullmark (24 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 39 – Carolina 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 180)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 24 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/3: Assigned F Remi Elie to Rochester (AHL)
2/4: Recalled F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL)
2/8: Assigned Casey Nelson to Rochester (AHL) on a conditioning loan

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Feb. 10: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17: Buffalo at New Jersey, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 19: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
RED WINGS at SABRES

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Detroit 3-2 (SO) in Detroit on Nov. 24, 2018
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 28 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 3-6-1 at home.
  • This is the 139th game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 61-59-18 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-20-10 at home against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-6-4 all-time on February 9.
  • February 9, 1984: Gilbert Perreault records his 700th NHL assist in an 8-5 win vs. New Jersey.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is Buffalo’s sixth afternoon game of the season. The Sabres are 4-1-0 in the first five.
  • Today’s matchup is the fourth game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • The Sabres have killed 22 of 23 penalties (95.7%) against Detroit in their last six meetings, dating back to March 20, 2017.
  • Marco Scandella (500) and Rasmus Ristolainen (400) are both expected to reach games played milestones today.
  • After tying his career high with his eighth goal of the season on Thursday vs. Carolina, Evan Rodrigues has totaled seven points (6+1) in his last eight games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied eight assists in his last eight contests.
  • Casey Mittelstadt enters today’s game seeking his first career four-game point streak, and has six points (1+5) in his last eight games.

SABRES-RED WINGS

  • Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Buffalo is 6-2-1 against Detroit.
  • Jack Eichel has seven points (3+4) in seven games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled 13 points (1+12) in 13 games against Detroit since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
  • In his last two games against the Red Wings, Carter Hutton has stopped 60 of his 61 shots faced and won both contests.

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game opens up Buffalo’s 11th of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow afternoon vs. Winnipeg. The Sabres are 5-4-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-3-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (1), two points (3), one point (2) and zero points (1).

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters today’s game with a 15-7-4 (.654) record at home. The team’s .654 points percentage at home tied for eighth in the NHL entering play Friday.
  • Carter Hutton is 10-5-2 at home this season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner (17+11) and Sam Reinhart (7+21) tie to lead all Sabres with 28 points in 26 home games this season. Reinhart has yet to play two consecutive home games without recording a point in 2018-19.
  • Jack Eichel is also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season, totaling 25 points (10+15) in 24 home games.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded an assist in five of his last six home games.

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel recorded his 40th assist of the season on Thursday vs. Carolina, setting a new career high and becoming the first Sabres player to record 40 assists in a season since Jason Pominville tallied 43 in the 2011-12 season.
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel was tied for 15th in the league in assists and his 29 even-strength assists tied for ninth.
  • Eichel is currently on pace for 45 even-strength assists this season. Only five different players have recorded at least 45 even-strength assists since the 2005-06 season: Henrik Sedin (3x), Joe Thornton (3x), Connor McDavid (2x), Evgeni Malkin and Michael Nylander.

RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS

  • With his goal on Thursday vs. Carolina, Jason Pominville moved past Mike Foligno into eighth place in franchise history with 512 points (213+299) as a member of the Sabres. He now trails Don Luce by 14 points for seventh-most.
  • Pominville is also just three goals from tying Luce for 10th-most goals in Sabres history, 11 assists behind Luce for seventh-most in franchise history and five games played from tying Alexei Zhitnik for eighth-most regular-season games played by a Sabre.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Friday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 29 points this season. His 23 assists tied for the rookie lead.
  • With 29 points (6+23) through 53 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • Dahlin’s current point total puts him on pace for 45 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
  • With six multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Phil Housley (13) and Bobby Orr (8).

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for second-most in the NHL this season entering play Friday. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner was also tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has been playing above a point-per-game pace since the beginning of November, having totaled 43 points (12+31) in 41 games during that span.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (36) and multi-point games (15) this season. His 49 points leave him just one shy of his career high 50 from the 2017-18 season.
  • The Sabres are 20-8-5 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 29-4-7 (.813) in his career when he records at least two.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 50 17 40 57 13 29 42
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 27 63 90 21 45 66
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 53 33 16 49 26 12 38
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 51 25 76 40 19 59
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 53 13 36 49 12 26 38
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 20 56 76 19 40 59

MAKING HISTORY

  • If the Sabres’ top scorers continue their current pace, the team would have three 75-point players for the first time since 1992-93 (Pat LaFontaine, Alexander Mogilny, Dale Hawerchuk).
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only LaFontaine (83) and Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel is on pace to become the first Sabres player to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07 and would also trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is on pace to become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 40 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74 and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 for fourth-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/8 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.2% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 203 S (9th), 29 EVA (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:13 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 33 G (2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 26 EVG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (159), Girgensons (86), McCabe (72)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (83), Ristolainen (79), McCabe (76)
Shots: Eichel (203), Skinner (178), Ristolainen (131)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 1-1-1 (3), 13/17, 3/7, 7/8

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 119-127 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (4-1; 74-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 game … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 1 game … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 5 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 6 games … 400 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 3 goals … 213 goals with Sabres (T-10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 10 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 9 assists … 200 career assists 

RECENT MILESTONES
Jason Pominville … 512 points with Sabres (8th in franchise history) … Feb. 7 vs. CAR
Zach Bogosian … 600th NHL game … Feb. 7 vs. CAR

Game Preview: 2/7/19 vs. Carolina

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 5
Minnesota 4 at Buffalo 5 (SO)
Goals: Rodrigues, Smith, Dahlin, Reinhart; GDG-Reinhart
Goalie: Ullmark (41 saves/45 shots)
PP: 2/2; PK: 3/3; Shots: Minnesota 45 – Buffalo 39

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 179)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 23 games
Johan Larsson (upper body, Feb. 1) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/2: Placed F Remi Elie on waivers
2/3: Assigned F Remi Elie to Rochester (AHL)
2/4: Recalled F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 9: Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17: Buffalo at New Jersey, 6 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
HURRICANES at SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 16 at Carolina
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 4-3 at Carolina on Jan. 11
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 203rd game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo has a 102-74-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 58-33-9 at home against the Hurricanes all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-7-1 all-time on February 7.
  • February 7, 1980: Danny Gare scores his eighth career hat trick and Don Edwards stops 25 shots to earn his 11th career shutout in a 9-0 win vs. Pittsburgh.
  • February 7, 1995: Donald Audette plays in his 200th NHL game, a 2-1 win vs. Washington.
  • February 7, 2013: Tyler Ennis records his 100th NHL point (assist) in a 5-4 shootout win vs. Montreal.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s matchup is the third game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • Zach Bogosian is expected to appear in his 600th NHL game tonight.
  • C.J. Smith has scored in each of his last two NHL games, marking the first and second goals of his career.
  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Hurricanes since March 22, 2016.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (6+3) in 10 career games against the Hurricanes, including six (3+3) in his last three.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 15-7-3 (.660) record at home. The team’s .660 points percentage at home ranked ninth in the NHL entering play Wednesday.
  • Carter Hutton is 10-5-2 at home this season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner (15+11) and Sam Reinhart (7+19) tie to lead all Sabres with 26 points in 25 home games this season. Reinhart has yet to play two consecutive home games without recording a point in 2018-19.
  • Jack Eichel is also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season, totaling 24 points (10+14) in 23 home games.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Wednesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 29 points this season. His 23 assists tied for the rookie lead.
  • With 29 points (6+23) through 52 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • Dahlin’s current point total puts him on pace for 46 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
  • With six multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Phil Housley (13) and Bobby Orr (8).

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for second-most in the NHL this season entering play Wednesday. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner was also tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has been playing above a point-per-game pace since the beginning of November, having totaled 41 points (12+29) in 40 games during that span.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (34) and multi-point games (14) this season. His 47 points leave him just three shy of his career high 50 from the 2017-18 season.
  • The Sabres are 20-8-4 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 29-4-6 (.821) in his career when he records at least two.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 49 17 39 56 13 28 41
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 27 63 90 21 45 66
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 52 31 16 47 24 12 36
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 49 25 74 38 19 57
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 52 13 34 47 12 24 36
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 54 74 19 38 57

MAKING HISTORY

  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel is on pace to become the first Sabres player to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07 and would also trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is currently one goal off the pace to become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 38 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74, and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 and 39 in 1979-80 for fifth-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/6 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.5% PK% (7th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 200 S (9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:13 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-2nd), 31 G (T-3rd), 24 EVG (T-3rd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-CAR CONNECTIONS
Former Hurricanes:

  • Sabres F Jeff Skinner spent eight seasons playing for the Hurricanes after being selected by the team in the first round (7th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He played in 579 games for the club, scoring 204 goals and adding 175 assists. He still ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played (9th), goals (5th) and points (7th).
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith was on the Hurricanes’ coaching staff for four seasons (2014-2018).

Former Sabres:

  • Hurricanes vice president of hockey operations Rick Dudley played and coached for the Sabres. He spent parts of three seasons (1972-1975) on the Sabres’ roster, skating in 279 games and scoring 164 points (70+94). He returned to the organization as the team’s head coach for three seasons (1989-1992).

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Won a bronze medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Dougie Hamilton at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta. The two later worked together in Pittsburgh when Botterill was the Penguins’ assistant general manager and Waddell served as a scout for the team.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Jaccob Slavin at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Shares a birthday with Hurricanes F Jordan Martinook (July 25, 1992).
  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan and F Nino Niederreiter. Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth was also on the Islanders’ coaching staff during Okposo’s tenure with the team.
  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Davis Payne:

  • Played with Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth in Boston.
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Hurricanes F Justin Williams was playing for the Kings.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Has played for Team Finland with Hurricanes F Teuvo Teravainen three times: at the 2013 and 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The duo won a gold medal together in 2014.
  • Won a gold medal with Hurricanes F Saku Maenalanen at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Finland with Hurricanes F Sebastian Aho at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh. Hurricanes goaltending coach Mike Bales was also on the Penguins’ coaching staff during Sheary’s tenure with the team.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played for the Czech Republic National Team with Hurricanes G Petr Mrazek at both the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (157), Girgensons (84), McCabe (72)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (80), Ristolainen (79), McCabe (76)
Shots: Eichel (200), Skinner (172), Ristolainen (127)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 1-1-0 (2), 8/11, 3/5, 5/5

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 119-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (4-1; 74-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Zach Bogosian … 1 game … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 2 games … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 6 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise
history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 7 games … 400 career games played
Goals
Jack Eichel … 10 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 9 assists … 200 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 512 points with Sabres (sole possession, 8th in franchise history) 

RECENT MILESTONES
Sam Reinhart … 300th NHL game … Feb. 1 vs. CHI
Jason Pominville … 212th goal with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history) … Feb. 1 vs. CHI

Game Preview: 2/5/19 vs. Minnesota

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, February 1
Chicago 7 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Eichel, Pominville, Okposo
Goalie: Hutton (18 saves/22 shots) / Ullmark (5 saves/7 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 43 – Chicago 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 177)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 22 games
Johan Larsson (upper body, Feb. 1) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/2: Placed F Remi Elie on waivers
2/3: Assigned F Remi Elie to Rochester (AHL)
2/4: Recalled F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, Feb. 7: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9: Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
WILD at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Wild this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Minnesota 3-2 in Minnesota on Nov. 17, 2018
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Wild; 1-8-1 at home.
  • This is the 24th game all-time between Buffalo and Minnesota; Buffalo has a 10-12-1 series record.
  • The Sabres are 2-8-1 at home against the Wild all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-7-3 all-time on February 5.
  • February 5, 1981: Don Edwards makes 31 saves in his 14th and final shutout as a member of the Sabres as Buffalo defeats Philadelphia 4-0.
  • February 5, 1983: Bob Sauve and Dan Bouchard make 22 saves each as the Sabres and Nordiques battle to the third of 11 scoreless ties in franchise history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s matchup is the second game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres will have swept a multi-game season series against the Wild for the first time in the history of the matchup.
  • Jason Pominville has recorded seven points (2+5) in his last six games against the Wild, including four points (1+3) in three matchups since he re-joined the Sabres last season.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled five points (2+3) in five games against Minnesota since the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
  • Jack Eichel has five points (2+3) in five career games against the Wild.
  • Jake McCabe enters tonight’s game with points in three straight games against Minnesota (1+3).
  • Linus Ullmark has stopped 65 of 69 shots (.942) to earn a 2-0-0 record in two career games against the Wild.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 14-7-3 (.646) record at home. The team’s .646 points percentage at home ranked ninth in the NHL entering play Monday.
  • Carter Hutton is 10-5-2 at home this season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner leads all Sabres with 26 points (15+11) in 24 home games this season
  • Sam Reinhart has 24 points (6+18) in 24 home games this season and has yet to play two consecutive home games without recording a point in 2018-19.
  • Jack Eichel is also playing at a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season, totaling 22 points (10+12) in 22 home games.
  • Conor Sheary has recorded a point in each of Buffalo’s last four home games (0+4).
  • All five of Lawrence Pilut’s points this season (1+4) have come in his nine games at KeyBank Center.

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Monday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 28 points this season. His 23 assists tied for the rookie lead.
  • With 28 points (5+23) through 51 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • Dahlin’s current point total puts him on pace for 45 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
  • With six multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Phil Housley (13) and Bobby Orr (8).

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for second-most in the NHL this season entering play Monday. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner was also tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (33) and multi-point games (13) this season. His 45 points leave him just five shy of his career high 50 from the 2017-18 season.
  • The Sabres are 19-8-4 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 48 17 37 54 13 28 41
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 28 61 89 21 46 67
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 51 31 16 47 24 12 36
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 50 26 76 39 19 58
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 51 12 33 45 11 23 34
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 19 53 72 18 37 55

MAKING HISTORY

  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel would also trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 39 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74, and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 for fourth-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/4 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.1% PK% (8th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:14 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 31 G (T-2nd), 24 EVG (T-2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-MIN CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Wild F Marcus Foligno is a native of Buffalo and spent six years (2011-2017) with the Sabres organization, recording 116 points (49+67) in 347 games played with the club. He is the son of former Sabre Mike Foligno.
  • Wild assistant general manager Tom Kurvers (1986-87) spent one season playing for the Sabres, scoring 23 points (6+17) in 55 games. Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley was a teammate of his in Buffalo.
  • Wild assistant coach Bob Woods spent one season (2016-17) as an assistant coach for the Sabres.

Former Wild:

  • Sabres F Johan Larsson played one game with the Wild after being drafted by the club in the second round (56th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Sabres F Jason Pominville spent parts of five seasons (2012-2017) with the Wild in between his two tenures with the Sabres. He recorded 206 points (76+130) in 327 regular season games and added 23 points (9+14) in 36 playoff games.
  • Sabres D Marco Scandella spent parts of seven seasons (2010-2017) with the Wild organization after being drafted by the club in the second round (55th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft. Scandella scored 89 points (27+62) in 373 regular-season games with the Wild and added nine points (6+3) in 39 playoff games.

Sabres with Minnesota connections:

  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley is a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. He played two seasons of high school hockey at South St. Paul High prior to turning pro.
  • Sabres F Casey Mittelstadt is a native of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and played high school hockey at Eden Prairie High. Before turning pro, Mittelstadt played one season of college hockey at the University of Minnesota. He put up 30 points (11+19) in 34 games and earned Big Ten All-Freshman honors.
  • Sabres F Kyle Okposo in a native of St. Paul, Minnesota. He played one year at Shattuck St. Mary’s before attending the University of Minnesota. In 58 games with the Gophers, Okposo recorded 51 points (26+25) and was named to the WCHA’s All-Rookie Team and earned Second All-Star Team honors.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Wild D Greg Pateryn in Montreal.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Wild F Eric Fehr in Winnipeg.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild D Ryan Suter at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played in Atlanta when Wild goaltending coach Bob Mason was a goaltending consultant for the Thrashers.
  • Was the assistant general manager of the Penguins when Wild F Eric Fehr was playing in Pittsburgh.

Phil Housley:

  • Played with Wild assistant coach Dean Evason in Calgary.
  • Played with Wild General Manager Paul Fenton in Winnipeg and again for Team USA at the 1989 IIHF World Championship. The duo later reunited in Nashville, where Fenton was the assistant general manager and Housley was on the Predators’ coaching staff.
  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville when Wild D Anthony Bitetto, G Devan Dubnyk, F Eric Fehr and D Brad Hunt were playing for the Predators.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild assistant general manager Tom Kurvers at the 1989 IIHF World Championship.
  • Represented the United States in international play with Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson at the 2000 and 2001 IIHF World Championships.

Matt Hunwick:

  • Played with Wild F Eric Fehr in Toronto.
  • Won a gold medal with Wild F Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter for Team USA at the 2004 World Junior Championship. Hunwick and Suter played together again at the same tournament the following year.

Carter Hutton:

  • Played with Wild D Anthony Bitetto, G Devan Dubnyk and F Matt Hendricks in Nashville. Wild General Manager Paul Fenton was the Predators’ assistant general manager during Hutton’s tenure with the team.
  • Played with Wild D Brad Hunt in St. Louis.

Johan Larsson:

  • Won a gold medal with Wild D Jonas Brodin while representing Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo reunited later that year while playing for Sweden at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States with Wild D Ryan Suter at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild F Matt Hendricks at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

Kyle Okposo

  • Represented the United States with Wild F Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. Okposo and Suter also played together at the 2009 tournament.
  • Played for Team USA with Wild F J.T. Brown at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Represented the United States with Wild F Zach Parise at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland with Wild F Mikael Granlund at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Wild F Mikko Koivu for Team Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Wild F Eric Fehr in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Wild G Devan Dubnyk for Team Canada at both the 2011, 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Championships.
  • Played with Wild F Victor Rask and F Eric Staal in Carolina. Skinner and Staal also played for Team Canada together at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Played with Wild D Brad Hunt in St. Louis.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach in Carolina when Wild F Victor Rask and F Eric Staal played for the Hurricanes.
  • Was an assistant coach for the Oilers when Wild G Devan Dubnyk, F Eric Fehr, and D Brad Hunt were playing in Edmonton.

Tage Thompson:

  • Won a gold medal for Team USA with Wild F Jordan Greenway at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (154), Girgensons (82), McCabe (68)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (79), Ristolainen (78), McCabe (76)
Shots: Eichel (191), Skinner (167), Ristolainen (126)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 0-1-0 (0), 3/7, 1/3, 2/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 119-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Zach Bogosian … 2 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 3 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 3 games … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 7 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 8 games … 400 career games played
Goals
Jack Eichel … 10 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 9 assists … 200 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 512 points with Sabres (sole possession, 8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
Sam Reinhart … 300th NHL game … Feb. 1 vs. CHI
Jason Pominville … 212th goal with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history) … Feb. 1 vs. CHI

Game Preview: 2/1/19 vs. Chicago

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, January 31
Buffalo 0 at Dallas 1
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Ullmark (26 saves/27 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 30 – Dallas 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 175)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 21 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Feb. 5: Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 7: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 9: Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BLACKHAWKS at SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Chicago 5-3 in Buffalo on March 17, 2018
  • Next meeting: Thursday, March 7 in Chicago
  • The Sabres are 1-6-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 2-6-2 at home.
  • This is the 122nd game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 54-51-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 35-18-8 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-6-5 all-time on February 1.
  • February 1, 1976: Gilbert Perreault records two goals and five assists as the Sabres pick up a 9-5 road win against the California Seals. Danny Gare and the Seals’ Jim Moxey and Wayne Merrick all score goals within 18 seconds of each other in the third period.
  • February 1, 1981: Ric Seiling scores the 3,000th goal in franchise history and Don Edwards records his 13th shutout as a member of the Sabres, as Buffalo defeats Winnipeg 4-0 at home.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are back in Buffalo for their first game at KeyBank Center since Jan. 12. Tonight’s matchup kicks off a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • After picking up a 5-3 win when these teams last met on March 17, 2018, the Sabres are seeking wins in consecutive meetings with the Blackhawks for the first time since they won three in a row from Dec. 3, 2003 to Dec. 15, 2007.
  • Jason Pominville has totaled nine points (4+5) in his last nine games against Chicago.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled six points (2+4) in his last six meetings with the Blackhawks.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded a point in five of six career matchups with the Blackhawks, including each of the last four (1+3).
  • Remi Elie recorded a point in each of his four games against Chicago (1+3) in 2017-18.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded six assists in his last seven games against the Blackhawks.
  • Sam Reinhart is expected to appear in his 300th NHL game tonight.

HOME COOKING
Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 14-6-3 (.674) record at home. The team’s .647 points percentage at home ranked seventh in the NHL entering play Thursday. It would rank as the Sabres’ 15th-best home record ever and would be their best since the 2009-10 season (25-10-5, .683)

HOT AT HOME

  • Carter Hutton is 10-4-2 at home this season with a .926 save percentage and a 2.36 goals-against average. He has allowed more than two goals just once in his last nine home games, posting a .920 save percentage or better in each of the eight other home games during that stretch.
  • Jeff Skinner (15+9) and Sam Reinhart (6+18) each have 24 points in 23 home games this season. Reinhart has yet to play two consecutive home games without recording a point in 2018-19.
  • All five of Lawrence Pilut’s points this season (1+4) have come in his eight games at KeyBank Center.
  • Tage Thompson (2+1), Conor Sheary (0+3) and Vladimir Sobotka (0+3) have all recorded a point in each of Buffalo’s last three home games.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has points in each of his last two home games (0+2).

DAH-LEAN ON ME

  • Entering play Thursday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 28 points this season. His 23 assists led all NHL rookies in 2018-19.
  • With 28 points (5+23) through 50 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • Dahlin’s current point total puts him on pace for 46 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
  • With six multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Phil Housley (13) and Bobby Orr (8).

SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS

  • Jeff Skinner’s seven game-winning goals tied for second-most in the NHL this season entering play Thursday. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner was also tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner’s total matches the Sabres’ single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (33) and multi-point games (13) this season. His 45 points leave him just five shy of his career high 50 from the 2017-18 season.
  • The Sabres are 19-8-4 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 28-4-6 (.816) in his career when he records at least two.

LEADING THE WAY

  • All three of the Sabres’ top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength:
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 47 16 37 53 12 28 40
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 27 62 89 20 47 67
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 50 31 14 45 24 10 34
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 51 23 74 39 16 56
               
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 50 12 33 45 11 23 34
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 20 54 74 18 38 56

MAKING HISTORY

  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel would also trail only LaFontaine’s franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is currently on pace to become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 38 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin’s 44 in 1973-74, and Danny Gare’s 41 in 1975-76 and 39 in 1979-80 for fifth-most in team history.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/31 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 81.9% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 28 EVA (T-8th), 189 S (T-10th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:14 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 31 G (2nd), 24 EVG (T-2nd), 7 GWG (T-2nd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)

BUF-CHI CONNECTIONS
Former Blackhawks:

  • Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley played for the Blackhawks for two seasons (2001-2003), recording 68 points (21+47) in 137 games played.
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith played for the Blackhawks for six seasons (1991-1997), scoring 136 points (25+11) in 317 games. He was a teammate of current Blackhawks goaltending coach Jimmy Waite while playing in Chicago.

Blackhawks with Western New York Connections:

  • Blackhawks General Manager Stan Bowman attended Canisius High School and is the son of former Sabres Head Coach and General Manager Scotty Bowman.
  • Blackhawks F Patrick Kane was born in Buffalo.
  • Blackhawks assistant coach Barry Smith held the same role for the Sabres from 1985 to 1989. He was on the team’s coaching staff when Sabres Head Coach Phil Housley was playing in Buffalo.

Jason Botterill:

  • Was the assistant general manager for the Penguins when Blackhawks F Chris Kunitz was playing in Pittsburgh.

Jack Eichel:

  • Was coached by Blackhawks assistant coach Don Granato when he played for the United States National Development Program.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played for the Islanders with Blackhawks Head Coach Jeremy Colliton.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Blackhawks F Chris Kunitz in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played with Blackhawks F Marcus Kruger and G Cam Ward in Carolina.

Steve Smith:

  • Was an assistant coach for the Hurricanes with Blackhawks F Marcus Kruger and G Cam Ward were playing in Carolina.
  • Played with Blackhawks assistant general manager Norm Maciver in Edmonton.

Tage Thompson:

  • Was coached by Blackhawks assistant coach Don Granato when he played for the United States National Development Program.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (151), Girgensons (82) McCabe (67)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (79), Ristolainen (77), McCabe (74)
Shots: Eichel (189), Skinner (157), Ristolainen (123)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 119-126 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)
Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)
Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Sam Reinhart … 1 game … 300 career games played
Zach Bogosian … 3 games … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 4 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 4 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 212 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 1 point … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A