SABRES SIGN MALONE TO ENTRY-LEVEL CONTRACT

BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 8, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Sean Malone to a two-year, entry-level contract.

A native of West Seneca, New York, Malone (6’0”, 190 lbs., 4/30/1995) recently completed his senior season at Harvard University (ECAC), where he ranked third on the team with 42 points (18+24) in 36 games played. He finished his collegiate career with 99 points (42+57) and a plus-31 rating in 115 games.

Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round (159th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft, Malone was named the Ivy League’s Co-Rookie of the Year following the 2013-14 season and earned All-ECAC Tournament Team honors this season.

SABRES RECALL ULLMARK

BUFFALO, N.Y. (April 7, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled goaltender Linus Ullmark from the Rochester Americans (AHL).

Ullmark (6’4”, 221 lbs., 7/31/1993) joins the team for his seventh recall of the 2016-17 season. Through 53 games in his second AHL season, Buffalo’s sixth-round pick (163rd overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft is 25-26-2 with a .909 save percentage and leads the league with 1,464 saves.

The Lugnvik, Sweden native played 20 games for the Sabres as a rookie during the 2015-16 season, posting a .913 save percentage and a 2.60 goals-against average, but has not yet appeared in an NHL game this season. His 8-10-2 record in 2015-16 included wins in each of his last three NHL appearances.

Game Preview: 4/8/17 at FLA

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, April 5
Montreal 1 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Ristolainen, Ennis
Goalie: Lehner (31 saves/32 shots)
PP: 0/0; PK: 1/1; Shots: Montreal 32 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 394)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 80 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 44 games
Taylor Fedun (foot, March 20) – 8 games
Kyle Okposo (illness, March 28) – 4 games
Anders Nilsson (undisclosed, April 5) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/3:
Recalled F Alexander Nylander from Rochester (AHL)
4/5: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
4/6: Assigned G Linus Ullmark to Rochester (AHL)
4/7: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL); Assigned D Brendan Guhle to Rochester (AHL) from Prince George (WHL)
4/8: Signed F Sean Malone to a two-year, entry-level contract

REMAINING GAMES
Sunday, April 9:
Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PANTHERS

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Florida 4-2 in Buffalo on March 27
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 3-4-3 on the road.
  • This is the 92nd game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 48-35-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 21-19-4 on the road against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-6-1 all-time on April 8 (regular season only).
  • April 8, 1973: The Sabres earn the first playoff victory in franchise history, topping Montreal 5-1.
  • April 8, 1977: Jim Lorentz scores the first hat trick in Sabres playoff history (and Gilbert Perreault records an assist on all three Lorentz goals) in a 7-1 win over Minnesota.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • After going 4-9-3 in their first 16 games against Atlantic Division opponents this season, the Sabres are 9-2-1 in their last 12.
  • The Sabres are 53-for-61 (86.9%) on the penalty kill in their last 24 games.
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres consecutive wins against the Panthers for the first time since they won three in a row from Feb. 10 to Oct. 29, 2011. Buffalo hasn’t won three games against Florida in a season since 2009-10.
  • The Panthers are one of only six NHL teams (excluding the Sabres) that Jack Eichel has not yet recorded a goal against.

TAMING THE CATS

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 15 points (6+9) in his last 13 games against the Panthers, including points in 11 of those contests and four two-point games.
  • Evander Kane has 16 points (11+5) in his last 16 games against Florida.
  • Sam Reinhart has eight points (5+3) in his last six games against the Panthers.
  • Jack Eichel has four assists in his last four games against Florida.
  • Brian Gionta has a point in each of his last three games against the Panthers (1+2).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 19th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will conclude tomorrow night at Tampa Bay. The Sabres are 8-7-3 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-11-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (2), three points (2), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (4).

JACK ATTACK

  • In the time since his Nov. 29 return from an injury that sidelined him for 21 games, Jack Eichel is tied for seventh among all NHL skaters with 57 points (24+33) and leads the league with 241 shots on goal.
  • Eichel has logged 42 points (16+26) in his last 38 games, including 12 multi-point outings during that stretch. The Sabres are 14-2-0 this season (and 22-5-1 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Eichel’s .97 points per game rank him ninth among all players with at least 20 games played this season.
  • If Eichel finishes the season at a point-per-game pace or better, he will be the eighth player in franchise history to do so in one of his first two full NHL seasons, joining Rick Martin (1971-72), Rene Robert (1972-73), Dave Andreychuk (1983-84), Phil Housley (1983-84), Pierre Turgeon (1988-89), Alexander Mogilny (1990-91) and Thomas Vanek (2006-07).

*All rankings before 4/7 games.

THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored each of his 27 goals this season in his last 56 games.
  • Kane is tied for 15th in the NHL with 24 even-strength goals despite not scoring his first until Dec. 3.
  • Since Dec. 1, Kane ranks eighth among all NHL skaters in goals (27) and leads the league in even-strength goals (24).

*All rankings before 4/7 games.

SOPHOMORE SURGE
In their second full NHL seasons, Jack Eichel and Sam Reinhart have each improved on their points-per-game totals from 2015-16.

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.41 (33)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.56 (46)

.39 (32)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.97 (79)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.1 (335)

2.3 (186)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres ranked first in the league with a 24.8% success rate on the power play entering play Tuesday.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power-play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%) and the team has led the league only once (1991-92, 22.5%)
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the third-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 25.4% mark in 1975-76. It would be the 13th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Friday tied for 32nd among all NHL skaters with 39 assists this season.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 20.4 percent of his teammates’ goals. Only one Sabres defenseman has ever recorded an assist on more than 20 percent of his teammates’ goals: Phil Housley (22.6%) in 1989-90.
  • Ristolainen would need to fail to record an assist on each of his teammates’ next five goals to fall below 20 percent.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/7 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 24.8% PP% (1st)
  • Eichel: 4.1 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 279 hits (5th)
  • Kane: 3.8 S/GP (5th)
  • Nilsson: .933 EV SV% (6th), .923 SV% (10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:33 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 57.9 FO% (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24 PPA (4th), 26:34 TOI/GP (5th), 39 A (7th, defensemen)

BUF-FLA Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Mark Pysyk was taken by the Sabres in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. In 125 games over four seasons, Pysyk recorded 26 points (5+21).

Former Panthers:

  • Dmitry Kulikov played seven seasons in Florida before coming to Buffalo in a trade on June 25, 2016. Drafted in the first round (14th overall) by Florida in 2009, Kulikov was the second-ranked defenseman in goals (28), assists (110) and points (138) in 460 games for the Panthers from 2009 to 2016.

Jack Eichel:

  • Was named to Team North America for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey along with Aaron Ekblad and Vincent Trochek.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played at the 2015 World Championship with Aaron Ekblad on Team Canada.
  • Shares a birthplace of Edmonton, Alberta with Alex Petrovic.

Cody Franson:

  • Played with James Reimer for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2010-15.

Evander Kane:

  • Represented Canada alongside James Reimer at the 2011 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Vincent Trochek at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He and Aaron Ekblad share a birth date. O’Reilly was born on Feb. 7, 1991, and Ekblad was born on Feb. 7, 1996. The two also played together for Team Canada at the 2015 World Championship.
  • Played alongside Michael Matheson when Team Canada participated in the 2016 World Championships.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Represented Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Aleksander Barkov and Jussi Jokinen. He and Aleksander Barkov were also teammates at the 2012 World Junior Championship.

Zemgus Girgensons:

  • Spent the 2011-12 season playing with Michael Matheson for the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL).

NHL Draft:

  • Nicolas Deslauriers (84th overall) and Reilly Smith (69th overall) were both taken in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Alexander Barkov (2nd overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Aaron Ekblad (1st overall) were the top two picks in the 2014 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (279), Ristolainen (192), Gorges (140)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (158), McCabe (113), Gorges (107)
Shots: Kane (256), Eichel (241), O’Reilly (185)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 8/35, 26/31
11-20: 3-4-3 (9), 15/26, 6/31, 28/36
21-30: 5-3-2 (12), 31/26, 8/30, 13/24
31-40: 4-4-2 (10), 27/31, 7/34, 21/28
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 28/33, 6/27, 21/28
51-60: 6-4-0 (12), 26/25, 6/25, 24/30
61-70: 2-7-1 (5), 31/39, 9/30, 24/29
71-80: 5-5-0 (10), 21/23, 7/18, 21/24

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-6; 108-111 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan, 2:26)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene, 0:29)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson, 2:38)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen, 0:57)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen, 0:42)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane, 0:56)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo, 4:34)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian, 1:48)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 2:35)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider, 3:56)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (GWG-Kane, 1:05)
Feb. 28 vs. NSH: L, 5-4 (GWG-Forsberg, 2:45)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-6; 69-64 all-time)
Oct. 25 at PHI: L, 4-3 (GDG-Giroux)
Nov. 9 vs. OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
Nov. 19 vs. PIT: W, 2-1 (GDG-C. O’Reilly)
Nov. 23 vs. DET: L, 2-1 (GDG-Vanek)
Dec. 17 at CAR: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stempniak)
Dec. 20 at FLA: L, 4-3 (GDG-Trocheck)
March 4 vs. TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Point)
March 17 at ANA: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals

Tyler Ennis … 3 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 2 assists … 300 NHL assists
Points
Evander Kane … 1 point … 300 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL game … April 2 vs. NYI
C.J. Smith … 1st NHL point (assist) … April 2 vs. NYI
Alexander Nylander … 1st NHL game … April 3 vs. TOR

SABRES ASSIGN DEFENSEMAN GUHLE TO ROCHESTER

BUFFALO, N.Y. (March 7, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned defenseman Brendan Guhle to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

Guhle (6’1”, 186 lbs., 7/29/1997) combined to produce 33 points (15+18) in 47 WHL games for the Prince Albert Raiders and Prince George Cougars this season. The Edmonton, Alberta native also added six assists in six playoff games for the Cougars.

SABRES ASSIGN ULLMARK TO ROCHESTER

BUFFALO, N.Y. (March 6, 2017) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has assigned goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).