Post-Game Report: 11/27 vs. Calgary

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Flames
(12-12-4)
1 0 1 1 3 29
Sabres
(11-10-4)
0 1 1 0 2 36

Game Summary

Event Summary

 

Top Notes

  • Jimmy Vesey’s second-period tally was the first shorthanded point of his career. He now has a point in each of his last three games (2+1).
    • The goal was Buffalo’s first shorthanded marker since Zach Bogosian scored in Chicago on March 7, 2019.
  • Rasmus Asplund recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Vesey’s goal.

    • Asplund became just the fourth player in Sabres history to record his first NHL point while shorthanded, joining Gary McAdam (10/16/75 vs. CHI), Daren Puppa (12/9/87 at CHI) and Ryan Miller (3/16/06 vs. TOR).
  • Victor Olofsson’s goal tonight extended his point streak to a career-high five games (2+3). He now has nine points (3+6) in his last 10 games.
  • Jack Eichel, who recorded the primary assist on Olofsson’s goal, now has at least a point in each of his last seven games (6+6).
  • Brandon Montour appeared in his 200th NHL game tonight.

 

Tonight’s Goaltenders

Tonight’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision GA SA
Flames
Rittich W 2 36
Sabres Ullmark O 3 29
Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Flames Rittich 11-7-4 .913 2.76
Sabres Ullmark 5-5-2 .914 2.92

 

Post-Game Audio

Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger

Sabres forward Jeff Skinner

Sabres forward Rasmus Asplund

Sabres forward Jimmy Vesey

Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark

Flames Associate Coach Geoff Ward

Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk

Flames forward Elias Lindholm

Flames defenseman Mark Giordano

Jason Botterill Interview – Schopp & Bulldog (11/27/19)

November 27, 2019

Jason Botterill
Schopp & Bulldog (5:30 p.m.)
https://wgr550.radio.com/media/audio-channel/11-27-jason-botterill-with-schopp-the-bulldog (16:37)

Mike Schopp: You’re home. I think last year maybe was the same? I don’t know. But you’re home so maybe you’ll get to enjoy tomorrow with family and stuff.

Jason Botterill: Little bit of family, watch a little Bills action. Should be a good day.

MS: What do you think about [the Bills] right now? They’re interesting right now, Bills. I don’t mean your family. They might be too.

JB: Well, you look at over the next four games, it’s certainly going to be a challenge for them and I think, especially coming off such a short week, traveling down to Dallas will be very interesting for them. Obviously, a little drama in Dallas too after their tough loss against the Pats. But to me, it’s been great. It’s been fun watching. They continue to improve, especially on offense. I think they’re going to have a great effort tomorrow.

MS: What was playing hockey in Dallas like? Pretty anonymous?

JB: It was anonymous, but there was an excitement around there. They were passionate. And it was at that time, when I played, it was at the old Reunion Arena. Played on some excellent teams, obviously, there that were battling for Stanley Cups and they were exciting. Players like Mike Modano, [Sergei] Zubov, who just went into the Hall of Fame. They had a great crowd, great atmosphere. They weren’t exactly the most knowledgeable hockey fans at that time, but they were passionate. They wanted to cheer on their team. I think you take a step back, players are now coming out of Dallas and stuff, like what the Stars did a great job [of] when they moved from Minnesota there is they built up youth hockey. They did a great job with their high school program, their youth program and they really developed hockey families.

Chris Parker: There’s a lot going on with your team. There’s a lot going on in the league. There’s a lot going on with your opponent tonight, so there’s a lot to unpack here. I’d like to start here if we could with you on the play [Rasmus] Dahlin is injured on. You’ve spent your life in the sport, you came up in the sport when it was a very different game; physically, retribution, things like that. I wonder how you see how it’s changed and as a manager watching your team and seeing no one really take charge of the situation when Dahlin got hit with a cheap shot. How do you balance that? Because I know the game has changed, right? And I like the changes for the most part. But at the same time there’s a frustration when your 19-year-old superstar’s laying in the ice bleeding and you sort of want a little, you want a little payback. How do you deal with that?

JB: Well I think, first of all, you’re extremely disappointed about the actual action and the fact that one of our top players is down with an injury. I think what Ralph [Krueger] alluded to in his press conference this morning, you look at both at what happened to [Vladimir] Sobotka and also with what happened to Dahlin, it’s a situation where there is a little bit of uncertainty right off the bat. I’ve liked our response when people know what’s going on, when people truly understand. You look at the game in Anaheim earlier this year, Victor Olofsson got hit from behind [and] went into the boards, there was five of our guys in there for the scrum right away and I think that’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for a team toughness element and you want to make sure that when there’s something everyone sees and everything’s on the ice, they’re there and they’re battling.

CP: So was it conspicuous that that didn’t happen either in the moment when the hit was made and you got a competitive game, 3-2 and then you’re on the power play, I think anyone can understand not wanting to sacrifice that. You might have been expecting another penalty because Dahlin is on his knees bleeding. It didn’t come. Later in the game, nothing happened. Is that disappointing at all to you?

JB: No, I think it’s the game. I guess my question to you is, so what do you want from the response?

CP: I suppose someone going and challenging [Erik] Cernak and letting him know that that’s not okay that you just elbowed Rasmus Dahlin in the face.

JB: I like where our team’s at from a camaraderie standpoint about respecting each other, about protecting each other. I can’t tell you sitting here right now why something didn’t happen, but I know that there was certain concern for Rasmus. There’s certainly a lot of respect for Rasmus and I appreciate where our toughness on our team has been. I think our guys have protected each other from that standpoint. It’s something that we’ll continue to look at and work out.

MS: Just as a P.S. I guess, I’m thinking of [Brandon] Montour’s comment after [Jack] Eichel’s fight. How he was surprised or disappointed, did he say disappointed? Maybe he didn’t. He noted that there was little or no reaction to that on his team. Is that mean anything to you that comment?

JB: In what regards to the comment?

MS: That he felt that the bench didn’t react to Eichel’s fight, which game was that?

JB: That was against Minnesota.

CP: A week ago Tuesday.

JB: And that’s where there should’ve been, we should have gotten more of a jump off of that without a doubt. When guys are stepping up and doing things sort of outside their realm, trying to ignite the team, there needs to be a bigger reaction.

MS: It’s kind of the point, right?

JB: Yeah, it’s kind of the point that it’s something Jack’s not usually comfortable. You saw when Jimmy [Vesey] scored in the Tampa Bay game, the excitement from the bench, the reaction, that’s great to see. You’ve seen it when we’ve done well early in the year on the penalty kill with a blocked shot type of thing. There’s that challenge, they’re bringing something. That’s where we have to do a better job. I don’t have an answer for on what happened in the Minnesota game. Overall it wasn’t a very good game from our part. If you look back on the last month or so, it was certainly one of the more disappointing games. Our captain tried to lead us in that result. We should’ve had a better response following that.

MS: Okay, we’ve talked about a particular area here for a few minutes. What do you think your team is missing or needs right now, you know? Like you’re in the middle of the standings, it’s not like anything’s over yet. What does it need that it doesn’t have, more than anything else, would you say?

JB: Well right now our special teams is certainly hurting us at times. You look at the game against Tampa Bay — overall I really like the way we played. Even go back to the game against Boston, I thought we played extremely well there too. But special teams is hurting us. I think at the start of the year, especially our power play, gave us a lift and when your power-play guys aren’t clicking, they take that frustration over to even strength and don’t have that same confidence in and around the net. You look at the game against Tampa Bay, second period, we have an opportunity, we actually had a good power play, went 2-1 that could’ve made it 3-1. We don’t score. They go back on the power play and score a goal to make it 2-2, bit momentum change in the game. So I think our power play and our penalty kill has to improve on. I think having Zach Bogosian back in the lineup, he’s one of our better penalty killers, I think that’ll certainly help us out. I think having Marcus Johansson come back to help out either the second (power play) unit or first unit just with his zone entries will certainly help our group, and that’s what we have to find a better chemistry up there.

CP: How many things schematically can, like, there’s only so much room on the ice and so many people, just how creative can you get about trying to change that up? Because we’ve all seen the triangle of Dahlin and Jack on his off wing and Victor on his off wing and that was really clicking when the season began and you guys were cruising at like a 45 percent conversion rate, which is, of course, unrealistic to maintain, but still it was great. It seems like teams like when, “Oh, yeah, this Olofsson guy can shoot the lights out. Let’s try to take that away.” So you’ve got to find another way in.

JB: I think you look at the players that we have on the unit, they have hockey sticks, they have creativity and they have to just continue to utilize that more. Teams are taking away Olofsson a little bit more, that should leave other guys open for the opportunity. You look at whether Jack’s on it, we all know where Jack likes to be, but he has that versatility. Sam [Reinhart’s] versatility, to me he’s the new-age sort of net-front guy. The guy who has the size to be the screen but also the hands to make plays in and around the net. We have to utilize those guys more.

MS: Jason, fans, are just sort of waiting for a trade here, I think a lot of fans are. Bulldog and I, if I may, are both kind of shocked, maybe, that there wasn’t something else to come in the summer with all the defensemen you had and this idea of a defenseman for a forward — that if, I’m sure, is easier said than done. What would it take — I recognize, too, there are not trade in the league, you know? What would it take? I mean, would you need to see a certain number of games without moving up the standings or a losing streak or just like what? I think I speak for many, many Sabres fans just wondering what the thing would need to have — what would need to be to get something like that to occur?

JB: Well, I think we always look at, we’re always looking to improve our team. And people always ask me that question and look: I have to have an answer. I have to talk to him about, hey, what discussions we have going on. Bottom line is, I don’t feel really comfortable about it until we get a deal done and there’s something there. I’ve been asked: ‘Do you feel close on something?’ Doesn’t matter if you’re close on something. You get a deal done and you move on. Look, we knew that we were having some injuries, even right now, we have a player coming back in Zach Bogosian. I think he has done an excellent job through two games. But coming off major hip surgery, you don’t know how he’s going to respond. We wanted to — we’ve had so many questions on our defense over the last couple years, we wanted to make sure we added some depth there. We’ve been, I’ve been open to it. We’re looking to help our forward group right now with injuries that we’ve sustained, we’re trying to find help there. And if something materializes there, we’ll certainly jump on it.

MS: Yeah, I don’t want to ask you if you’re close because I agree, I sort of feel that way, I understand. And you know, Bulldog and I and everybody out here, never gets to know what is being talked about. Sometimes we’ll see these little stories on Twitter, like, ‘so and so is rumored to be available in a trade,’ any sport. Like, well, I think, why is that even news? Why wouldn’t every team be open to trading anybody? You want to be open to ideas.

JB: Yep, you want to be open to ideas. And that’s certainly where there’s general managers in the league that you trust and communicate with and you’re open to different ideas. Hey, you may think you’re close on something, then a game happens and that team loses two forwards or that team loses two defensemen, and it doesn’t materialize. Second part of it, right now you’re dealing with, is on any given day you look at it, you have 12 — anywhere from 10 to 12 teams — in LTI, long-term injury. So there’s just not the cap space to make that as flexible. And we made a trade, I won’t tell you which one, but we made a trade in the past year, that literally took 14 months to consummate. So, we’ve been talking to the team for over 14 months to get something done and it wasn’t a fit until it finally materialized. So, look, we’re trying to, we see adding more depth at our forward group, add more to our mix there, to either help our offense or help our PK would certainly help out our group and we’re continuing to try and find a solution.

CP: Not to get hung up on one word you just said there, but trust, you mentioned ‘trust other GMs.’ I wonder, if, do you worry that if you are talking too many people about too many guys that stuff will get out? That like, all of the sudden the big-name reporters are going to be saying, ‘Jason Botterill is shopping so-and-so?’

JB: Well, look, there’s always that worry. You always wish that all of your conversations become, are confidential. To me, that’s how you get a deal done eventually. You’re throwing out different ideas out that you may not be comfortable with, but you’re at least seeing if there’s a fit from that standpoint. And I think there’s just some general managers, you feel a little bit more of a trust from that standpoint, and that’s where as a younger general manager in the league, I’m trying to build those relationships with different guys who have been here longer than myself.

MS: Yeah, I think that’s a thing, like, right? You don’t, nobody, everybody is sort of in the same place there, I would think, as a GM. We don’t want —  I’m going to tell you I have a guy that I’m looking to move, but we’re never going to speak about this again, and like we don’t want anybody knowing it, that kind of thing. There’s certainly a lot to talk about here and there’d be more, but I want to ask about the thing with [Calgary head coach] Bill Peters. And I think the question being asked in hockey right now is, is this the beginning of something, where people who know, and have had experiences over the years, are going to feel empowered to speak, I think is the essence of this maybe, or where we might be headed. What do you see coming?

JB: Well, I can’t predict that, all I can know right now is talking within people in the Calgary Flames organization, they’re certainly taking it very serious. I think you’re seeing it how with their actions over the last 48 hours and as Ralph [Krueger] talked about, we don’t have the information to know exactly what materialized, but you have to look internally in your own situation and making sure that we’re trying to have an environment where players, there is respect and players feel open to communicate with myself, with Ralph and with our staff. And, hey, we’re not going to sit on that pedestal saying, ‘Oh, we’re perfect’ by any means. But that’s what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re trying to make sure that your environment where people understand that as a coach you’re going to challenge players at certain times and try to get the most out of players. But also, in an environment where the players feel very comfortable talking to the management staff and the coaching staff.

MS: I think if I asked you, or maybe anybody who has been in the game for as long, ‘Jason, is it a lot different now coaching than it used to be, or playing for a coach than it used to be?’ I would think they would almost all laugh, like of course it’s different. Things that might have seemed just like, this is motivation, now might border on abuse. And you’ve had that life.

JB: And look, the stakes are so much higher now. You look at the salaries, what’s happened in the last decade to two decades, there’s a lot riding on players becoming National Hockey League players and having successful careers. You’re also looking at every player that seems to come in, they have their own group, they have their own team. They have skill coaches, development coaches, each individual player has a mental skills coach, an agent, family members talking to them. So there’s a lot going on with these different players and, you know, it’s just a situation where coaches sit down, talk to players and go there. They want to know why. They want to know how it fits into the whole group of things. So, I think you see players in the summer, you know, 20-30 years ago, guys just are working out. They’re now working on their game every day. They’re looking for information and knowledge to improve themselves and that’s what they’re looking for from the coaching staff, too.

CP: The story is still relatively young, I mean, we’ll see what sorts of twists and turns it takes. I’m wondering, as you’re talking and replying to Mike’s question there, if it’s the sort of thing that has the potential to have you go through your organization and ask all the people that are working for you, like ‘Is there anything I need to know that might have happened in Peoria,’ or in wherever that could pop up so you could be ready for something, if it should come?

JB: Well, look, we feel we do a very good job of that before, before we bring people into our organization. We hope that — it’s not as if we sit down, talk with them and hey, we’re offering you a job and bringing you in. We feel we do a lot from a background check and making sure that the people that we’re bringing in to interact with our players, to interact with our employees, certainly have a high standard. Now, hey, can we continue to improve on that? Without a doubt. And how I interact with my coaches, my training staff, how I interact with people within my office, you always have to look and re-evaluate the situation.

Ralph Krueger Interview – Howard & Jeremy (11/27/19)

November 27, 2019

Ralph Krueger
Howard & Jeremy (8 a.m.)
https://wgr550.radio.com/media/audio-channel/11-27-sabres-head-coach-ralph-krueger-with-howard-and-jeremy (6:53)

Howard Simon: Ralph, it’s Howard and Jeremy. Good morning, how are you?

Ralph Krueger: Good morning, gents. It’s good to be back in Buffalo.

HS: So what’s your Thanksgiving plan? What are you doing for tomorrow?

RK: Well you have to remember my life has been predominantly in Europe over the last decades and I grew up before that in Canada, so it’s my first Thanksgiving on U.S. soil while being here so I’ll probably be watching and seeing what everybody does here in America during Thanksgiving.

HS: Well you get to experience watching a Bills game on Thanksgiving, it doesn’t happen that often, but you’ll have to do that tomorrow. 

RK: Yeah, that’ll be a lot of fun. Always enjoy watching the Bills, and I’m really happy how they’re performing and the city’s embracing that. Sean McDermott’s doing a hell of a job there.

HS: Injury update; is there any time frame on Rasmus Dahlin at this point?

RK: No. We’ve had a bit of a grind of late and adding Rasmus to the list is quite disappointing, but again, it’s truly — when you’re dealing with concussions, it’s a day-to-day issue. We’re not expecting him for the next days, but we hope it’s a quick recovery, but again, it’s difficult to guess the timelines on an injury like that.

HS: What was your reaction when you heard that [Erik] Cernak got two games?

RK: We would have rather had a five-minute major within the game because that kind of suspension really does us no good; we don’t see Tampa Bay for a while. But at least it’s confirmation that it was what we thought it was. The player has received a reprimand for that, which is important because that’s the kind of hitting we don’t want to see in the National Hockey League.

HS: Did the refs tell you they just didn’t see it? They missed it?

RK: Yeah.

HS: With Marcus Johansson, Ralph, what’s the update on his return date?

RK: Yeah, I mean we’re going to take a look at him today. He stayed back here in Buffalo. We worked together with him with our rehab team in Buffalo and it looks like it’s progressed positively. We hope that the pre-game skate goes well today. He’s still a question mark for tonight, but I would say more on the positive side of seeing him in the lineup.

HS: And weirdly, that — I’m trying to think, is there anybody else getting close to a return or that’s pretty much it?

RK: No, that’s it right now. Other than that, you know — it would be very good to have him back. He’s an excellent leader for us and a strong influence on the confidence of the group. I think getting him back will be a good thing for all.

HS: How did you think your team played overall on the three-game trip you just had through Boston and Florida?

RK: Well we can’t accept the results because of how we played. I thought Boston was one of our best games of the season right through from start to finish. The management of the score and just understanding what it takes to create more net pressure is something we’re working hard at. I thought in Florida we actually had our weakest of the three and we got the win, so who’s to say what the best way is to approach a game. In Tampa, I think everybody watched the scoring chances and shot clock of the first few periods, we come out down 3-2 and it was quite disappointing when we look at our game management. Our 4-on-4 situation where we allow a goal against and then a shorthander to actually close the game out is quite frustrating when you see the effort to set up an opportunity to get points in Tampa Bay. So we need to take the pain that we’re feeling right now and the adversity we’re under right now as an opportunity to just continue to build our game in the right way and turn those results. I’m sure we’re going to get a strong effort tonight as a reaction to the frustration of coming only back with two points. But again, there is some confirmation on how we need to play, what we need to do to be successful against the top teams in the league. Carrying those habits forward is going to be really important here today.

Jeremy White: Ralph, one thing that can push you guys through is the power play, which started the season red hot and, you know, I would imagine you expect peaks and valleys, it kid of flows a little bit here and there, it’s just the way it generally works, it’s cyclical. Are you seeing teams doing anything differently than they were at the start of the season that maybe you as a coaching staff and as a team have to make adjustments to?

RK: Yeah, I mean, I think everybody knows that we had a hot power play off the hop and Victor Olofsson on the back side was a bit of a surprise. So that’s being eliminated. We need to be better at finding options. We can’t be happy with our power-play production at all with the skill that we have. It will be a major focal point of the game today again. We are self-critical on it and the guys are digging deep and it’s more, we need to bring in more deception. We need to be less readable on where we’re going to attack and how we’re going to attack. We have had scoring chances again on the power play and not finishing our opportunities is probably our biggest weakness at the moment. But our power play will decide where our game goes. It is our motor offensively and it needs to get going here quickly, that’s clear and evident for all.

JW: It seems that some teams that struggle, struggle to get it in the zone. Sometimes you just don’t have the finish there. I would say for your team, the entries seem to be pretty good. Would you consider it a good sign that at least you’re getting into the zone, so you would expect things to kind uptick the other way at some point.

RK: Yeah, no, we’re definitely getting entry. We’re showing strong control in the O-zone. But creating that net pressure we’d like to have possibly similar to our 5-on-5 game, it’s an opportunity for us and we need to fix that very quickly because we need to show more desperation on our power play in the O-zone. And again, we are working on that for tonight.

HS: I know we pulled you out of a game-day meeting, so we’ll let you get you back to work. Appreciate your time and good luck tonight against Calgary.

RK: Thank you, gentleman, and thanks for the positive support and we will do all to make the Thanksgiving celebrations — to set the celebrations off on the right track and I’ll make sure I find a place to have turkey tomorrow night.

HS: You won’t have trouble finding it. Alright, good luck. Thank you, Ralph.

RK: Thank you, have a good day.

SOBOTKA INJURY UPDATE


Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka underwent successful surgery on his right knee on Tuesday.

After further evaluation with the Sabres’ team doctors regarding his injury sustained on Nov. 8, it was determined that surgery was the appropriate next step in Sobotka’s recovery process.

He will be out of the team’s lineup indefinitely.

 

Game Preview: 11/27/19 vs. Calgary

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, November 25
Buffalo 2 at Tampa Bay 5
Goals: Reinhart, Vesey
Goalie: Hutton (24 saves/29 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 3/4; Shots: Buffalo 30 – Tampa Bay 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 110)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 3; injured reserve) – 24 games
Vladimir Sobotka (knee, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 8 games
Marcus Johansson (upper body, Nov. 14) – 7 games
Kyle Okposo (concussion, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 5 games
Tage Thompson (upper body, Nov. 19; injured reserve) – 4 games
Evan Rodrigues (lower body, Nov. 25) – 1 game
Rasmus Dahlin (concussion, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/21: Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Tage Thompson on IR
11/22: Placed D John Gilmour on waivers
11/23: Assigned D John Gilmour to Rochester (AHL)
11/24: Acquired D Matthew Spencer from the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for D Devante Stephens; Assigned Spencer to Cincinnati (ECHL)
11/25: Recalled F Jean-Sebastien Dea from Rochester (AHL)
11/27: Activated F Marcus Johansson from IR; Placed D Rasmus Dahlin on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Nov. 29: Toronto at Buffalo, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 30: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 2: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 5: Buffalo at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7: Buffalo at Vancouver, 4 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
FLAMES at SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Flames this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Calgary 4-3 (OT) in Calgary on Jan. 16
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Dec. 5 in Calgary
  • The Sabres are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Flames; 7-1-2 at home.
  • This is the 110th game all-time between Buffalo and Calgary; Buffalo has a 53-37-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 33-14-7 at home against the Flames all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-6-5 all-time on November 27.
  • November 27, 1971: Craig Ramsay appears in his first NHL game, a 5-2 loss at Vancouver. Ramsay would go on to play 1,070 games during the course of his NHL career, all with the Sabres, trailing only Gilbert Perreault (1,191) for most in franchise history.
  • November 27, 2005: Jason Pominville scores his first career NHL goal on Olaf Kolzig in a 3-2 win at Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres and Flames have split their season series in each of the last five seasons. They will meet again in eight days to wrap up the two-game season series.
  • Brandon Montour is expected to appear in his 200th NHL game tonight.
  • With his 30th point of the season on Monday at Tampa Bay, Jack Eichel became the first Sabre to reach the 30-point mark in 24 or fewer games since Thomas Vanek did so in 24 games in 2012-13.
  • All nine of Jeff Skinner’s goals this season have come during 5-on-5 play. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, he entered play Tuesday tied for sixth-most in the league.
  • Jack Eichel has scored in each of his last four meetings with Calgary, totaling five points (4+1) in those games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has totaled eight points (4+4) in eight games against the Flames since the beginning of the 2015-16 season.
  • Jeff Skinner has posted nine points (3+6) in his last nine matchups with the Flames.

GOING STREAKING

  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game on a six-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. Entering play Tuesday, his six goals and 11 points during the streak both led the NHL during that timeframe.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded points in eight of his last nine games (2+6), including an assist in each of his last four home games. He enters tonight on his third four-game point streak of the season (1+3). With a point tonight, he would extend the streak to a career-best five games.
  • Sam Reinhart and Jimmy Vesey each enter tonight’s game with points in Buffalo’s last two games (1+1). With a point tonight, Vesey would have his longest point streak of the season.

SETTING THE PACE

  • With 14 goals in 24 games so far this season, Jack Eichel is already halfway to his previous best goal total (28), set in the 2018-19 season.
  • Eichel’s output through 24 games currently has him on pace to finish the season with 48 goals and 103 points, which would be the highest goal and point totals by a Sabre since Pat LaFontaine (53+95) and Alexander Mogilny (76+51) in 1992-93.
  • Sam Reinhart’s nine goals through 24 games put him on pace for a career-high total (31).
  • Victor Olofsson’s goal and point totals currently have him on pace for the best offensive season by a Sabres rookie in decades. If he maintains his current pace, he would finish the season with the most goals by a Sabres rookie (27) since Donald Audette’s 31 in 1991-92 and the most points by a Sabres rookie (62) since Ray Sheppard’s 65 in 1987-88.

POINTS IN BUNCHES

  • Jack Eichel has recorded eight multi-point games this season, tying for 12th-most in the league before Tuesday’s games.
  • Entering play Tuesday, his three multi-goal games tied for fifth-most (two shy of the league lead) and his six multi-assist games tied for fourth-most (one behind the league leaders).
  • Eichel has already recorded at least three points five times this season, matching his previous career-high total set in the 2016-17 season. Only Leon Draisaitl (8) and Connor McDavid (8) had more games with at least three points this season entering play Tuesday.
  • Entering play Tuesday, Eichel’s three games with at least four points this season tied Connor McDavid for the league lead. Since he entered the league in 2015-16, only six players have totaled at least four points more times than Eichel’s eight: Nikita Kucherov (15), Patrick Kane (10), Connor McDavid (10), Johnny Gaudreau (9), Brad Marchand (9), Steven Stamkos (9)

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 11/26 games)

  • Eichel: 480 FO (4th), 10 EVG (T-6th), 14 G (T-7th), 30 PTS (T-7th), 1 OTG (T-9th), 20 EVP (T-10th)
  • Hutton: 2 SO (T-1st)
  • Johansson: 1 OTG (T-9th)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 78 hits (7th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-8th)

BUF-CGY CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres forward Curtis Lazar was a part of the Flames’ organization for three seasons (2016-17 to 2018-19). He totaled 15 points (3+12) in 70 games with Calgary.
  • Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian played in Winnipeg with Flames forward Michael Frolik for two seasons (2013-14 to 2014-15).
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel and Flames forward Derek Ryan played for Team USA together at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jack Eichel won a bronze medal with Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin while representing the United States at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship. The two were later teammates at the 2017 and 2019 IIHF World Championships.
  • Sabres forward Johan Larsson and Flames forward Mikael Backlund won a gold medal together while representing Sweden at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Colin Miller was a teammate of Flames forward Zac Rinaldo in Boston for one season (2015-16).
  • Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe and forward Jimmy Vesey won a gold medal for Team USA with Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe played with Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada with Flames goaltender Cam Talbot at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella won a silver medal with Flames defenseman Travis Hamonic at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner played for the Hurricanes with Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin (2015-16 to 2017-18), forward Elias Lindholm (2013-14 to 2017-18) and forward Derek Ryan (2015-16 to 2017-18).
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner played for Team Canada with Flames defenseman TJ Brodie at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark and Flames forward Mikael Backlund played for Team Sweden together at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (78), McCabe (43), Girgensons (34)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (41), Ristolainen (35), Jokiharju (23)
Shots: Skinner (86), Eichel (84), Olofsson (60)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 8-1-1 (17), 38/24, 12/39, 23/30
11-20: 2-6-2 (6), 21/35, 2/26, 21/29
21-30: 1-3-0 (2), 10/14, 1/13, 12/17

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-2; 122-130 all-time)
Oct. 7 at CBJ: L, 4-3 (GWG-Texier, 2:08)
Oct. 9 vs. MTL: W, 5-4 (GWG-Johansson, 1:30)
Oct. 22 vs. SJS: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 3:13)
Nov. 14 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (GWG-Hamilton, 2:28)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-1; 76-70 all-time)
Oct. 11 vs. FLA: W, 3-2 (GDG-Eichel)
Oct. 28 vs. ARI: L, 3-2 (GDG-Schmaltz)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Brandon Montour … 1 game … 200 career games played
Jake McCabe … 3 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Sam Reinhart … 4 goals … 100 career goals
Points
Jimmy Vesey … 6 points … 100 career points 

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A