Tag Archives: Carolina Hurricanes

Game Preview: 11/18/17 vs. CAR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, November 17
Buffalo 1 at Detroit 3
Goal: O’Reilly
Goalie: Lehner (30 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 5/5; Shots: Detroit 33 – Buffalo 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 100)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Oct.5; injured reserve) – 19 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body, Oct. 17; injured reserve) – 13 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (upper body, Nov. 4; injured reserve) – 6 games
Matt Tennyson (foot, Nov. 7; injured reserve) – 5 games
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/13: Activated F Justin Bailey from IR; assigned Bailey to Rochester (AHL)
11/16: Recalled F Kyle Criscuolo and D Casey Nelson from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Taylor Fedun and D Matt Tennyson on IR; Assigned F Nicholas Baptiste to Rochester (AHL)
11/17: Activated F Evan Rodrigues from IR; Assigned Rodrigues to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Nov. 20: Columbus at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 22: Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 24: Edmonton at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 25: Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 28: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
HURRICANES at SABRES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Buffalo on Jan. 13
  • Next meeting: Friday, Dec. 15 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 5-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 199th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina/Hartford; Buffalo has a 102-71-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 58-32-8 at home against the Hurricanes/Whalers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-10-0 all-time on November 17.
  • November 18, 1970: The Sabres get 44 saves from Rogier Crozier as they defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-2 in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
  • November 18, 1979: Larry Playfair scores his first NHL goal in a 9-7 Sabres win vs. Edmonton.
  • November 18, 2011: Jhonas Enroth records a 34-save shutout and Jason Pominville scores the game’s lone goal as the Sabres defeat the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 1-0.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Robin Lehner is 2-2-1 in six appearances at home this season with a .952 save percentage and a 1.49 goals-against average.
  • Chad Johnson is 7-1-0 in his career against the Hurricanes with a .930 save percentage and a 2.11 goals-against average.
  • Jason Pominville has 14 points (6+8) in his last 13 games against Carolina.
  • Johan Larsson has totaled four points (3+1) in five career games against the Hurricanes.

 BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s fifth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 3-1 loss at Detroit. The Sabres are 1-4-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-1-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (3), one point (1) and zero points (0).

 THE KANE EVENT

  • Evander Kane has scored 10 goals in his first 19 games played this season, tying him for ninth in the league. It is Kane’s quickest start of his career, topping his mark of 10 goals in his first 22 games in 2011-12.
  • Since scoring his first goal of the 2016-17 season on Dec. 3, 2016, Kane has scored 38 goals in his last 76 games. Entering play Wednesday, those 38 goals tied for fourth-most in the league during that span and his 31 even-strength goals ranked second only to Auston Matthews (32).

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

  • Eichel: 2 SHP (T-3rd)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (1st), 3 SHP (T-1st), 89 S (3rd), 10 G (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 276 FOW (1st), 460 FO (2nd), 60.0% FO% (5th), 5 PPG (T-3rd)
  • Pouliot: 3 GWG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 27:09 TOI/GP (2nd)

BUF-CAR CONNECTIONS
Local Ties:

  • Lee Stempniak was born in West Seneca, New York and played for the Buffalo Lightning (Ontario Junior Hockey League) during the 2000-01 season.

 Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Jaccob Slavin for the United States at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented the United States alongside Justin Faulk at the 2015 World Championship.

 Evander Kane:

  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the 2012 squad.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Marcus Kruger for Team Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

 Jake McCabe:

  • He and Noah Hanifin were teammates for the United States at the 2016 World Championship.

 Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Justin Williams for the Los Angeles Kings during part of the 2008-09 season.

 Jordan Nolan:

  • Played with Justin Williams for the Los Angeles Kings from 2011-2015.

 Ryan O’Reilly:     

  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the team in 2012 and Jordan Staal was on the 2013 squad.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Lee Stempniak for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Jordan Staal (2nd overall) were both first-round selections in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Justin Faulk (37th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Teuvo Teravainen (18th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • The second round of the 2012 NHL Draft saw Jake McCabe (44th overall), Phillip Di Giuseppe (38th overall) and Brock McGinn (47th overall) go off the board.
  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) was taken five picks before Haydn Fleury (7th overall) in the first round of the 2014 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Noah Hanifin (5th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. They also played together for the United States during the 2015 World Junior Championship.

 SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Kane (42), Ristolainen (38), Pouliot (34)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (29), Scandella (29), Falk (18)
Shots: Kane (89), Eichel (58), O’Reilly (46)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 3-5-2 (8), 26/36, 5/36, 29/35
11-20: 2-5-2 (6), 19/32, 5/26, 19/23

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-3; 109-114 all-time)
Oct. 17 at VGK: L, 5-4 (GWG-Perron)
Oct. 21 at BOS: W, 5-4 (GWG-O’Reilly)
Nov. 11 at MTL: L, 2-1 (GWG-Pacioretty)
Nov. 14 at PIT: L, 5-4 (GWG-Sheary)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-1; 69-65 all-time)
Oct. 5 vs. MTL: L, 3-2 (GDG-Drouin)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Wins
Buffalo Sabres … 5 home wins … 1,000 regular-season home wins
Games Played
Johan Larsson … 3 games … 200 career games played
Zemgus Girgensons … 7 games … 300 career games played
Marco Scandella … 8 games … 400 career games played
Assists
Matt Moulson … 7 assists … 200 career assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Sam Reinhart … 2 points … 100 career points
Marco Scandella … 6 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Kyle Criscuolo … 1st NHL game … Nov. 17 at DET

Game Preview: 1/13/17 at CAR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, January 12
Buffalo 2 at Tampa Bay 4
Goals: Moulson, Kane
Goalie: Nilsson (25 saves/28 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/4; PK: 3/5; Shots: Tampa Bay 29 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 202)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 41 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 29 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Dec. 29; injured reserve) – 7 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 5 games
Josh Gorges (hip, Jan. 7) – 3 games
Robin Lehner (illness, Jan. 10) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/10:
Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Johan Larsson on IR; Placed F Derek Grant on waivers
1/11: F Derek Grant claimed off waivers by Nashville

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Jan. 16:
Dallas at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 17: Buffalo at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 20: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21: Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at HURRICANES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Buffalo on Dec. 22, 2016
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 198th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina/Hartford; Buffalo has a 102-70-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-38-17 on the road against the Hurricanes/Whalers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-10-1 all-time on January 13.
  • January 13, 1974: Gilbert Perreault scores his 100th NHL goal and Dave Dryden records his fifth and final shutout as a member of the Sabres in a 1-0 victory against the St. Louis Blues at the Aud.
  • January 13, 2000: Martin Biron stops 39 shots and Byron Defoe turns aside 23 as the Sabres and Bruins duel to a 0-0 tie.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • If he dresses, tonight will be Zach Bogosian’s 500th NHL game.
  • Evander Kane has 21 points (9+12) in 24 career games against the Hurricanes.
  • Matt Moulson has 19 points (6+13) in his last 19 games against Carolina.
  • Marcus Foligno has a point in each of his last four games against the Hurricanes (1+3).
  • Kyle Okposo has tallied 12 points (5+7) in 13 career visits to Carolina.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 18 points (3+15) his last 20 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded 15 points (4+11) in his last 16 games, including six points (1+5) in four games since returning from a four-game absence following an appendectomy.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded 12 points (3+9) in his last 11 games.
  • Jack Eichel has tallied seven points (3+4) in his last eight games.
  • Zemgus Girgensons has three points (1+2) in his last two games.
  • Evander Kane enters tonight’s game on a two-game goal streak.

ROAD WARRIORS

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 15 points (6+9) in 16 road games this season, including seven points (2+5) in his last seven.
  • Kyle Okposo has 16 points (8+8) in 21 road games this season, including four points in his last four (2+2).
  • Jack Eichel has eight points (4+4) in 10 road games this season, including points in each of his last five (3+3).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 14 points (1+13) in 21 road games this season, including eight (1+7) in his last 10.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (2+4) in his last seven road games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s sixth of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season after the team’s 4-2 loss last night at Tampa Bay. The Sabres are 2-2-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-2-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (1), three points (2), two points (0), one point (1) and zero points (1).

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)

.40 (33)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.35 (29)

.44 (36)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.75 (62)

.66 (54)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

3.7 (303)

2.2 (178)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 21.6% PP% (10th), 50.6% FO% (10th)
  • Eichel: 3.7 S/GP (4th)
  • Foligno: 128 hits (T-9th)
  • Nilsson: .942 EV SV% (5th), .928 SV% (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:37 TOI/GP (3rd, forwards), 56.9 FO% (8th)
  • Ristolainen: 15 PPA (T-2nd), 26:53 TOI (5th), 16 PPP (T-8th), 24 A (5th, defensemen), 27 PTS (6th, defensemen)

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE
Buffalo’s goaltenders ended last night’s game with the fifth-best combined save percentage* (.923) in the league. They also had the sixth-best save percentage during 5-on-5 play (.933).

  • The Sabres last finished a season with a combined save percentage* above .920 in the 2009-10 season (.924, Ryan Miller/Patrick Lalime/Jhonas Enroth).
  • They have topped the team’s current mark only four times in franchise history: 1998-99 (.930, Dominik Hasek/Dwayne Roloson/Martin Biron), 1997-98 (.928, Hasek/Steve Shields), 1996-97 (.926, Hasek/Shields/Andrei Trefilov) and 2009-10 (.924, Miller/Lalime/Enroth).

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

BUF-CAR CONNECTIONS
Local Ties:

  • Lee Stempniak was born in West Seneca, New York and played for the Buffalo Lightning (Ontario Junior Hockey League) during the 2000-01 season.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Jordan Staal for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-2012.
  • Coached Lee Stempniak for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2013-14 season.

Zach Bogosian:  

  • Represented the United States alongside Ron Hainsey and Lee Stempniak at the 2009 World Championship. Bogosian and Hainsey also played together from 2008-2011 for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Shares a birthday with Andrej Nestrasil. Both players were born on Feb. 22, 1991. The two were also drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Nestrasil went 75th overall, and Deslauriers was taken 84th overall.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Jaccob Slavin for the United States at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented the United States alongside Justin Faulk at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Jay McClement for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2012-2014.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Ron Hainsey from 2009-2011 for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.
  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the 2012 squad.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Victor Rask at the 2015 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:    

  • Played with Jay McClement for the Colorado Avalanche from 2010-2012.
  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the team in 2012 and Jordan Staal was on the 2013 squad.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Lee Stempniak and Ron Hainesy for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played with Teuvo Teravainen for Finland at the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships. The two were also teammates on the 2012 Finland World U18 Championship squad.

NHL Draft:          

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Jordan Staal (2nd overall) were both first-round selections in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Teuvo Teravainen (18th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Noah Hanifin (5th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. They also played together for the United States during the 2015 World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (128), Ristolainen (112), Carrier (80)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (85), Gorges (62), McCabe (62)
Shots: Okposo (102), Kane (93), O’Reilly (93)

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: 0-1-0 (0), 2/4, 0/4, 3/5

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-4; 104-109 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

Jan. 5 at CHI: L, 4-3 (GWG-Kane)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 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)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Zach Bogosian … 1 game … 500 NHL games
Cody Franson … 3 games … 500 NHL games
Justin Falk … 4 games … 200 NHL games
Matt Moulson … 4 games … 600 NHL games
Points
Kyle Okposo … 4 points … 400 NHL points
Cody Franson … 5 points … 200 NHL points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 points … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL game … Jan. 10 vs. PHI

 

Post-Game Report: 12/22 vs. CAR

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Hurricanes
(14-11-7)
2 0 1 3 34
Sabres
(12-12-8)
0 1 0 1 23

Game Summary

Event Summary

Top Notes

  • With the loss, the Sabres failed to record a point against the Hurricanes for the first time since Jan. 8, 2015, ending a 4-0-1 run against Carolina.
  • The Hurricanes snapped a four-game losing streak in Buffalo, getting their first road win against the Sabres since Jan. 23, 2014.
  • With his goal tonight, Johan Larsson now has a point in each of his last three home games (2+1).
  • Marcus Foligno’s assist on Larsson’s goal has extended his point streak against the Hurricanes to four games (1+3).
  • Robin Lehner posted a .939 save percentage tonight, topping the .920 mark for the third consecutive game.

Tonight’s Goaltenders

Tonight’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision SV% GAA
Hurricanes Ward W .957 1.00
Sabres Lehner L .939 2.04

 

Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Hurricanes Ward 11-8-6 .917 2.25
Sabres Lehner 7-10-5 .921 2.45

Post-Game Audio

Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters

Hurricanes forward Eric Staal

Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk

Hurricanes defenseman Ron Hainsey

Game Preview: 12/22/16 vs. CAR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 20
Buffalo 3 at Florida 4 (SO)
Goals: Reinhart, Kane, Ristolainen
Goalie: Lehner (36 saves/39 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 3/4; Shots: Florida 39 – Buffalo 36

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 158)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 31 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 19 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/17:
Activated D Taylor Fedun from IR; Assigned Fedun to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Dec. 23:
Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 27: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 29: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 31: Buffalo at Boston, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 3: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
HURRICANES at SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 2-1 (SO) in Carolina on Dec. 17
  • Next meeting: Friday, Jan. 13 in Carolina
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 6-4-0 at home.
  • This is the 197th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina/Hartford; Buffalo has a 102-69-25 series record.
  • The Sabres are 58-31-8 at home against the Hurricanes/Whalers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-10-3 all-time on December 22.
  • December 22, 1974: Don Luce scores two shorthanded goals and an even strength goal in 3:49 in a 4-0 win at Washington. Luce also picked up an assist on the other Buffalo goal.
  • December 22, 1977: Rene Robert scores the 2,000th goal in franchise history in a 4-2 win at Chicago.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 7-3-4 record (.643) in their last 14 games.
  • Buffalo was ranked fourth in the NHL in power play percentage (23.2%), ninth in team faceoff percentage (51.5%) and 10th in goals against per game (2.52) before Wednesday’s games.
  • The Sabres are 4-0-1 in their last five games against the Hurricanes and are looking to extend their point streak to six games for the first time since the team went 5-0-1 against the Whalers from Oct. 23, 1994 to April 4, 1995.
  • Buffalo has won each of its last four home games against Carolina. A win tonight would extend that streak to five regular-season games for the first time since Oct. 20, 2006 to Jan. 17, 2009.
  • Brian Gionta has seven points (3+4) in his last seven games against Carolina.
  • Matt Moulson has 19 points (6+13) in his last 18 games against the Hurricanes.
  • Evander Kane has four points (2+2) in his last four games against Carolina.
  • Marcus Foligno has a point in each of his last three games against the Hurricanes (1+2).

MR. 300
With a win tonight, Dan Bylsma would become the 47th head coach in NHL history to record 300 regular-season wins.

  • Among coaches with at least 300 career wins, Bylsma would rank fourth with a 300-164-51 record (.632), trailing only Bruce Boudreau (.660), Scotty Bowman (.657) and Toe Blake (.634).
  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Bylsma would tie Todd McLellan as the second-fastest coach in NHL history to reach the 300-win mark:
Coach Games 300th Win
Bruce Boudreau 496 Feb. 28, 2014 vs. St. Louis
Dan Bylsma 515 Dec. 22, 2016 vs. Carolina*
Todd McLellan 515 Feb. 13, 2015 at Arizona
Toe Blake 525 Jan. 3, 1963 vs. Boston
Mike Babcock 526 Dec. 17, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay

*With a win tonight

WHO’S HOT?

  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 15 points (3+12) in his last 13 games, including 14 points (3+101 his last nine.
  • Kyle Okposo has 12 points (4+8) in his last 13 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has nine points (3+6) in his last 10 games.
  • Evander Kane has nine points (6+3) in his last 10 games.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Wednesday tied for 12th among all NHL skaters with 20 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 31.3 percent of his teammates’ goals*. Entering play Wednesday, it was the third-highest such percentage in the league, trailing only Connor McDavid (33.3%) and Erik Karlsson (32.9%).
    • This would rank as the second-highest percentage in franchise history, behind only Pat LaFontaine (33.7%) in 1992-93.
  • 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 25 goals to fall behind this pace.

*Teammate goals are defined as total team goals minus the player’s goals and shootout-winners.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s fifth of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow at NY Islanders. The Sabres are 2-0-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-1-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (1), three points (2), two points (0), one point (1) and zero points (0).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before Dec. 21 games)

  • Eichel: .50 G/GP (5th)
  • Foligno: 96 hits (10th)
  • Moulson: 7 PPG (T-4th)
  • Nilsson: .956 EV SV% (2nd), .933 SV% (5th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:42 TOI/GP (2nd, forwards), 57.0 FO% (9th)
  • Ristolainen: 12 PPA (T-1st), 26:41 TOI/GP (5th), 13 PPP (T-6th), 20 A (T-3rd, defensemen), 23 PTS (T-4th, defensemen)

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE
Buffalo’s goaltenders had the sixth-best combined save percentage* (.925) in the league entering play Wednesday. They also had the sixth-best save percentage during 5-on-5 play (.937).

  • The Sabres last finished a season with a combined save percentage* above .920 in the 2009-10 season (.924, Ryan Miller/Patrick Lalime/Jhonas Enroth) and have topped the team’s current mark only three times in franchise history: 1998-99 (.930, Dominik Hasek/Dwayne Roloson/Martin Biron), 1997-98 (.928, Hasek/Steve Shields) and 1996-97 (.926, Hasek/Shields/Andrei Trefilov)

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

BUF-CAR CONNECTIONS
Local Ties:

  • Lee Stempniak was born in West Seneca, New York. He played for the Buffalo Lightning of the Ontario Junior Hockey League during the 2000-01 season.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Jordan Staal for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2009-2012.
  • Coached Lee Stempniak for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2013-14 season.

Zach Bogosian: 

  • Represented the United States alongside Ron Hainsey and Lee Stempniak at the 2009 World Championship. Bogosian and Hainsey also played together from 2008-2011 for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Shares a birthday with Andrej Nestrasil. Both players were born on Feb. 22, 1991. The two were also drafted in the third round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Nestrasil went 75th overall, and Deslauriers was taken 84th overall.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played with Jaccob Slavin for the United States at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Represented the United States alongside Justin Faulk at the 2015 World Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Jay McClement for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2012-2014.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Ron Hainsey from 2009-2011 for the Atlanta Thrashers and from 2011-2013 for the Winnipeg Jets.
  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the 2012 squad.

Johan Larsson:

  • Skated alongside Viktor Stalberg for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Elias Lindholm and Victor Rask at the 2015 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:     

  • Played with Jay McClement for the Colorado Avalanche from 2010-2012.
  • Played with Jeff Skinner for Team Canada at the 2012 and 2013 World Championships. Cam Ward was also on the team in 2012 and Jordan Staal was on the 2013 squad.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Lee Stempniak and Ron Hainesy for the United States at the 2009 World Championship.

Rasmus Ristolainen:

  • Played with Teuvo Teravainen for Finland at the 2013 and 2014 World Junior Championships. The two were also teammates on the 2012 Finland World U18 Championship squad.

NHL Draft:           

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Jordan Staal (2nd overall) were both first-round selections in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) and Justin Faulk (37th overall) were both second-round picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Teuvo Teravainen (18th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Elias Lindholm (5th overall) and Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • Jack Eichel (2nd overall) and Noah Hanifin (5th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2015 NHL Draft. They also played together for the United States during the 2015 World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (96), Ristolainen (84), Gorges (63)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (59), Gorges (50), McCabe (39)
Shots: O’Reilly (81), Okposo (78), Ristolainen (72)

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

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-3; 104-108 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-5; 68-63 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)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Wins

Dan Bylsma … 1 win … 300 NHL wins
Games Played
Marcus Foligno … 2 games … 300 NHL games
Jack Eichel … 9 games … 100 NHL games
Cody Franson … 10 games … 500 NHL games
Points
Cody Franson … 6 points … 200 NHL points
Kyle Okposo … 9 points … 400 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

 

Game Preview: 12/17/16 at CAR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, December 16
NY Islanders 2 at Buffalo 3 (OT)
Goals: Larsson, Moulson, Ristolainen
Goalie: Lehner (33 saves/35 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 0/1; Shots: Buffalo 37 – NY Islanders 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 154)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 29 games
Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain, Nov. 3) – 20 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 17 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/13:
Placed D Taylor Fedun on IR (retroactive to 12/3)
12/17: Activated D Taylor Fedun from IR; Assigned Fedun to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Dec. 20:
Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 22: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 23: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 27: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 29: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at HURRICANES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Carolina 3-2 in Carolina on March 22
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Dec. 22 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 196th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina/Hartford; Buffalo has a 102-69-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-38-16 on the road against the Hurricanes/Whalers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-9-1 all-time on December 17.
  • December 17, 1978: Danny Gare scores seven seconds after the opening faceoff in a 6-3 win vs. Vancouver.
  • December 17, 1983: Adam Creighton gets his first NHL point in his NHL debut, assisting on the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win at Hartford.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 7-3-2 record in their last 12 games.
  • Buffalo was ranked third in the NHL in power play percentage (22.9%), sixth in team faceoff percentage (51.9%) and 10th in goals against per game (2.55) after last night’s game.
  • The Sabres are looking to extend their winning streak against the Hurricanes to five games for the first time since April 18 to Dec. 28, 2006.
  • Brian Gionta enters tonight’s game on a six-game point streak against the Hurricanes dating back to Feb. 8, 2014, and has seven points (3+4) in those games.
  • Matt Moulson has 19 points (6+13) in his last 17 games against the Hurricanes.
  • Kyle Okposo has tallied 12 points (5+7) in 12 career visits to Carolina.
  • Jack Eichel had three goals in three games against the Hurricanes last season, including two of his seven career game-winning goals.
  • Evander Kane had three points (1+2) in three games against Carolina last season.
  • Johan Larsson has three points (2+1) in three career games against the Hurricanes.

MR. 300
With a win tonight, Dan Bylsma would become the 47th head coach in NHL history to record 300 regular-season wins. Among coaches with at least 300 career wins, Bylsma would rank fourth with a 300-164-49 record (.633), trailing only Bruce Boudreau (.659), Scotty Bowman (.657) and Toe Blake (.634).

WHO’S HOT?

  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 13 points (2+11) in his last 11 games, including 12 (2+10) his last seven. He is currently on a career-best five-game point streak that has included two overtime goals.
  • Kyle Okposo has 12 points (4+8) in his last 11 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has eight points (3+5) in his last eight games.
  • Jack Eichel has 14 points (6+8) in his last 13 games dating back to last season, including eight points (5+3) in eight games in 2016-17.
  • Evander Kane has seven points (4+3) in his last eight games.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished last night’s game tied for 12th among all NHL skaters with 19 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 31.1 percent of his teammates’ goals*. After last night’s game, it was the fourth-highest such percentage in the league, trailing only Erik Karlsson (35.0%), Connor McDavid (33.8%) and Vladimir Tarasenko (31.4%).
    • This would rank as the second-highest percentage in franchise history, behind only Pat LaFontaine (33.7%) in 1992-93.
  • 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 the Sabres’ next 25 goals to fall behind this pace.

*Teammate goals are defined as total team goals minus the player’s goals and shootout-winners.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s fourth of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 3-2 overtime win vs. NY Islanders. The Sabres are 2-0-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 2-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (1), three points (1), two points (0), one point (1) and zero points (0).

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

  • Eichel: .63 G/GP (3rd), 1.00 PTS/GP (T-9th)
  • Foligno: 92 hits (T-7th)
  • Moulson: 7 PPG (T-2nd)
  • Okposo: 12 PPP (T-10th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:47 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 59.0 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 11 PPA (T-2nd), 26:39 TOI/GP (5th), 12 PPP (T-10th), 19 A (T-3rd, defensemen)

RETURN OF THE JACK

  • Jack Eichel returned to the Sabres‘ lineup on Nov. 29 at Ottawa after missing the team’s first 21 games with a high-ankle sprain. In his first eight games of the season, Eichel has recorded eight points (5+3).
  • The Sabres have a 5-2-1 record this season with Eichel in the lineup and have improved to 28-14-4 (.652) in Eichel’s career when he records a point and 11-3-1 (.767) when he has at least two.

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE

  • Buffalo’s goaltenders had the seventh-best combined save percentage* (.924) in the league after last night’s game. They also had the sixth-best save percentage during 5-on-5 play (.937).
  • The Sabres last finished a season with a combined save percentage* above .920 in the 2009-10 season (.924, Ryan Miller/Patrick Lalime/Jhonas Enroth) and have topped the team’s current mark only four times in franchise history: 1998-99 (.930, Dominik Hasek/Dwayne Roloson/Martin Biron), 1997-98 (.928, Hasek/Steve Shields), 1996-97 (.926, Hasek/Shields/Andrei Trefilov), 2009-10 (.924, Miller/Lalime/Enroth)

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (92), Ristolainen (82), Gorges (60)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (56), Gorges (47), McCabe (39)
Shots: O’Reilly (79), Okposo (76), Ristolainen (70)

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: 5-3-1 (11), 30/24, 8/30, 12/23

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-3; 104-108 all-time)
Oct. 18 at CGY: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)
Dec. 5 at WSH: L, 3-2 (GWG-Johansson)
Dec. 6 vs. EDM: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Dec. 16 vs. NYI: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ristolainen)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-3; 68-61 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)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Wins

Dan Bylsma … 1 win … 300 NHL wins
Games Played
Marcus Foligno … 4 games … 300 NHL games
Points
Cody Franson … 7 points … 200 NHL points
Kyle Okposo … 9 points … 400 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A