Tag Archives: Chicago Blackhawks

Game Preview: 3/17/18 vs. Chicago

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 15
Toronto 5 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Reinhart, Pominville
Goalie: Lehner (34 saves/38 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 2/5; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 40 – Toronto 39

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 253)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 27 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 17 games
Jack Eichel (high-ankle sprain, Feb. 11; injured reserve) – 15 games
Kyle Criscuolo (upper body, March 7) – 4 games
Seth Griffith (upper body, March 8) – 3 games
Kyle Okposo (concussion, March 10) – 2 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body, March 17) – 0 games|
Casey Nelson (lower body, March 17) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/11: Assigned F Justin Bailey and F Danny O’Regan to Rochester (AHL)
3/13: Recalled G Linus Ullmark from Rochester (AHL)
3/14: Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, March 19: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 21: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 24: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 26: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
BLACKHAWKS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 3-2 (OT) in Chicago on Dec. 8, 2017
  • The Sabres are 0-7-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 3-5-2 at home.
  • This is the 121st game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-51-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-18-8 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-10-3 all-time on March 17.
  • March 17, 1997: Donald Audette scores twice and Rob Ray fights Jeff Odgers to become the 30th player in NHL history to record 2,000 penalty minutes in his career during a 5-1 win at home against Boston.
  • March 17, 2001: Martin Biron makes 42 saves and Chris Gratton scores the game-winning goal in a 3-2 win at Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are looking to snap a 12-game winless streak (0-9-3) against the Blackhawks that includes a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) at home.
  • Buffalo’s last win against the Blackhawks was a 2-1 victory at home on Dec. 11, 2009. Their last road win in Chicago came on 10, 2007.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 26 points (11+15) in his last 26 games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 25 points (6+19) in his last 33 games dating back to Dec. 29. Ristolainen’s 25 points during that span tied for eighth among NHL defensemen entering play Friday.
  • Though he missed five games from March 2 to 10, Evan Rodrigues has totaled 11 points (4+8) in his last 12 games played and comes into today’s game with points in a career-best three straight appearances (2+3).
  • Scott Wilson has recorded a point in three of his last four games (1+2).

HOT AGAINST CHICAGO

  • Jason Pominville has 10 points (4+6) in his last 10 games against Chicago.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has five assists in his last six games against the Blackhawks.
  • Marco Scandella has more points against the Blackhawks than he does against any other NHL team, totaling 13 points (2+11) in 22 career matchups.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (7+12) in his last 21 games against the Blackhawks, including four points (2+2) in five games against Chicago since joining the Sabres.

HOT AT HOME

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 21 points (8+13) in 19 home games dating back to the team’s game on Dec. 22 vs. Philadelphia.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 13 points (5+8) in his last 13 home games.
  • Evan Rodrigues has posted eight points (2+6) in his last seven home games, including at least a point in each of his last three (1+4).
  • Jason Pominville has recorded five points (2+3) in his last five home games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied eight points (1+7) in his last 10 home games.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (1,092) and faceoff percentage (61.1%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 1,092 wins already rank as the most wins by a Sabre in a season.
  • O’Reilly’s 1,092 faceoff wins through 69 games played already rank 18th in NHL history and put him on pace to log the most by any NHL player in a season:
    • Ryan O’Reilly *pace* (BUF), 2017-18 1,282
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2005-06 – 1,268
    • Adam Oates (WSH), 1999-00 – 1,235
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2001-02 – 1,218
    • Joe Sakic (COL), 2000-01 – 1,214
  • At his current pace, O’Reilly would become just the third player ever to win at least 1,000 faceoffs in a season while maintaining a faceoff percentage of at least 59 percent, joining Rod Brind’Amour (five times) and Patrice Bergeron (two times).

*The NHL began keeping faceoff stats in the 1997-98 season.

DANGEROUS KILLERS

  • Buffalo entered play Wednesday tied for third in the league with nine shorthanded goals this season, the team’s highest total since the 2007-08 season (9).
  • Ryan O’Reilly’s four shorthanded assists tied for the league lead entering play Wednesday, and his four shorthanded points tied for third.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 3/16 games)

  • Girgensons: 2 SHG (T-9th)
  • O’Reilly: 1,092 FOW (1st), 61.1% FO% (1st), 1,787 FO (1st), 4 SHP (T-4th), 11 PPG (T-9th)
  • Pouliot: 2 SHG (T-9th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:35 TOI/GP (3rd)

BUF-CHI CONNECTIONS
Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.
  • Phil Housley spent most of two seasons with the Blackhawks and tallied 68 points (41+47) in 137 games for Chicago from 2001-2003.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Artem Anisimov for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2008 World Championship.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Jordan Oesterle for the Edmonton Oilers from 2014-2017.

NHL Draft:

  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) was taken three picks before Connor Murphy (20th overall) in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • The first round of the 2014 NHL Draft saw both Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Nick Schmaltz (20th overall) go off the board.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (178), Girgensons (124), McCabe (110)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (98), Ristolainen (95), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (201), O’Reilly (189), Reinhart (155)

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: 2-6-2 (6), 20/35, 5/28, 23/27
21-30: 2-6-2 (6), 18/31, 2/32, 24/32
31-40: 3-4-3 (9), 24/33, 3/25, 23/28
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 27/31, 10/33, 15/26
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 28/32, 6/24, 32/38
61-70: 5-4-1 (11), 24/31, 6/32, 20/25

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-10; 113-121 all-time)
Oct. 17 at VGK: L, 5-4 (GWG-Perron, 3:52)
Oct. 21 at BOS: W, 5-4 (GWG-O’Reilly, 2:59)
Nov. 11 at MTL: L, 2-1 (GWG-Pacioretty, 3:08)
Nov. 14 at PIT: L, 5-4 (GWG-Sheary, 0:16)
Dec. 8 at CHI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Forsling, 4:55)
Dec. 10 at STL: L, 3-2 (GWG-Tarasenko, 4:24)
Dec. 15 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (GWG-Slavin,2:15)
Dec. 27 at NYI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barzal, 1:08)
Dec. 29 at NJD: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen, 2:37)
Jan. 1 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Miller, 2:43)
Jan. 22 at CGY: W, 2-1 (GWG-Eichel, 1:30)
Feb. 6 vs. ANA: L, 4-3 (GWG-Henrique, 1:36)
Feb. 15 at OTT: L, 3-2 (GWG-Hoffman,1:13)
Feb. 22 at DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Scandella, 4:59)
Feb. 28 at TBL: W, 2-1 (GWG-Pominville, 1:26)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-2; 70-66 all-time)
Oct. 5 vs. MTL: L, 3-2 (GDG-Drouin)
March 8 at OTT: W, 4-3 (GDG-Josefson)
March 10 vs. VGK: L, 2-1 (GDG-Haula)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Jack Eichel … 3 games … 200 career games played
Assists
Jack Eichel … 4 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Zemgus Girgensons … 2 points … 100 career points
Jason Pominville … 10 points … 700 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 12/8/17 at CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 5
Buffalo 4 at Colorado 2
Goals: Pouliot, McCabe, Kane, Eichel
Goalie: Lehner (35 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 4/6; Shots: Colorado 37 – Buffalo 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 131)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Taylor Fedun (lower body, Nov. 17; injured reserve) – 11 games
Jacob Josefson (ankle, Nov. 28; injured reserve) – 4 games
Nathan Beaulieu (illness, Dec. 5) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/2: Recalled F Hudson Fasching from Rochester (AHL)
12/4: Acquired F Scott Wilson from Detroit in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft; Recalled F Evan Rodrigues from Rochester (AHL); Assigned F Kyle Criscuolo to Rochester; Placed F Matt Moulson on waivers
12/5: Assigned F Matt Moulson to Ontario (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Dec. 10: Buffalo at St. Louis, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 12: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 14: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 15: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 19: Boston at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BLACKHAWKS

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 5-1 in Buffalo on Feb. 19
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 17, 2018 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 0-8-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 120th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-51-15 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-33-7 on the road against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-5-4 all-time on December 8.
  • December 8, 1974: Gary Bromley needs just 14 saves in a 5-0 shutout victory against the Minnesota North Stars.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s second of a three-game Western Conference trip that began with a 4-2 win at Colorado on Tuesday. The trip will conclude with a meeting with the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap an 11-game winless streak (0-9-2) against the Blackhawks that includes a seven-game winless streak (0-6-1) in Chicago.
  • Buffalo’s last win against the Blackhawks was a 2-1 victory at home on Dec. 11, 2009. Their last road win in Chicago came on Jan. 10, 2007.

HOT AGAINST CHICAGO

  • Jason Pominville has nine points (3+6) in his last nine games against Chicago.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has five assists in his last five games against the Blackhawks.
  • Marco Scandella has an assist in each of his last four games against Chicago.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has four points (2+2) in four games against the Blackhawks since joining the Sabres.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
On Monday, the Sabres acquired forward Scott Wilson from the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Buffalo’s fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. Wilson skated 14:19 in his Sabres debut on Tuesday at Colorado.

  • Wilson totaled 26 points (8+18) in his first full NHL season in 2016-17 and appeared in 20 playoff games with the Penguins in 2017, helping the team to its second consecutive Stanley Cup win.
  • Prior to joining Pittsburgh full-time for the 2016-17 season, Wilson totaled 77 points (41+36) in 90 regular-season AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. He led the league with 22 goals at the time of his last recall to Pittsburgh in February 2016.

RETURN OF E-ROD
The Sabres recalled Evan Rodrigues from Rochester on Monday. He logged 14:33 in his NHL season debut at Colorado on Tuesday.

  • Since returning from a hand injury that sidelined him for the first six weeks of the season, Rodrigues leads all Amerks skaters with 1.25 points per game (5+5 in eight games) this season, doubling his rate from the 2016-17 AHL season.
  • Rodrigues tallied six points (4+2) in 30 games with the Sabres last season.

THE KANE EVENT
Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Evander Kane has scored 41 goals in 98 games. Entering play Thursday, those 41 goals tied for 20th in the league during that span and his 34 even-strength goals tied for ninth.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/7 games)

  • Eichel: 2 SHP (T-4th)
  • Kane: 3 SHG (T-1st), 3 SHP (T-1st), 126 S (2nd)
  • O’Reilly: 424 FOW (1st), 61.2% FO% (1st), 693 FO (2nd), 2 SHP (T-4th)
  • Ristolainen: 27:00 TOI/GP (2nd)

BUF-CHI CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Cody Franson played two seasons for the Sabres from 2015-2017, recording 36 points (7+29) in 127 games.

Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.
  • Phil Housley spent most of two seasons with the Blackhawks and tallied 68 points (41+47) in 137 games for Chicago from 2001-2003.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Ryan Hartman at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with John Hayden and Nick Schmaltz for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship.
  • He and Brandon Saad were teammates for Team North America at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Hudson Fasching:

  • Represented the United States alongside Ryan Hartman at the 2014 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with John Hayden and Nick Schmaltz for Team USA at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Artem Anisimov for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.
  • Played with Lance Bouma for the Calgary Flames during the 2016-17 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Teammates with Lance Bouma for the Vancouver Giants (WHL) from 2006-2009.
  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Tommy Wingels at the 2014 World Championship

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2008 World Championship.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Played with Richard Panik for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2012-13 season.
  • Teammates with Jordan Oesterle for the Edmonton Oilers from 2014-2017.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) was taken four picks after Jonathan Toews (3rd overall) in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Richard Panik (52nd overall) were all selected in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) was taken three picks before Connor Murphy (20th overall) in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Ryan Hartman (30th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.
  • The first round of the 2014 NHL Draft saw both Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Nick Schmaltz (20th overall) go off the board.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (55), McCabe (52), Kane (52)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (44), Scandella (40), Ristolainen (32)
Shots: Kane (126), Eichel (89), O’Reilly (72)

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: 2-6-2 (6), 20/35, 5/28, 23/27
21-30: 2-6-0 (4), 14/25, 0/25, 18/25

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 … 4 home wins … 1,000 regular-season home wins
Games Played
Ryan O’Reilly … 2 games … 600 career games played
Sam Reinhart … 5 games … 200 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 games … 300 career games played
Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Marco Scandella … 6 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Marco Scandella … 400th NHL game … Dec. 2 at PIT

Post-Game Report: 2/19 vs. CHI

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Blackhawks
(36-18-5)
1 2 2 5 37
Sabres
(26-24-10)
1 0 0 1 26

Game Summary

Event Summary

Top Notes

  • Tonight’s loss dropped the Sabres to 12-7-2 against the Western Conference and 4-6-1 in the second game of a back-to-back set this season.
  • With his goal, Evander Kane has 15 points (9+6) in his last 14 games.
    • The goal tied Kane for fifth in the NHL with 20 even-strength goals this season.
  •  Jack Eichel’s assist gives him 18 points (5+13) in his last 18 games and 19 points (7+12) in 20 home games this season.
    • Eichel leads all NHL players with 11 assists in February.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen’s assist gives him points in seven straight home games (1+6).

Tonight’s Goaltenders

Tonight’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision SV% GAA
Blackhawks
Darling W .960 1.01
Sabres Lehner L .865 5.00

 

Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Blackhawks Darling 24-13-7 .928 2.19
Sabres Lehner 17-17-6 .925 2.54

Post-Game Audio

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma

Sabres forward Evander Kane

Sabres forward Jack Eichel

Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner

Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville

Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane

Blackhawks forward Ryan Hartman

Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling

Game Preview: 2/19/17 vs. CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, February 18
St. Louis 2 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Baptiste, Kane, O’Reilly
Goalie: Lehner (37 saves/39 shots)
PP: 1/6; PK: 3/3; Shots: St. Louis 39 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 291)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 59 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 23 games
William Carrier (knee, Feb.4; injured reserve) – 9 games
Zemgus Girgensons (middle body, Feb. 9; injured reserve) – 6 games
Derek Grant (shoulder, Feb. 18; injured reserve) – 1 game
Sam Reinhart (illness, Feb. 18) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/12:
Activated D Zach Bogosian from IR; Placed F Zemgus Girgensons on IR
2/18: Recalled F Nicholas Baptiste from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Derek Grant on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 25:
Buffalo at Colorado, 10 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 26: Buffalo at Arizona, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 28: Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 2: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 4: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
BLACKHAWKS AT SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 4-3 (OT) in Chicago on Jan. 5.
  • The Sabres are 0-8-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks, 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 119th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-50-15 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-17-8 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-8-2 all-time on February 19.
  • February 19, 1984: Bill Hajt scores the 4,000th goal in franchise history.
  • February 19, 1991: Christian Ruuttu scores the 6,000th goal in franchise history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With wins in their last three games, the Sabres are looking for their first four-game winning streak since Dec. 9 to 15, 2014.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap a 10-game winless streak (0-8-2) against the Blackhawks that includes a four-game losing streak at home. Their last win against the Blackhawks was a 2-1 victory in Buffalo on Dec. 11, 2009.
  • With at least a point tonight, Buffalo would have points in consecutive games against Chicago for the first time since the team went unbeaten in four straight from Dec. 13, 2002 to Dec. 15, 2007 (3-0-1).
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 19 points (7+12) in his last 19 games against the Blackhawks, including at least a point in each of his three games against Chicago as a member of the Sabres.
  • Marcus Foligno has three goals in his last three games against Chicago.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has four assists in his last four games against the Blackhawks.
  • Robin stopped 37 of 39 shots (.949) in his only career start against Chicago on March 2, 2012.
  • If he dresses, Nicolas Deslauriers will appear in his 200th NHL game.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 20 points (6+14) in his last 22 games.
  • Jack Eichel has logged 17 points (5+12) in his last 17 games, including six multi-point outings. The Sabres are 10-0-0 this season (and 19-3-0 in his career) when he has at least two points.
  • Evander Kane has 14 points (8+6) in his last 13 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (2+4) in his last six games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has a point in seven of his last nine games (1+6), including points in each of his last four.

HOME COOKIN’

  • Ryan O’Reilly has 18 points (6+12) in his last 16 home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 home games.
  • Jack Eichel has 18 points (7+11) in 19 home games this season, including six multi-point outings.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (1+5) enters today’s game on a six-game home point streak.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON

  • Today is the Sabres’ sixth game in a stretch of eight straight home games against the Western Conference.
  • Buffalo is 14-3-3 in its last 20 home games against Western Conference opponents and 12-6-2 in all games against the West this season.
  • The Sabres are 12-5-3 in their last 20 games against the Central Division, including a 6-1-2 record in home games.
  • A win today would give Buffalo wins in five straight home games against Central/Norris Division opponents for the first time since the team won five straight against the Norris Division from Dec. 31, 1986 to March 22, 1987.

THEY’VE GOT THE POWER

  • The Sabres finished yesterday’s game ranked second in the league with a 23.0% success rate on the power play.
  • Buffalo has not finished a season ranked in the top five in power play percentage since the 2005-06 season (third, 21.2%).
  • The team’s current power-play percentage would rank as the sixth-best conversion rate in franchise history and the best since the team’s 23.6% mark in 1984-85. It would be the 40th-best season by any team since the league began publishing the stat in 1987-88.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 11th of a league-high 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-2 win last night vs. St. Louis. The Sabres are 6-3-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-5-1 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 (3), one point (1) and zero points (2).

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 20 goals this season in his last 35 games, including a team-high 19 even-strength goals. Since Dec. 1, he is ranked second among all NHL skaters in goals (20), leads the league in even-strength goals (19) and ranks second in shots on goal (135).

*All rankings as of conclusion of yesterday’s game

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)

.34 (28)

.22 (18)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.50 (41)

.41 (34)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.84 (69)

.64 (52)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.0 (330)

2.3 (185)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
finished yesterday’s game tied for 24th among all NHL skaters with 31 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 22.0 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 15 goals to fall below 20 percent.

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.0% PP% (2nd)
  • Eichel: 4.0 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 204 hits (3rd)
  • Lehner: .926 SV% (4th), .935 EV SV% (4th)
  • Nilsson: .934 EV SV% (6th), .922 SV% (8th)
  • Okposo: 20 PPP (T-8th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:43 TOI/GP (1st, forwards), 58.0 FO% (7th)
  • Ristolainen: 18 PPA (T-1st), 27:02 TOI (4th), 20 PPP (T-8th), 31 A (T-5th, defensemen)

BUF-CHI Connections
Former Sabres:

  • Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Draft, Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a Sabre, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games. Campbell was selected as an NHL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.

Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Toews at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Teammates with Richard Panik for the Toronto Maple Leafs for part of the 2014-15 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Brian Campbell for the Florida Panthers from 2011-2016.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Dennis Rasmussen for Team Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (204), Ristolainen (151), Gorges (99)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (134), McCabe (81), Gorges (78)
Shots: Kane (160), Eichel (153), Okposo (141)

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: 6-3-0 (12), 25/20, 6/21, 21/27

OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 108-110 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)
Jan. 20 vs. DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Okposo)
Jan. 21 at MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Bogosian)
Jan. 24 at NSH: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel)

Feb. 2 vs. NYR: L, 2-1 (GWG-Kreider)
Feb. 7 vs. SJS: W, 5-4 (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

Nicolas Deslauriers … 1 game … 200 NHL games
Tyler Ennis … 4 games … 400 NHL games
Dmitry Kulikov … 7 games … 500 NHL games
Goals
Tyler Ennis … 4 goals … 100 NHL goals
Assists
Brian Gionta … 6 assists … 300 NHL assists

RECENT MILESTONES
Rasmus Ristolainen … 100th NHL point … Feb. 18 vs. STL
Nicholas Baptiste … 1st NHL assist … Feb. 18 vs. STL

Game Preview: 1/5/17 at CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 3
Buffalo 4 at NY Rangers 1
Goals: Girgensons, Kane, Bailey, Eichel
Goalie: Nilsson (24 saves/25 shots)
PP: 1/5; PK: 1/1; Shots: NY Rangers 25 – Buffalo 19

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 183)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 37 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 25 games
Ryan O’Reilly (appendix, Dec. 27; injured reserve) – 4 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Dec. 29) – 3 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3) – 1 game
Josh Gorges (hip, Jan. 3) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/30:
Recalled F Justin Bailey from Rochester (AHL)
1/3: Recalled F Taylor Fedun from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Ryan O’Reilly on IR (retroactive to 12/25)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Jan. 7:
Winnipeg at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 10: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 12: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 13: Buffalo at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 16: Dallas at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BLACKHAWKS

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo 3-1, in Chicago on Jan. 8, 2016
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Feb. 19 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 1-8-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 3-7-0 on the road
  • This is the 118th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-50-14 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-33-6 on the road against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-2 all-time on January 5.
  • January 5, 1996: The Sabres retire Tim Horton’s No. 2 jersey before a 3-1 home win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Blackhawks since Dec. 11, 2009 and are in the midst of their first nine-game winless streak against Chicago (0-8-1) since the team went 0-8-1 in the first nine meetings between the clubs from Oct. 25, 1970 to Dec. 15, 1971. The Sabres snapped that streak in the next meeting between the clubs, a 2-1 victory in Chicago on Feb. 23, 1972.
  • Buffalo is looking for its first win in Chicago since Jan. 10, 2007; the six-game losing streak in Chicago is the longest such streak in franchise history.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has 17 points (7+10) in his last 18 games against Chicago, including 10 points (6+4) in his last 10 games.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 16 points (3+13) his last 16 games.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded eight points (2+6) in his last seven games.
  • Jack Eichel enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak, having tallied five points (2+3) in those games.
  • Kyle Okposo is currently on a three-game point streak (2+1).
  • Evander Kane has 12 points (9+3) in his last 15 games, including six points (5+1) in seven road games during that stretch.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Wednesday tied for 18th among all NHL skaters with 22 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 28.6 percent of his teammates’ goals*. Entering play Wednesday, it was the fourth-highest such percentage in the league, trailing only Connor McDavid (31.2%), Erik Karlsson (30.9%) and Tyler Seguin (29.8%).
    • 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 21 goals to fall behind Housley’s pace.

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

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before Jan. 4 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 21.5% PP% (7th), 51.1% FO% (9th)
  • Foligno: 112 hits (10th)
  • Moulson: 7 PPG (T-7th)
  • Nilsson: .946 EV SV% (3rd), .928 SV% (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:31 TOI/GP (3rd, forwards), 57.0 FO% (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 13 PPA (3rd), 26:42 TOI (5th), 14 PPP (T-3rd, defensemen), 22 A (5th, defensemen), 25 PTS (T-5th, defensemen)

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE
Buffalo’s goaltenders entered play Wednesday with the sixth-best combined save percentage* (.923) in the league. They also had the sixth-best save percentage during 5-on-5 play (.934).

  • 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-CHI CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Draft, Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a Sabre, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games. Campbell was selected as an NHL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.

Former Blackhawks:

  • Andrew Allen served as the developmental goaltending coach in the Blackhawks’ organization from 2012-2015.

Local Players:

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Vinnie Hinostroza at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Cody Franson:

  • Represented Canada alongside Jonathan Toews at the 2007 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Jordin Tootoo for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2011.
  • Teammates with Richard Panik for the Toronto Maple Leafs for part of the 2014-15 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season for the WHL’s Kelowna Rockets.
  • Represented Canada alongside Brent Seabrook at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Brian Campbell for the Florida Panthers from 2011-2016.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Dennis Rasmussen for Team Sweden at the 2010 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Represented the United States alongside Patrick Kane at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Duncan Keith for Team Canada at the 2012 World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (112), Ristolainen (105), Carrier (75)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (70), Gorges (59), McCabe (49)
Shots: Okposo (95), O’Reilly (85), Reinhart/Ristolainen (81)

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: 2-4-1 (5), 16/23, 4/25, 16/21

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)
Games Played

Jack Eichel … 3 games … 100 NHL games
Zach Bogosian … 5 games … 500 NHL games
Justin Falk … 7 games … 200 NHL games
Cody Franson … 7 games … 500 NHL games
Matt Moulson … 8 games … 600 NHL games
Points
Cody Franson … 6 points … 200 NHL points
Kyle Okposo … 7 points … 400 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Dan Bylsma … 300th NHL win … Dec. 27 at DET
Justin Bailey … 1st NHL point (goal) … Jan. 3 at NYR