Tag Archives: New Jersey Devils

Game Preview: 3/16/21 at New Jersey

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, March 15
Washington 6 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (24 saves/30 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/2; Shots: Washington 30 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 101)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 27 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 13 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 13 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, Feb. 27; injured reserve) – 10 games
Jack Eichel (upper body; March 9) – 4 games
Dylan Cozens (upper body; March 13) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/13: Recalled D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad; Loaned D Henri Jokiharju to the taxi squad
3/15: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Loaned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
3/16: Recalled D Brandon Davidson and D Henri Jokiharju from the taxi squad; Loaned F Rasmus Asplund and D Jacob Bryson to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, March 18: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 20: Boston at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, March 22: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 24: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
Thursday, March 25: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at DEVILS

  • This is the sixth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 4-3 (SO) in Buffalo on Feb. 25
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 6 in New Jersey
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 165th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has an 81-56-27 series record.
  • The Sabres are 37-28-15 at on the road against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-7 all-time on March 16.
  • March 16, 1975: Gilbert Perreault scores three goals and assists on three more as the Sabres defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 11-3 on the road.
  • March 16, 1989: The Sabres get a goal from six different scorers (Andreychuk, Arniel, Foligno, Hogue, Krupp, Turgeon) in a 6-1 win at Hartford.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Buffalo has won back-to-back road games against New Jersey for the first time since Oct 23 and Nov. 10, 2010. With a win tonight, the Sabres will have wins in three straight trips to New Jersey for the first time since Nov. 3, 2008 to Oct, 28, 2009.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in each of their five games against the Devils this season. Their seven power-play goals against New Jersey are the most against any opponent this season.
  • Buffalo has scored at least three goals in each of its five games against New Jersey this season. Their 16 goals against the Devils is the Sabres’ highest total against any team this season.
  • The home team had won six straight games between these teams before the road team won the four most recent games in the series

HOT AGAINST THE DEVILS

  • Six different Sabres have played at a point-per-game pace through the first five meetings of the season between these teams: Rasmus Dahlin (1+4, 5 GP), Jack Eichel (0+4, 4 GP), Taylor Hall (0+5, 5 GP), Victor Olofsson (2+3, 5 GP), Sam Reinhart (3+2, 3 GP) and Rasmus Ristolainen (1+1, 2 GP).
  • Reinhart has recorded nine points (7+2) and 22 shots in his last seven games against New Jersey, scoring at least one goal in five of those contests.
  • Dahlin has totaled 10 points (1+9) in nine career games against New Jersey.
  • Hall has posted 12 points (3+9) in 12 career games against the Devils.
  • Olofsson has recorded nine points (5+4) in seven career games against the Devils.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s eighth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 6-0 loss last night vs. Washington. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-6-0 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 (0) and zero points (4).

POWER UP

  • Following their game Monday, Buffalo ranked sixth in the NHL with a 26.8 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • After Monday’s game, the Sabres tied the Nashville Predators and trailed only the Carolina Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning (11) for the NHL lead with 10 different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson tied for seventh in the league with six power-play goals at the conclusion of Monday’s game. His 19 career power-play tallies trail only Leon Draisaitl (25), David Pastrnak (24), and Auston Matthews (21) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Following Monday’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:40 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-10 (77 drawn/67 taken), the Sabres are seventh in the league in penalty differential this season.
  • Buffalo has been assessed 67 penalties this season. Following their game Monday, it marked the fewest in the league and was 14 penalties fewer than the next closest teams, the New York Islanders and Vegas Golden Knights.

STAAL-TIME LEADERS

  • Eric Staal scored his 439th career goal on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to pass Gary Roberts and improve to 68th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. His next goal will tie Rick Tocchet for 67th.
  • Among active players, Staal’s total of 439 career regular-season goals trails only Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, and Sidney Crosby.
  • With 1,031 career points, Staal has recorded the 80th-most points in NHL history and trails Alexander Mogilny by one point for 79th.

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on March. 4 at the NY Islanders, Rasmus Ristolainen moved into a tie with Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld for the eighth-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Richard Smehlik by two goals for seventh-most.
  • Ristolainen’s first assist on Jan. 24 at Washington moved him past Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman. He currently trails Bill Hajt by nine points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen holds the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (T-11th), .37 A/GP (T-12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

BUF-NJD CONNECTIONS

  • Devils defenseman Dmitry Kulikov spent the 2016-17 season with the Sabres, recording five points (2+3) in 47 games.
  • Devils Head Coach Lindy Ruff played for the Sabres for 10 seasons (1979-80 to 1988-89) after being drafted by the team in the second round (32nd overall) of the 1979 NHL Draft. Ruff recorded 285 points (102+183) in 608 games as a defenseman and served as the team’s captain his final three years with the club. He would return to Buffalo to serve as the team’s head coach for the 1997-98 season, holding that role until 2013. As the team’s coach, Ruff amassed a 571-432-162 record and won the Jack Adams Award at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season as the league’s top coach. His 571 regular-season wins and 101 playoff wins as a head coach both remain the most in franchise history.
  • Devils assistant coach Chris Taylor spent 15 years with the Sabres organization as both a player and a coach. As a player, Taylor split time between Buffalo and Rochester from 1999-2000 to 2005-06 before joining the Americans again from 2009-2011. He served as a development coach and then assistant coach from 2011-12 to 2015-16 before returning to be the team’s head coach from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
  • Sabres forward Taylor Hall played for the Devils for parts of four seasons from 2016-17 to 2019-20. Hall totaled 208 points (76+132) in 211 games with the team and won the Hart Memorial Trophy at the conclusion of the 2017-18 season.
  • Devils forward Miles Wood was born in Buffalo and is the son of former Sabre Randy Wood.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal with Devils defenseman Ryan Murray for Team Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Taylor Hall, Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner all played for Team Canada with Devils defenseman K. Subban at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Henri Jokiharju and Devils forward Janne Kuokkanen both played for Finland’s team at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forwards Curtis Lazar and Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship with Devils goaltender Eric Comrie.
  • Sabres forward Kyle Okposo and Devils forward Kyle Palmieri both played for the United States National Team at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and defenseman Brandon Montour and Devils defenseman Damon Severson and goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood were all on Canada’s silver-medal-winning roster at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Devils defenseman Sami Vatanen both played for Finland’s national team at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Devils forward Travis Zajac played for Team Canada together at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Devils defenseman Ryan Murray were both on Canada’s roster at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Devils goaltender Eric Comrie won a silver medal together while playing for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Tage Thompson and Devils defenseman Will Butcher won a bronze medal together while representing the United States at the 2018 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings following Monday’s game)

  • Buffalo Sabres:8% PP% (6th), 51.6% FOW% (10th)
  • Olofsson: 6 PPG (T-7th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (80), Lazar (53), Miller (51)
Blocked Shots: Montour (36), Irwin (27), Dahlin/Miller (23)
Shots: Hall (71), Eichel (61), Olofsson (59)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 4-4-2 (10), 30/32, 12/39, 19/23
11-20: 2-7-1 (5), 16/28, 7/23, 18/23
21-30: 0-7-0 (0), 12/33, 0/9, 12/15

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-2; 126-136 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lafrenière, 2:47)|
Feb. 25 vs. NJD: L, 4-3 (GWG-Zacha, 1;17)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-2; 79-73 all-time)
Jan. 22 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Carlson)
Jan. 24 at WSH: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)
Jan. 30 vs. NJD: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)
March 9 at PHI: L 5-4 (GDG-Couturier)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals

Assists
Colin Miller … 10 assists … 100 career assists
Eric Staal … 8 assists … 600 career assists

Points
Brandon Montour … 4 points … 100 career points
Rasmus Dahlin … 5 points … 100 career points

Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Riley Sheahan … 100 career assists … March 11 vs. Pittsburgh

Postgame Report: 2/25 vs. New Jersey

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Devils
(7-6-2)
0 1 2 1 4 40
Sabres
(6-8-3)
1 1 1 0 3 32

Game Summary

Event Summary

 

Top Notes

  • With the loss, the Sabres fell to 5-1-1 in their last seven contests against the Devils, including a 3-1-1 record this season.
    • The home team had won six straight games between these teams before the road team won the four most recent games in the series.
  • Tonight’s game wrapped up Buffalo’s first of two home-and-home sets this season (both against the Devils) after a 4-1 win on Tuesday in New Jersey.
  • The Sabres have now scored at least one power-play goal in 11 of their last 12 games, going 16-for-38 (42.1%) during that stretch. They lead the league with a 34.6 percent conversion rate this season.
  • With his first goal of the season, Casey Mittelstadt became the 10th member of the Sabres to score a power-play goal in 2020-21. The Sabres’ 10 power-play scorers tie the Chicago Blackhawks for most in the NHL this season.
  • Eric Staal recorded his 1,029th NHL point with an assist on Mittelstadt’s goal, tying Alex Kovalev for 80th-most in NHL history.
  • Sam Reinhart’s third-period, power-play goal sent the game to overtime and extended his point streak to five games (4+3).
    • Reinhart now has nine points (7+2) and 22 shots in his last six games against New Jersey, scoring at least one goal in five of those contests.
  • Rasmus Dahlin led the Sabres with 21:39 of ice time and recorded an assist to extend his point streak to four games (0+4).

 

Tonight’s Goaltenders

Tonight’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision GA SA
Devils Blackwood W 3 32
Sabres Ullmark
Hutton
ND
O
0
4
15
25
Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Devils Blackwood 5-2-1 .932 2.34
Sabres Ullmark
Hutton
5-4-2
1-4-1
.919
.889
2.44
3.24

 

Game Preview: 2/25/21 vs. New Jersey

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 23
Buffalo 4 at New Jersey 1
Goals: Olofsson, Asplund, Cozens, Eakin
Goalie: Ullmark (41 saves/42 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: New Jersey 42 – Buffalo 37

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 48)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 16 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (COVID-19, Feb. 15) – 6 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 2 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 2 games
Tobias Rieder (upper body, Feb. 23) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/21: Reassigned D Jacob Bryson and D Casey Fitzgerald from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/22: Recalled F Casey Mittelstadt and D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad
2/23: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund and D Jacob Bryson from the taxi squad; Reassigned D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad; Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/24: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 27: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 28: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 4: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 6: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
DEVILS at SABRES

  • This is the fifth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New Jersey 4-1 in New Jersey on Feb. 23
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, March 16 in New Jersey
  • The Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 164th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has an 81-56-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 44-28-11 at home against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-9-3 all-time on February 25.
  • February 25, 1978: The Sabres and Cleveland Barons combine for 16 goals as the Sabres pick up a 13-3 road victory. Danny Gare tallies five points (3+2) and Andre Savard, Jerry Korab and Gary McAdam each score two goals in the game.
  • February 25, 1998: Dominik Hasek makes 33 saves in his return from Olympic action and Geoff Sanderson scores just 1:22 into his Sabres debut as the Sabres battle to a 2-2 tie at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 5-1-0 in their last six games against the Devils, outscoring New Jersey 28-14 in those contests.
  • The home team had won six straight games between these teams before the road team won the three most recent games in the series.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have five wins in their last six home games against the Devils. It would be first time they will have won five of six home games against the franchise since they went 5-0-1 from their last home game against the Colorado Rockies through the first five visits by the newly relocated New Jersey Devils from Feb. 21, 1982 to March 9, 1986.
  • The Sabres’ special teams are plus-8 this season, with 17 goals for and nine goals against. Entering play Wednesday, they were tied for the third-best differential in the league.

HOT AGAINST NEW JERSEY

  • Seven different Sabres have played at a point-per-game pace through the first four meetings of the season between these teams: Rasmus Asplund (1+0, 1 GP), Rasmus Dahlin (1+3, 4 GP), Jack Eichel (0+4, 4 GP), Taylor Hall (0+4, 4 GP), Victor Olofsson (2+2, 4 GP), Sam Reinhart (2+2, 2 GP) and Rasmus Ristolainen (1+1, 2 GP).
  • Reinhart has recorded eight points (6+2) and 19 shots in his last six games against New Jersey, scoring at least one goal in four of those contests.
  • Eichel has recorded 16 points (6+10) in his 15 career games against the Devils.
  • Dahlin has totaled nine points (1+8) in eight career games against New Jersey.
  • Hall has posted 11 points (3+8) in 11 career games against the Devils.
  • Olofsson has recorded eight points (5+3) in six career games against the Devils.

LAST TIME OUT

  • The Sabres and Devils met in New Jersey two nights ago, with Buffalo earning a 4-1 win to improve to 3-1-0 this season against New Jersey.
  • The teams combined for 79 shots on goal, tying as the highest total in a Sabres game this season. It was the third-most shots ever recorded in the 163 regular-season games between the Sabres and Devils franchises, and the most since the teams totaled 82 shots on Jan. 15, 1992.
  • The 74 saves made by Linus Ullmark (41) and Mackenzie Blackwood (33) tied the total made by Dominik Hasek (37) and Martin Brodeur (37) in a 0-0 tie on Dec. 23, 1996 as the second-most combined saves in the history of the series during the regular season. The record of 77 was set by Denis Herron (50), Roger Crozier (16) and Gary Bromley (11) in Buffalo’s 8-1 win over the Kansas City Scouts on Feb. 2, 1975.
  • With the win, Ullmark improved to 10-3-3 in his career when facing at least 40 shots, including two wins against the Devils.
  • Sam Reinhart recorded two assists to extend his point streak to four games (3+3). The Sabres are now 44-7-9 (.808) in Reinhart’s career when he records at least two points.
  • Rasmus Dahlin led the Sabres with 23:31 of ice time and recorded an assist to extend his point streak to three games (0+3).
  • Jacob Bryson made his NHL debut, skating 17:59 and recording a plus-2 rating.
  • Cody Eakin scored into the empty net at 19:59 of the third period to notch his first goal as a member of the Sabres.

HOME-AND-HOME

  • Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s first of two home-and-home sets this season (both against the Devils) after a 4-1 win on Tuesday in New Jersey.
  • The Sabres have played in 167 previous home-and-home series in franchise history, going 94-50-23 (.632) in the home games and 57-80-30 (.431) in the road games in previous series.
  • The team is 72-66-29 (.518) all-time in the first game of these previous series and 79-64-24 (.545) in the second.
  • Buffalo’s points breakdown in these previous series is as follows: four points (32), three points (25), two points (67), one point (17), zero points (26).
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have their first home-and-home sweep since winning both games against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 19 and 22, 2019.

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres ranked third in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 53.8 percent.
  • The Sabres joined Anaheim, Nashville and NY Islanders as the only teams whose top four faceoff takers (Jack Eichel, Eric Staal, Cody Eakin and Riley Sheahan) all had a faceoff percentage of at least 50 percent entering play Wednesday. All four Sabres are currently on pace for career-high faceoff percentages.
  • Eichel ranked eighth in in the NHL in faceoffs taken per game (19.5) and 12th in faceoffs won per game (9.9) entering play Wednesday.
  • Entering play Wednesday, Sheahan ranked sixth among all players with at least 50 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 60.2 percent (59-for-98).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo entered play Wednesday tied for the NHL lead with a 33.3 percent conversion rate on the power play.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in 10 of their last 11 games, going 14-for-34 (41.2%) during that stretch.
  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres trailed only Chicago (10) for the NHL lead with nine different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson entered play Wednesday tied for third in the league with six power-play goals and ranked third with 12 power-play points. His 19 career power-play tallies trailed only David Pastrnak (23), Leon Draisaitl (21) and Auston Matthews (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 4:56 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-16 (54 drawn/38 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen a positive trend at even strength through the team’s first 16 games of the season. So far, Buffalo’s 5-on-5 numbers have improved on the team’s per-60 rates from last season in several meaningful categories, including shot differential, shot attempt differential, scoring chance differential, high-danger scoring chance differential and expected goal differential.

Buffalo Sabres at 5-on-5 (via NaturalStatTrick.com as of 2/24)
SF% CF% SCF% HDCF% xGF%
2019-20 48.13 (23rd) 49.13 (19th) 48.73 (20th) 48.19 (25th) 47.56 (25th)
2020-21 49.87 (15th) 50.19 (15th) 50.17 (15th) 53.91 (7th) 51.64 (13th)

 BRICK WALL

  • Linus Ullmark stopped all three shooters in Buffalo’s last shootout on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to improve to 2-1 with nine saves on 10 attempts this season.
  • Ullmark is 6-3 in shootouts in his career with 30 saves on 35 career shots faced (.857). His six career shootout wins rank him third in franchise history behind Ryan Miller (49) and Jhonas Enroth (10).
  • Entering play Wednesday, Ullmark’s shootout save percentage of .857 ranked second all-time among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 shots faced and first among active NHL goalies.

STAAL-TIME LEADERS

  • Eric Staal scored his 439th career goal on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to pass Gary Roberts and improve to 68th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. His next goal will tie Rick Tocchet for 67th.
  • Among active players, Staal’s total of 439 career regular-season goals trails only Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, and Sidney Crosby.
  • With 1,028 career points, Staal is currently tied with Brian Leetch for 81st-most points in NHL history and trails Alex Kovalev by one point for 80th.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He currently trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on Jan. 15 vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by one goal for eighth-most.
  • Ristolainen’s first assist on Jan. 24 at Washington moved him past Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman. He currently trails Bill Hajt by 11 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen holds the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (14th), .38 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/24 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 33.3% PP% (T-1st), 53.8% FOW% (3rd)
  • Olofsson: 12 PPP (3rd), 6 PPG (T-3rd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (35), Lazar (33), Miller (31)
Blocked Shots: Miller (17), Montour (16), McCabe (15)
Shots: Eichel (50), Olofsson (45), Dahlin (44)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 4-4-2 (10), 30/32, 12/39, 19/23
11-20: 2-4-0 (4), 11/15, 5/12, 8/12

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 126-135 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GDG-Lafrenière, 2:47)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-1; 79-72 all-time)
Jan. 22 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Carlson)
Jan. 24 at WSH: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)
Jan. 30 vs. NJD: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Curtis Lazar … 2 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Cody Eakin … 600th NHL game … Feb. 20 at NJD
Jacob Bryson … 1st NHL game … Feb 23 at NJD

Game Preview: 2/23/21 at New Jersey

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, February 22
Buffalo 2 at NY Islanders 3
Goals: Lazar, Reinhart
Goalie: Ullmark (20 saves/23 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/2; Shots: Buffalo 36 – NY Islanders 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 43)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 15 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (COVID-19, Feb. 15) – 5 games
William Borgen (upper body, Feb. 22) – 1 game
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/17: Loaned F Rasmus Asplund and D William Borgen to the taxi squad; Reassigned F Steven Fogarty, F Andrew Oglevie, F C.J. Smith and D Jacob Bryson to Rochester (AHL)
2/18: Recalled D William Borgen from the taxi squad; loaned F Casey Mittelstadt to the taxi squad
2/21: Reassigned D Jacob Bryson and D Casey Fitzgerald from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/22: Recalled F Casey Mittelstadt and D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, Feb. 25: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 27: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 28: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 4: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at DEVILS

  • This is the fourth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New Jersey 3-2 in New Jersey on Feb. 20
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 25 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 3-5-2 on the road.
  • This is the 163rd game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has an 80-56-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-28-15 on the road against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 15-6-0 all-time on February 23.
  • February 23, 2011: The Sabres defeat the Atlanta Thrashers 4-1 in the team’s first game under the ownership of the Pegulas, a day after Terry and Kim Pegula announced their purchase of the team. All three members of the French Connection surprise Terry on the ice in a pre-game ceremony.
  • February 23, 2019: Sam Reinhart records his third career hat trick as the Sabres top the Washington Capitals by a score of 5-2.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 4-1-0 in their last five games against the Devils, outscoring New Jersey 24-13 in those contests. It’s the first time the Sabres have won at least four out of five games against the Devils since Buffalo won six straight matchups from Feb. 21, 2000 to Feb. 22, 2001.
  • The home team had won six straight games between these teams before each team won on the road in the two most recent games in the series. With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in consecutive visits to New Jersey for the first time since Oct. 23 and Nov. 10, 2010.
  • The Sabres’ special teams are plus-7 this season, with 16 goals for and nine goals against. Following last night’s game, they were tied for the third-best differential in the league.

HOT AGAINST NEW JERSEY

  • Sam Reinhart has scored six goals and recorded 17 shots in his last five games against New Jersey, scoring at least a goal in four of those contests.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 15 points (6+9) in his 14 career games against the Devils.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled eight points (1+7) in seven career games against New Jersey.
  • Taylor Hall has posted 10 points (3+7) in 10 career games against the Devils.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded seven points (4+3) in five career games against the Devils.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s fifth of 12 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 3-2 loss last night at NY Islanders. The Sabres are 2-3-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 0-4-0 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 (2), one point (0) and zero points (2).

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Following last night’s game, the Sabres ranked second in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 54.0 percent.
  • The Sabres joined Nashville and NY Islanders as the only teams whose top four faceoff takers (Jack Eichel, Eric Staal, Cody Eakin and Riley Sheahan) all had a faceoff percentage of at least 50 percent following last night’s game. All four Sabres are currently on pace for career-high faceoff percentages.
  • Eichel ranked eighth in in the NHL in faceoffs taken per game (19.6) and 10th in faceoffs won per game (10.1) after last night’s game.
  • Following last night’s game, Sheahan ranked fifth among all players with at least 30 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 60.6 percent (57-for-94).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo finished last night’s game with the third-ranked power play in the league. The team has scored on 16 of its 49 power-play opportunities this season for a 32.7 percent conversion rate.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in nine of their last 10 games, going 13-for-32 (40.6%) during that stretch. It is the team’s best power-play percentage in a 10-game span since they went 11-for-24 (45.8%) from March 7 to 28, 2017.
  • Following last night’s game, the Sabres tied Chicago for the NHL lead with nine different players with at least one goal on the power play.
  • Victor Olofsson finished last night’s game tied for fourth in the league with five power-play goals and tied for third with 11 power-play points. His 18 career power-play tallies trailed only David Pastrnak (23), Leon Draisaitl (21) and Auston Matthews (20) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Following last night’s game, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:00 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-16 (52 drawn/36 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen a positive trend at even strength through the team’s first 15 games of the season. So far, Buffalo’s 5-on-5 numbers have improved on the team’s per-60 rates from last season in several meaningful categories, including shot differential, shot attempt differential, scoring chance differential, high-danger scoring chance differential and expected goal differential.

Buffalo Sabres at 5-on-5 (via NaturalStatTrick.com as of 2/22)
SF% CF% SCF% HDCF% xGF%
2019-20 48.13 (23rd) 49.13 (19th) 48.73 (20th) 48.19 (25th) 47.56 (25th)
2020-21 49.93 (15th) 50.37 (15th) 49.72 (18th) 54.15 (7th) 51.29 (12th)

 BRICK WALL

  • Linus Ullmark stopped all three shooters in Buffalo’s last shootout on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to improve to 2-1 with nine saves on 10 attempts this season.
  • Ullmark is 6-3 in shootouts in his career with 30 saves on 35 career shots faced (.857). His six career shootout wins rank him third in franchise history behind Ryan Miller (49) and Jhonas Enroth (10).
  • Following last night’s game, Ullmark’s shootout save percentage of .857 ranked second all-time among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 shots faced and first among active NHL goalies.

STAAL-TIME LEADERS

  • Eric Staal scored his 439th career goal on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to pass Gary Roberts and improve to 68th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. His next goal will tie Rick Tocchet for 67th.
  • Among active players, Staal’s total of 439 career regular-season goals trails only Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, and Sidney Crosby.
  • With the goal, Staal also broke a tie with Patrik Elias for 82nd-most points in NHL history. With 1,027 career points, he is currently one point behind Brian Leetch for 81st-most.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He currently trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

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

  • Buffalo Sabres: 54.0% FOW% (2nd), 32.7% PP% (T-3rd)
  • Olofsson: 11 PPP (T-3rd), 5 PPG (T-4th)
  • Eichel: 9 PPP (T-10th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (35), Lazar (32), Miller (28)
Blocked Shots: Miller (17), McCabe (15), Montour (14)
Shots: Eichel (48), Olofsson (43), Hall (42)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 4-4-2 (10), 30/32, 12/39, 19/23
11-20: 1-4-0 (2), 7/14, 4/10, 6/10

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 126-135 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GDG-Lafrenière)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-1; 79-72 all-time)
Jan. 22 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Carlson)
Jan. 24 at WSH: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)
Jan. 30 vs. NJD: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Curtis Lazar … 3 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 6 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Cody Eakin … 600th NHL game … Feb. 20 at NJD

Game Preview: 2/20/21 at New Jersey

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, February 18
Buffalo 1 at Washington 3
Goals: Olofsson
Goalie: Ullmark (18 saves/21 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 0/1; Shots: Buffalo 23 – Washington 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 38)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 13 games
Dylan Cozens (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 3 games
Casey Mittelstadt (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 3 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (COVID protocol, Feb. 15) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/15: Recalled F Steven Fogarty, D William Borgen and D Brandon Davidson from the taxi squad; Reassigned F Rasmus Asplund and F Andrew Oglevie from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad
2/16: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Loaned F Steven Fogarty and D Brandon Davidson to the taxi squad
2/17: Loaned F Rasmus Asplund and D William Borgen to the taxi squad; Reassigned F Steven Fogarty, F Andrew Oglevie, F C.J. Smith and D Jacob Bryson to Rochester (AHL)
2/18: Recalled D William Borgen from the taxi squad; loaned F Casey Mittelstadt to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Feb. 22: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 23: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 25: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 28: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, March 2: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
SABRES at DEVILS

  • This is the third of eight meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo 5-3 in Buffalo on Jan. 31
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Feb. 23 in New Jersey
  • The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 2-5-3 on the road.
  • This is the 162nd game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has a 79-56-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 35-28-15 on the road against the Devils all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-8-3 all-time on February 20.
  • February 20, 1971: Gerry Meehan scores the third hat trick in franchise history in a 6-5 road loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
  • February 20, 1987: Doug Smith and Phil Housley score twice each as the Sabres chase John Vanbiesbrouck on the way to a 6-3 road win against the New York Rangers.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Cody Eakin is expected to play in his 600th NHL game tonight.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 14 points (6+8) in his 13 career games against the Devils.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled seven points (1+6) in six career games against New Jersey.
  • Taylor Hall has posted nine points (3+6) in nine career games against the Devils.
  • Victor Olofsson has recorded seven points (4+3) in four career games against the Devils.
  • Sam Reinhart has scored four goals and recorded 14 shots in his last four games against New Jersey, scoring at least a goal in three of those contests.
  • The Sabres’ special teams are plus-7 this season, with 14 goals for and seven goals against. Entering play Friday, they were tied with the Los Angeles Kings for the fourth-best differential in the league.

GOOD DAY FOR A MATINEE

  • Today’s game is the fourth of 14 afternoon games for the Sabres this season. They are 2-1-0 in the first three.
  • Buffalo went 7-2-2 in afternoon games during the 2019-20 season, including a 6-2-0 record at home and a 1-0-2 mark on the road.

DRAWING ATTENTION

  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres ranked third in the NHL with a team faceoff percentage of 54.4 percent.
  • The Sabres were the only team whose top four faceoff takers (Jack Eichel, Eric Staal, Cody Eakin and Riley Sheahan) all had a faceoff percentage of at least 50 percent entering play Friday. All four Sabres are currently on pace for career-high faceoff percentages.
  • Eichel ranked seventh in in the NHL in faceoffs taken per game (20.3) and eighth in faceoffs won per game (10.8) entering play Friday.
  • Entering play Friday, Sheahan ranked fifth among all players with at least 30 faceoffs taken this season with a win percentage of 62.1 percent (54-for-87).

POWER UP

  • Buffalo entered play Friday with the fifth-ranked power play in the league. The team has scored on 14 of its 45 power play opportunities this season for a 31.1 percent conversion rate.
  • The Sabres have scored at least one power-play goal in seven of their last eight games, going 11-for-28 (39.3%) in those contests.
  • Before Friday’s games, the Sabres led the NHL with nine different players with at least one goal on the power play. Their 10 players with at least one power-play point this season tied for ninth-most in the league.
  • Victor Olofsson entered play Friday tied for second in the league with five power-play goals and tied for fourth with 10 power-play points. His 18 career power-play tallies trailed only David Pastrnak (23) and Leon Draisaitl (21) for the most in the league since he made his NHL debut on March 28, 2019.

OUT OF THE BOX

  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 5:00 of penalty time per game.
  • At plus-17 (48 drawn/31 taken), the Sabres also had the best penalty differential in the league.

EVEN-STRENGTH IMPROVEMENT
The Sabres have seen a positive trend at even strength through the team’s first 13 games of the season. So far, Buffalo’s 5-on-5 numbers have improved on the team’s per-60 rates from last season in several meaningful categories, including shot differential, shot attempt differential, scoring chance differential, high-danger scoring chance differential and expected goal differential.

Buffalo Sabres at 5-on-5 (via NaturalStatTrick.com as of 2/19)
SF% CF% SCF% HDCF% xGF%
2019-20 48.13 (23rd) 49.13 (19th) 48.73 (20th) 48.19 (25th) 47.56 (25th)
2020-21 49.49 (17th) 50.66 (14th) 50.22 (17th) 54.73 (7th) 51.51 (13th)

 BRICK WALL

  • Linus Ullmark stopped all three shooters in Buffalo’s last shootout on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to improve to 2-1 with nine saves on 10 attempts this season.
  • Ullmark is 6-3 in shootouts in his career with 30 saves on 35 career shots faced (.857). His six career shootout wins rank him third in franchise history behind Ryan Miller (49) and Jhonas Enroth (10).
  • Entering play Wednesday, Ullmark’s shootout save percentage of .857 ranked second all-time among NHL goaltenders with at least 20 shots faced and first among active NHL goalies.

STAAL-TIME LEADERS

  • Eric Staal scored his 439th career goal on Jan. 30 vs. New Jersey to pass Gary Roberts and improve to 68th on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring list. His next goal will tie Rick Tocchet for 67th.
  • Among active players, Staal’s total of 439 career regular-season goals trails only Alex Ovechkin, Patrick Marleau, and Sidney Crosby.
  • The goal was Staal’s 1,026th career point, breaking a tie with Patrik Elias for 82nd-most in NHL history. He is two points behind Brian Leetch for 81st.

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel’s goal on Jan. 28 vs. NY Rangers moved him past Jochen Hecht for sole possession of the 19th-most goals in franchise history (139). He now trails Drew Stafford by six goals for 18th.
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (15th), .57 A/GP (10th), .95 PTS/GP (11th)

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on Jan. 15 vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by one goal for eighth-most.
  • Ristolainen’s first assist on Jan. 24 at Washington moved him past Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman. He currently trails Bill Hajt by 11 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen holds the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (14th), .38 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/19 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 54.4% FOW% (3rd), 31.1% PP% (5th)
  • Olofsson: 5 PPG (T-2nd), 10 PPP (T-4th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (35), Lazar (26), Miller (25)
Blocked Shots: Miller (14), McCabe (13), Ristolainen (13)
Shots: Eichel (44), Olofsson (37), Dahlin (35)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 4-4-2 (10), 30/32, 12/39, 19/23
11-20: 0-3-0 (0), 2/9, 2/6, 3/5

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 126-135 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GDG-Lafrenière)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-1; 79-72 all-time)
Jan. 22 at.WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Carlson)
Jan. 24 at WSH: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)
Jan. 30 vs. NJD: W, 4-3 (GDG-Eichel)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Cody Eakin … 1 game … 600 career games played
Curtis Lazar … 5 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Riley Sheahan … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Points
Brandon Montour … 7 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins 

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A