Tag Archives: New York Rangers

Game Preview: 2/2/17 vs. NYR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 31
Buffalo 2 at Montreal 5
Goals: Kulikov, Gionta
Goalie: Lehner (30 saves/35 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 39 – Montreal 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 241)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 49 games
Johan Larsson (wrist, Jan. 3; injured reserve) – 13 games
Josh Gorges (hip, Jan. 7; injured reserve) – 11 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Jan. 21) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Feb. 4:
Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 6: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 7: San Jose at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 9: Anaheim at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11: Buffalo at Toronto, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
RANGERS at SABRES

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York 4-1 in New York on Jan. 3
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 3-6-1 at home
  • This is the 177th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 81-62-33 series record.
  • The Sabres are 48-28-13 at home against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-7-2 all-time on February 2.
  • February 2, 1975: Jerry Korab and Peter McNab each score two goals in the Sabres’ 8-1 victory over the Kansas City Scouts as Buffalo records 58 shots on goal against Scouts goaltender Denis Herron.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres will look to avoid losing three straight games in regulation for just the second time this season (last: Nov. 12 to 17).
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres four straight wins against the Rangers and a season sweep against the Rangers for the first time since they swept the 2006-07 season series.
  • Kyle Okposo has 15 points (4+11) in his last 13 games against the Rangers, including at least a point in his last six (2+7).
  • Brian Gionta has 15 points (7+8) in his last 16 games against the Rangers, including at least a point in each of his last five (2+4).
  • Jack Eichel has at least a point in each of his five career games against the Rangers, totaling seven points (3+4) in those games.
  • Sam Reinhart has four points (1+3) in four career games against the Rangers, including three assists so far this season.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Evander Kane has 10 points (5+5) in his last 10 games and enters tonight’s game with points in each of his last four, having totaled seven points (2+5) in those four games. With a point tonight, he would have his longest point streak since February 2013 (eight games).
  • Brian Gionta enters tonight’s game on his first four-game point streak (3+1) since he had points in five straight from Nov. 6 to 16, 2010.
  • Cody Franson has five points (1+4) in his last five games.

HAPPY NEW YEAR
With an average of 3.23 goals for per game during the month of January, the Sabres had their most productive month offensively since January 2013. Note: Averages below exclude shootout goals.

Last Five Months in Which the Sabres Averaged 3+ Goals Per Game

Month

G/GP

Monthly League Rank in G/GP

Record

April 2011

3.80

2nd

4-0-1 (.900)

March 2012

3.19

4th

10-4-2 (.688)

April 2012

3.33

T-6th

1-1-1 (.500)

January 2013

3.29

7th

3-3-1 (.500)

January 2017

3.23

8th

7-5-1 (.577)

THE KANE EVENT
Evander Kane
has scored each of his 14 goals this season in his last 26 games, including a team-high 13 even-strength goals. In the period since scoring his first goal of the season on Dec. 3 vs. Boston, he is tied for fifth among all NHL skaters in goals (14), tied for the league lead in even-strength goals (13) and ranks sixth in shots on goal (96).
*All rankings before Feb. 1 games

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

2015-16

2016-17

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

Jack Eichel

Sam Reinhart

G/GP

.30 (25)

.29 (24)

.43 (35)

.20 (17)

A/GP

.40 (33)

.24 (20)

.32 (26)

.41 (33)

P/GP

.69 (57)

.53 (43)

.75 (62)

.61 (50)

SOG/GP

2.9 (238)

2.1 (172)

4.3 (349)

2.2 (179)

(82-game pace in parentheses)

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Wednesday tied for 37th among all NHL skaters with 25 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 21.6 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 10 goals to fall below 20 percent.

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

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/1 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 22.7% PP% (5th)
  • Eichel: 4.3 S/GP (1st)
  • Foligno: 168 hits (T-4th)
  • Nilsson: .935 EV SV% (7th), .923 SV% (9th)
  • R. O’Reilly: 21:39 TOI/GP (4th, forwards), 58.1 FO% (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 16 PPA (T-3rd), 27:03 TOI (5th), 17 PPP (T-4th, defensemen), 25 A (T-8th, defensemen)

BUF-NYR CONNECTIONS
Former Rangers:

  • Justin Falk spent part of the 2013-14 season with the Rangers, playing in 21 games for New York, where he compiled two points (0+2).

Local Players:

  • Adam Clendening was born in Niagara Falls, New York.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Brady Skjei at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Justin Falk:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) from 2005-2007.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Marc Staal at the 2007 World Junior Championship for Team Canada.
  • Played for the Nashville Predators with Kevin Klein from 2009-2011.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Marc Staal at the 2010 World Championship for Team Canada.
  • Represented Canada at the 2011 World Championship along with Rick Nash.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Brandon Pirri for the Florida Panthers from 2013-2016.
  • Kulikov (1990) and Oscar Lindberg (1991) were both born on Oct. 29.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played alongside Mika Zibanejad for the Ottawa Senators from 2011-2015.
  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators during the 2014-15 season along with Matt Puempel.

Matt Moulson:

  • Was a member of the New York Islanders from 2010-2013 along with Michael Grabner.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season and again during the 2013-14 season.
  • Was a member of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season along with Adam Clendening.

Cal O’Reilly:

  • Was a member of the Nashville Predators from 2008-2011 with Kevin Klein.
  • Played for the Utica Comets (AHL) during the 2014-15 season along with Adam Clendening.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Nick Holden for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders from 2010-2015.
  • Represented the United States with Chris Kreider at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Shares a hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota with Ryan McDonagh.

2011 World Junior Championship:

  • The 2011 Swedish World Junior Championship team is well represented between the Sabres and Rangers. Robin Lehner appeared on the team along with Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg. Lehner and Lindberg also appeared together in the 2009 World U18 Championship.

2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award:

  • Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey were both finalists for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Eichel won the award, while Vesey was a runner-up.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Michael Grabner (14th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Chris Kreider (19th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Brandon Pirri (59th overall) were all taken in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) was selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft along with Brady Skjei (28th overall).

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (168), Ristolainen (130), Carrier (95)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (110), McCabe (64), Gorges (62)
Shots: Kane (125), Okposo (122), Eichel (119)

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: 4-5-0 (8), 27/31, 6/24, 19/25

OVERTIME RESULTS (5-4; 107-109 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)
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)

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 … 8 games … 200 NHL games
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 points … 100 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Cody Franson … 200th NHL point … Jan. 31 at MTL

Game Preview: 1/3/17 at NYR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, December 31
Buffalo 1 at Boston 3
Goals: Eichel
Goalie: Lehner (25 saves/28 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/3; Shots: Boston 28 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 177)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 36 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 24 games
Ryan O’Reilly (appendix, Dec. 27) – 3 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Dec. 29) – 2 games
William Carrier (hand, Dec. 31) – 1 game
Johan Larsson (wrist) – 0 games
Josh Gorges (hip) – 0 games

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

UPCOMING GAMES
Thursday, Jan. 5:
Buffalo at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.
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.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RANGERS

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York 4-3 in New York on Dec. 1, 2016
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 2 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 2-8-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 3-4-3 on the road
  • This is the 176th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has an 80-62-33 series record.
  • The Sabres are 32-34-20 on the road against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-5-5 all-time on January 3.
  • January 3, 1974: Rick Martin opens the scoring and then scores twice more to earn his fifth career hat trick as the Sabres dispatch the Penguins 6-1.
  • January 3, 1993: Alexander Mogilny scores twice (and assists on Brad May’s overtime goal), stretching his goal streak to eight games to tie a franchise record.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • A win tonight would give the Sabres wins in consecutive visits to Madison Square Garden for the first time since Dec. 12, 2009 and March 7, 2010. It would also be the first time Buffalo has won three straight games against the Rangers since Dec. 12, 2009 to April 6, 2010.
  • Kyle Okposo has 14 points (4+10) in his last 12 games against the Rangers, including at least a point in his last five (2+6). He has failed to tally a point in only one of his seven visits to Madison Square Garden since the beginning of 2013-14, totaling 10 road points (3+7) in that span.
  • Brian Gionta has 14 points (7+7) in his last 15 games against the Rangers, including a point in each of his last four.
  • Jack Eichel has at least a point in each of his four career games against the Rangers, totaling six points (2+4) in those games.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 16 points (3+13) his last 14 games.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a career-best six-game point streak (2+5).
  • Jack Eichel has four points (2+2) in his last three games.
  • Evander Kane has 11 points (8+3) in his last 14 games, including five points (4+1) in six road games during that stretch.

ASSIST-OLAINEN
Rasmus Ristolainen
entered play Monday tied for 17th among all NHL skaters with 22 assists.

  • Ristolainen has recorded an assist on 30.1 percent of his teammates’ goals*. Entering play Monday, it was the third-highest such percentage in the league, trailing only Connor McDavid (31.5%) and Erik Karlsson (30.9%).
    • 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 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. 2 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 21.6% PP% (8th), 51.1% FO% (9th)
  • Foligno: 110 hits (10th)
  • Moulson: 7 PPG (T-6th)
  • O’Reilly: 21:31 TOI/GP (3rd, forwards), 57.0 FO% (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 13 PPA (T-2nd), 26:42 TOI (5th), 14 PPP (T-2nd, defensemen), 22 A (5th, defensemen), 25 PTS (T-5th, defensemen)

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE
Buffalo’s goaltenders entered play Monday with the sixth-best combined save percentage* (.922) 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-NYR CONNECTIONS
Former Rangers:

  • Justin Falk spent part of the 2013-14 season with the Rangers, playing in 21 games for New York, where he compiled two points (0+2).

Local Players:

  • Adam Clendening was born in Niagara Falls, New York.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Brady Skjei at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Justin Falk:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) from 2005-2007.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Marc Staal at the 2007 World Junior Championship for Team Canada.
  • Played for the Nashville Predators with Kevin Klein from 2009-2011.

Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship with Kevin Klein.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Marc Staal at the 2010 World Championship for Team Canada.
  • Represented Canada at the 2011 World Championship along with Rick Nash.

Dmitry Kulikov:

  • Teammates with Brandon Pirri for the Florida Panthers from 2013-2016.
  • Kulikov (1990) and Oscar Lindberg (1991) were both born on October 29.

Robin Lehner:

  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators during the 2014-15 season along with Matt Puempel.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with J.T. Miller and Jimmy Vesey at the 2013 World Junior Championship representing the United States. Miller was also a member of the 2009-10 United States NTDP squad along with McCabe.
  • Skated alongside Kevin Hayes at the 2014 World Championship representing the United States. The two were also members of the United States NTDP during the 2009-10 season.
  • Represented the United States with Brady Skjei at the 2016 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Was a member of the New York Islanders from 2010-2013 along with Michael Grabner.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season and again during the 2013-14 season.
  • Was a member of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season along with Adam Clendening.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders from 2010-2015.
  • Represented the United States with Chris Kreider at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Shares a hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota with Ryan McDonagh.

2011 World Junior Championship:

  • The 2011 Swedish World Junior Championship team is well represented between the Sabres and Rangers, having two players for each team on their current rosters. Both Robin Lehner and Johan Larsson appeared on the team along with Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg. Lehner, Larsson and Lindberg also appeared together in the 2009 World U18 Championship.

2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award:

  • Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey were both finalists for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Eichel won the award, while Vesey was a runner-up.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Michael Grabner (14th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall), Dmitry Kulikov (14th overall) and Chris Kreider (19th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Brandon Pirri (59th overall) were both taken in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) was selected one pick before Oscar Lindberg (57th overall) in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) was selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft along with Brady Skjei (28th overall).

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (110), Ristolainen (102), Carrier (72)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (70), Gorges (59), McCabe (49)
Shots: Okposo (92), O’Reilly (85), 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: 1-4-1 (3), 12/22, 3/20, 15/20

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 … 4 games … 100 NHL games
Zach Bogosian … 6 games … 500 NHL games
Justin Falk … 8 games … 200 NHL games
Cody Franson … 8 games … 500 NHL games
Matt Moulson … 9 games … 600 NHL games
Points
Cody Franson … 6 points … 200 NHL points
Kyle Okposo … 8 points … 400 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
Dan Bylsma … 300th NHL win … Dec. 27 at DET

Post-Game Report: 12/1 vs. NYR

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Rangers
(16-8-1)
1 2 0 3 25
Sabres
(9-9-5)
1 1 2 4 34

Game Summary

Event Summary

Top Notes

  • Tonight’s win improves the Sabres to 4-1-1 in their last six games and 3-0-1 in their last four home games.
  • With two goals tonight, Jack Eichel has points in a career-best seven straight games played dating back to last season (4+6).
    • Eichel now has 12 points (7+5) in his last nine home games and four points (3+1) in two games this season.
    • The Sabres improved to 26-14-4 (.636) when Eichel records a point and 10-3-1 (.750) when he tallies at least two.
  • With his goal, Johan Larsson now has a point in each of his last three games against the Rangers (2+1).
  • Brian Gionta, who had a goal and an assist tonight, now has 14 points (7+7) in his last 15 games against the Rangers.
  • Marcus Foligno recorded an assist on Gionta’s goal, marking the 100th point of his NHL career.
  • With his assist tonight, Rasmus Ristolainen has taken the league lead with 10 power-play assists on the season.
  • Kyle Okposo’s assist gives him 14 points (4+10) in his last 12 games against the Rangers, including points in each of the last five (2+6).

Tonight’s Goaltenders

Tonight’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision SV% GAA
Rangers
Lundqvist L .882 4.06
Sabres Nilsson W .880 3.00

 

Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Rangers Lundqvist 11-7-1 .914 2.49
Sabres Nilsson 4-2-2 .934 2.30

Post-Game Audio

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma

Sabres forward Jack Eichel

Sabres forward Brian Gionta

Sabres goaltender Anders Nilsson

Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault

Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh

Rangers defenseman Marc Staal

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist

Game Preview: 12/1/16 vs. NYR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, November 29
Buffalo 5 at Ottawa 4
Goals: O’Reilly (2), Okposo, Eichel, Reinhart
Goalie: Lehner (5 saves/6 shots); Nilsson (26 saves/29 shots)
PP: 3/5; PK: 2/4; Shots: Ottawa 35 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 115)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clots, Oct. 13; injured reserve) – 22 games
Nicolas Deslauriers (knee, Oct. 30; injured reserve) – 15 games
Zach Bogosian (MCL sprain, Nov. 3) – 13 games
Tyler Ennis (groin, Nov. 9; injured reserve) – 10 games
Dmitry Kulikov (lower back, Nov. 11) – 9 games
Robin Lehner (hip, Dec. 1) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/26:
Assigned F William Carrier, F Cal O’Reilly and F Cole Schneider to Rochester (AHL)
11/27: Recalled F William Carrier from Rochester (AHL)
11/29: Activated F Jack Eichel from IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec 3:
Boston at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 5: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 6: Edmonton at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Dec. 9: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 13: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
RANGERS at SABRES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York 4-3 in New York on April 2
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 3 in New York
  • The Sabres are 1-9-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 2-7-1 at home
  • This is the 175th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has a 79-62-33 series record.
  • The Sabres are 47-28-13 at home against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-5-3 all-time on December 1.
  • December 1, 1993: Dominik Hasek stops 33 Tampa Bay shots to record his second of 55 regular-season shutouts as a member of the Sabres in a 3-0 win against the Lightning.
  • December 1, 2006: The Sabres top the Rangers 4-3 in a shootout to cap an 11-game unbeaten streak (9-0-2) against New York.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Cody Franson has an assist in each of his last two games. A point tonight would give him his longest point streak since October 2015.
  • Kyle Okposo has 13 points (4+9) in his last 11 games against the Rangers, including two points in each of his last three.
  • Brian Gionta has 12 points (6+6) in his last 14 games against the Rangers, including a point in each of the three matchups last season.
  • Zemgus Girgensons had three goals in three games against the Rangers in 2015-16.
  • Jack Eichel has at least a point in each of his three career games against the Rangers, totaling four assists in those games.
  • Johan Larsson has a point in each of his last two games against the Rangers (1+1).

RETURN OF THE JACK

  • Jack Eichel returned to the Sabres‘ lineup on Tuesday at Ottawa after missing the team’s first 21 games with a high-ankle sprain. In his first game of the season, Eichel recorded two points (1+1) and now has points in a career-best six straight games played (2+6).
  • With Tuesday’s win, the Sabres improved to 25-14-4 (.628) in Eichel’s career when he records a point and 9-3-1 (.731) when he has at least two.
  • Tonight’s game will be Eichel’s first game at KeyBank Center since last season’s finale. He had 10 points (5+5) in his last nine home games of the 2015-16 season.

LAST LINE OF DEFENSE

  • Buffalo’s goaltenders have the fourth-best combined save percentage* (.927) in the league. They also have the fifth-best save percentage during 5-on-5 play (.935).
  • 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 twice in franchise history: 1998-99 (.930, Dominik Hasek/Dwayne Roloson/Martin Biron) and 1997-98 (.928, Hasek/Steve Shields)

Top Five NHL Goaltending Tandems by Save Percentage*

Team GA SA SV SV%
Minnesota Wild 45 684 639 .934
Montreal Canadiens 49 731 682 .933
Columbus Blue Jackets 44 626 582 .930
Buffalo Sabres 52 712 660 .927
Washington Capitals 44 580 536 .924

 

Top Five NHL Goaltending Tandems by 5-on- 5 Save Percentage*

Team GA SA SV SV%
Chicago Blackhawks 30 609 579 .951
Montreal Canadiens 33 598 565 .945
Minnesota Wild 34 573 539 .941
Washington Capitals 31 482 451 .936
Buffalo Sabres 36 558 522 .935

*Combined save percentage excludes empty net goals

SABRES IN THE TOP 10*

  • Buffalo is ranked fifth in the NHL in both power play percentage (22.7%) and team faceoff percentage (51.5%).
  • Ryan O’Reilly ranks second among all NHL forwards with an average ice time of 21:57 per game. O’Reilly finished the 2015-16 season ranked first among forwards with 21:44 of ice time per game and has averaged 20:45 per game since the beginning of the 2014-15 season, leading all NHL forwards during that time frame.
  • O’Reilly also ranks eighth in the NHL among players with at least 200 faceoffs in faceoff percentage (57.5%).
  • Matt Moulson ranks second in the NHL with six power-play goals.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen ranks fifth among all NHL skaters in average ice time per game (26:18). He is tied for second among all NHL defensemen and eighth among all NHL players with nine power-play points.

*All stats as of 11/30

BUF-NYR CONNECTIONS
Former Rangers:

  • Justin Falk spent part of the 2013-14 season with the Rangers, playing in 21 games for New York, where he compiled two points (0+2).

Local Players:

  • Adam Clendening was born in Niagara Falls, New York.

Jack Eichel:

  • Represented the United States alongside Brady Skjei at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

Justin Falk:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) from 2005-2007.

Cody Franson:

  • Teammates with Marc Staal at the 2007 World Junior Championship for Team Canada.
  • Played for the Nashville Predators with Kevin Klein from 2009-2011.

Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship with Kevin Klein.

Derek Grant:

  • Teammates with Mika Zibanejad for the Ottawa Senators from 2012-2014.
  • Was a member of the Calgary Flames with Josh Jooris during the 2015-16 season.

Evander Kane:

  • Played with Marc Staal at the 2010 World Championship for Team Canada.
  • Represented Canada at the 2011 World Championship along with Rick Nash.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played alongside Mika Zibanejad for the Ottawa Senators from 2011-2015.
  • Was a member of the Ottawa Senators during the 2014-15 season along with Matt Puempel.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played with J.T. Miller and Jimmy Vesey at the 2013 World Junior Championship representing the United States. Miller was also a member of the 2009-10 United States NTDP squad along with McCabe.
  • Skated alongside Kevin Hayes at the 2014 World Championship representing the United States. The two were also members of the United States NTDP during the 2009-10 season.
  • Represented the United States with Brady Skjei at the 2016 World Championship.

Matt Moulson:

  • Was a member of the New York Islanders from 2010-2013 along with Michael Grabner.

Anders Nilsson:

  • Teammates with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders during the 2011-12 season and again during the 2013-14 season.
  • Was a member of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2015-16 season along with Adam Clendening.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Teammates with Nick Holden for the Colorado Avalanche from 2013-2015.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Played with Michael Grabner for the New York Islanders from 2010-2015.
  • Represented the United States with Chris Kreider at the 2010 World Championship.
  • Shares a hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota with Ryan McDonagh.

2011 World Junior Championship:

  • The 2011 Swedish World Junior Championship team is well represented between the Sabres and Rangers, having two players for each team on their current rosters. Both Robin Lehner and Johan Larsson appeared on the team along with Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg. Lehner, Larsson and Lindberg also appeared together in the 2009 World U18 Championship.

2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award:

  • Jack Eichel and Jimmy Vesey were both finalists for the 2015 Hobey Baker Memorial Award. Eichel won the award, while Vesey was a runner-up.

NHL Draft:

  • Kyle Okposo (7th overall) and Michael Grabner (14th overall) were selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall) and Chris Kreider (19th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (33rd overall), Robin Lehner (46th overall) and Brandon Pirri (59th overall) were all taken in the second round of the 2009 NHL Draft
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) was selected one pick before Oscar Lindberg (57th overall) in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft. Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) was selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft along with Brady Skjei 28th overall).

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Foligno (72), Ristolainen (52), Gorges (50)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (43), Ristolainen (41), McCabe (24)
Shots: Okposo (61), O’Reilly (57), Reinhart (56)

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: 1-1-0 (2), 6/7, 3/9, 5/8

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-2; 102-107 all-time)
Oct. 18 at EDM: L, 4-3 (GWG-Monahan)
Nov. 11 vs. NJD: L, 2-1 (GWG-Greene)

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 … 5 wins … 300 NHL wins
Points
Marcus Foligno … 1 point … 100 NHL points
Cody Franson … 7 points … 200 NHL points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 4/2/16 at NYR

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 31
Toronto 1 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Larsson (2), C. O’Reilly (2)
Goalie: Johnson (25 saves/26 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Toronto 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 341)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 78 games
Tyler Ennis (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 41 games
Cody Franson (neck, Feb. 21) – 19 games
Jason Kasdorf (lower body, March 16) – 8 games
Robin Lehner (ankle, March 18) – 7 games
Evander Kane (upper body, March 29) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

REMAINING GAMES
Tuesday, April 5:
Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 8: Columbus at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 9: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RANGERS

  • This is the third and final meeting between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo, 4-2, in Buffalo on March 8
  • The Sabres are 1-9-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 3-4-3 on the road.
  • This is the 174th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has a 78-62-33 series record.
  • The Sabres are 31-34-20 on the road against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-5-3 all-time on April 2.
  • April 2, 2013: Mark Pysyk records his first NHL point with an assist in a 4-1 win at Pittsburgh.
  • April 2, 2013: Ryan Miller plays his 492nd game in the NHL, breaking Dominik Hasek’s franchise record for most games played by a goaltender.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres went 7-4-4 (.600) in March, making it the team’s best month since April 2013 (8-4-0).
  • Buffalo needs a win tonight to avoid the team’s first 10-game losing streak to the Rangers in franchise history. The Sabres have not gone 10 straight games against the Rangers without a point since going 0-10-2 in the first 12 meetings in franchise history, spanning the 1970-71 and 1971-72 seasons.
  • Jack Eichel has three assists in two games against the Rangers this season.
  • Zach Bogosian has a point in each of his last two games against the Rangers.
  • Brian Gionta has 11 points (6+5) in his last 13 games against the Rangers, including six (3+3) in his last five at Madison Square Garden.
  • Chad Johnson is 8-2-1 in his last 12 appearances with a .923 save percentage and a 2.24 goals-against average. If he plays tonight, it will be his 100th NHL game.

20 UNDER 25

  • The Sabres currently have three skaters under the age of 25 with at least 20 goals: Jack Eichel (23), Sam Reinhart (22) and Evander Kane (20).
  • It is the first time Buffalo has had three players reach the 20-goal mark before their 25th birthdays since Jason Pominville, Derek Roy and Thomas Vanek each had 20 or more in 2006-07.
  • If Ryan O’Reilly scores two more goals this season, the Sabres will have four 20-goal scorers in their age 25 seasons* or younger for the first time since 1987-88 (Dave Andreychuk, Phil Housley, Christian Ruuttu and Ray Sheppard).

*All ages used are the players’ ages as of Feb. 1 of the given season

JACK ATTACK

  • Jack Eichel leads the Sabres with 23 goals this season, the highest total by a Sabres player since 2011-12 (Jason Pominville, 30) and the highest by a Sabres rookie since 2005-06 (Thomas Vanek, 25). If he finishes the season with the team lead, Eichel will be the first Sabres rookie to lead the team in goals since Ray Sheppard did so in the 1987-88 season.
  • Entering play Friday, Eichel was ranked in the top five among NHL rookies in goals (2nd, 23), assists (4th, 28), points (2nd, 51) and shots (1st, 230).
  • With his goal on March 7 at Toronto, Eichel (19 years, 131 days) became the youngest 20-goal scorer in Sabres history, besting Pierre Turgeon (19 years, 140 days on Jan. 15, 1989) by nine days.
  • With his goal on March 26 vs. Winnipeg, Eichel became the ninth Sabres rookie to record 50 points in a season. He is the first to do so since Derek Plante (1993-94) and the second-youngest to do so, trailing only Phil Housley (1982-83).

YOUNG GUNS

  • Jack Eichel (51 points) and Sam Reinhart (40) are the first pair of Sabres rookies to reach the 35-point mark since Ray Sheppard (65), Pierre Turgeon (42) and Calle Johansson (42) all did so in 1987-88.
  • Eichel (23 goals) and Reinhart (22) are the third pair of rookies in Sabres history to each record 20 goals in the same season, joining Danny Gare (31) and Peter McNab (22) in 1974-75 and Gilbert Perreault (38) and Steve Atkinson (20) in 1970-71.

LOGGING BIG MINUTES

  • Rasmus Ristolainen is ranked 11th in the NHL with an average ice time of 25:16 per game. Only Alexei Zhitnik (four times) has averaged more minutes per game in a full season with the Sabres.
  • Ryan O’Reilly (21:48) leads all NHL forwards in average ice time per game and Evander Kane (21:02) ranks second. The pair currently own the two highest average career ice times by Sabres forwards. Michael Peca (20:18) is the only other forward with an average over 20 minutes.
  • With an average ice time of 23:37 per game in his 82 games played since joining the Sabres last season, Zach Bogosian owns the third-highest average ice time ever recorded by a Sabres player, trailing only Alexei Zhitnik (531 GP, 25:32) and Christian Ehrhoff (192 GP, 23:55).
  • Jack Eichel’s average ice time of 19:08 is the ninth-highest ever recorded by a rookie forward and the highest ever by Sabres rookie forward, topping the next highest (Cody Hodgson- 20 GP, 17:16) by more than a minute. Sam Reinhart (16:47 this season) is the only other Sabres rookie forward to top 16 minutes per game.

Note: The NHL began tracking ice time in the 1997-98 season.

POSSESSION PROGRESSION

  • The Sabres have outshot their opponents in 33 of 78 games this season, posting an 11-18-4 record in those games. Last season, the team finished the season 5-5-0 in 10 total games when outshooting their opponents.
  • The Sabres have led their opponent in even-strength shot attempts (corsi) in 28 of the team’s 78 games this season, going 12-12-4 in those games. Buffalo only led their opponents in even-strength shot attempts eight times throughout the entire 2014-15 season, going 3-5-0 in those eight games. (Data courtesy of war-on-ice.com)

BUF-NYR CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Dominic Moore was a member of the Sabres for part of the 2008-09 season, contributing four points (1+3) in 18 games.

Former Rangers:

  • Dave Barr played six games for New York during the 1983-84 season.
  • Chad Johnson played six games for the rangers from 2009 to 2011 and posted a 4-1-1 record with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage.

Local Players:

  • Dan Girardi was born in Welland, Ontario.

Dan Bylsma:

  • Coached Tanner Glass for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2012-2014.

Zach Bogosian:

  • Played with Tanner Glass for the Winnipeg Jets during the 2011-12 season.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Dominic Moore for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Jesper Fast and Oscar Lindberg for Team Sweden at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Jake McCabe:

  • Teammates with J.T. Miller for the United States at the 2013 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Kevin Hayes for the United States at the 2014 World Championship.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Eric Staal for Team Canada at the 2013 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Matt Moulson (263rd overall) and Tanner Glass (265th overall) were both chosen in the ninth round of the 2003 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) was taken one pick before Kevin Hayes (24th overall) in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall) was selected one pick before Oscar Lindberg (57th overall) in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (197), Foligno (178), Kane (171)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (161), Ristolainen (130), McCabe (104)
Shots: Kane (271), Eichel (230), Ristolainen (196)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
3-7-0 (6), 23/32, 9/35, 19/27
11-20: 5-3-2 (12), 21/21, 5/27, 23/29
21-30: 4-5-1 (9), 29/28, 8/29, 20/23
31-40: 3-6-1 (7), 20/27, 4/35, 17/21
41-50: 5-5-0 (10), 22/26, 6/25, 26/28
51-60: 4-3-3 (11), 29/30, 6/34, 30/33
61-70: 4-4-2 (10), 23/24, 3/30, 17/24
71-80: 4-2-2 (10), 23/20, 5/25, 23/25

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-3; 101-105 all-time)
Oct. 27 at PHI: W, 4-3 (GWG-Girgensons, 2:29)

Nov. 14 vs. SJS: L, 2-1 (GWG-Marleau, 2:59)
Dec. 12 vs. LAK: W, 2-1 (GWG-O’Reilly, 3:19)
Feb. 6 at BOS: L, 2-1 (GWG-Marchand, 2:32)
March 1 vs. EDM: L, 2-1 (GWG-McDavid, 3:48)
March 12 vs. CAR: W, 3-2 (GWG-Eichel, 4:59)
March 16 vs. MTL: L, 3-2 (GWG-Byron, 3:15)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (2-7; 67-58 all-time)
Oct. 21 vs. TOR: W, 2-1 (GDG-Moulson)

Nov. 19 at STL: L, 3-2 (GDG-Steen)
Dec. 1 at DET: L, 5-4 (GDG-Richards)
Dec. 19 vs. CHI: L, 3-2 (GDG-Kane)
Feb. 4 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GDG-Spooner)
Feb. 16 at OTT: L, 2-1 (GDG-Ryan)
March 5 vs. MIN: L, 3-2 (GDG-Pominville)
March 7 at TOR: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)
March 29 at PIT: L, 5-4 (GDG-Letang)

UPCOMING MILESTONES (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Chad Johnson … 1 games … 100 career games played
Zemgus Girgensons … 2 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Mark Pysyk … 2 goals … 3 goals (career high)
Assists
Josh Gorges … 1 assist … 100 career assists
Marcus Foligno … 1 assist … 14 assists (career high)
Ryan O’Reilly … 1 assist … 39 assists (career high)
Points
Johan Larsson … 2 points … 17 points (career high)

RECENT MILESTONES
Hudson Fasching … 1st NHL game … March 26 vs. WPG
Hudson Fasching … 1st NHL goal … March 26 vs. WPG
Casey Nelson … 1st NHL game … March 26 vs. WPG
Casey Nelson … 1st NHL assist … March 26 vs. WPG
Ryan O’Reilly … 300th NHL point … March 29 at PIT