Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Penguins

Game Preview: 5/8/21 at Pittsburgh

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, May 6
Buffalo 4 at Pittsburgh 8
Goals: Caggiula (2), Thompson, Skinner
Goalie: Houser (26 saves/34 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 0/1; Shots: Pittsburgh 34 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 295)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 55 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 41 games
Jack Eichel (neck, March 9; injured reserve) – 32 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 25 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, April 15) – 13 games
Kyle Okposo (cheek, April 17) – 12 games
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (lower body, May 3) – 3 games
Dustin Tokarski (undisclosed, May 3) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
5/3: Recalled G Michael Houser; Signed G Stefanos Lekkas to a professional tryout contract; Reassigned F C.J. Smith to the taxi squad; Reassigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
5/4: Signed G Stefanos Lekkas to a one-year contract; Reassigned F Brett Murray to the taxi squad.
5/6: Recalled F Brett Murray and reassigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea to the taxi squad.

 

TODAY’S GAME

SABRES at PENGUINS

  • This is the eighth and final meeting between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 8-4 in Pittsburgh on May 6.
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 3-5-2 on the road.
  • This is the 202nd game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 70-88-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 27-53-21 on the road against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres have never played a regular-season game on May 8.
  • May 8, 1975: Buffalo defeats Montreal 4-3 in Game 6 to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
  • May 8, 1980: John Van Boxmeer records two points (1+1) and Bob Sauve turns aside 22 shots to record a shutout in the Sabres’ 2-0 win against the Islanders.
  • May 8, 1998: Geoff Sanderson scores two goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as the Sabres beat the Canadiens 3-2 in game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
  • May 8, 2006: Ryan Miller stops 43 shots and Jochen Hecht scores the game-winning goal in the Sabres’ 2-1 victory against Ottawa as Buffalo takes a 2-0 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 25-17-7 all-time in the final game of the regular season, including an 8-5-2 record since 2005-06.
  • The Sabres used their sixth different goalie of the season in their game on May 3. It is just the third time in franchise history Buffalo has had six different goalies play at least one game (1988-89, 2013-14).
    • No other team has used six goalies this season. Ottawa has used five, no other team has used more than four.
  • Sam Reinhart has scored eight goals in his last eight games.
    • Reinhart has recorded six of the Sabres’ 10 multi-goal performances this season and is the only Sabre to have two three-point games.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has recorded seven points (2+5) in his last eight games. He has totaled 17 points (9+8) in his last 21 games dating back to March 31.
    • His nine goals are second on the team in that span, trailing only Sam Reinhart (13).
  • Drake Caggiula (2+1) and Jeff Skinner (1+1) each have points in consecutive games.
  • Colin Miller enters tomorrow’s game with an assist in each of his last three games played. A point tomorrow would give him points in four straight games for the first time since he had a six-game point streak from Oct. 17 to 31, 2017.
  • Since making his NHL debut on April 9, Arttu Ruotsalainen is tied for fourth among rookies with five goals.
  • Since joining the Sabres, Anders Bjork has totaled six points (3+3) in 14 games, surpassing his total with Boston this season in 16 fewer games.
  • Jeff Skinner recorded his 100th point as a Sabre (61+39) with a power-play goal Thursday night.
  • Michael Houser earned his first career NHL victory in his first NHL appearance May 3. He’s just the seventh Sabres goalie to win their NHL debut and the second Sabre to do so this season (Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen – April 23).
  • Entering play Friday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 6:08 of penalty time per game. Buffalo’s 338 total penalty minutes are the fewest in the NHL.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart enters this afternoon’s game with 14 points (11+3) in his last 13 games dating back to April 15. His 11 goals since April 15 leads the NHL and his 14 points tie for 10th.
  • Reinhart recorded 15 points (10+5) in 16 games during the month of April, leading the team in both goals and points during that stretch.
    • Reinhart tied for fifth in the NHL with 10 goals during the month of April.
  • Reinhart has 25 goals in 53 games this season, tying his career high, which he set in 82 games during the 2017-18 season. He is one of 15 players in franchise history to have at least five 20-goal seasons with the Sabres and one of 26 players to score 25 or more goals at for least two seasons as a Sabre.
  • Reinhart ranks in the top 10 in the league in goals (25, 10th), road goals (15, T-2nd) and power-play goals (10, T-5th).
  • Reinhart is one of five players in the league this season to score double digit even-strength and power-play goals.

LEADERS AGAINST THE PENGUINS

  • Tage Thompson (3+1, 5 GP) and Victor Olofsson (2+2, 7 GP) lead all Sabres with four points against the Penguins this season. Thompson’s three goals pace all Buffalo skaters.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen leads players on both teams with 39 hits and 14 blocked shots. His three assists and average time on ice of 21:58 leads all Sabres players.
  • Casey Mittelstadt is 49-for-78 at the faceoff dot earning him a win percentage of 62.8, tops among Sabres who have taken a minimum of eight draws. His 62.8 win percentage is his best against any opponent this season.

CAREER YEARS

Despite the shortened 56-game season, several Sabres have tied or set new career highs.

  • Sam Reinhart tied his career high in both goals (25) and game-winning goals (5) in 53 games this season. Reinhart needs three points tomorrow to establish a new career high in points per game.
  • In 37 games this year, Tage Thompson set career highs in goals (8), points (14) and power-play goals (2). His six assists tied his career high.
  • Rasmus Asplund set career highs in goals (7), assists (4), points (11) and game-winning goals (2) in 27 games.
  • Casey Mittelstadt 55 points per game is the highest of his career in seasons that he has played at least seven games. Despite playing in only 40 games this season, Mittelstadt sits just three points of tying his career high of 25, which he set in 77 games during the 2018-19 season.
  • Victor Olofsson set a career high with eight power-play assists.
  • Jacob Bryson’s 13 blocked shots against Pittsburgh are his most against any opponent this season.

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on April 6 at New Jersey, Rasmus Ristolainen took sole possession of the eighth-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Richard Smehlik by one goal for seventh-most.
  • Ristolainen’s second assist on May 6 at Pittsburgh moved him past Bill Hajt for the sixth-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman. He currently trails Jerry Korab by 38 points for fifth-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 sits one assist shy of 200 for his career. His 199 assists are good for seventh most among defensemen in franchise history, three shy of Bill Hajt for sixth-most.
  • 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), .37 A/GP (15th), .45 PTS/GP (12th)

BUF-PIT CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres assistant coach Mike Bales was part of the Penguins organization for six seasons (2011-12 to 2016-17). He began as a goaltending development coach before becoming the team’s goaltending coach at the start of the 2013-14 season.
  • Sabres forward Riley Sheahan played for the Penguins for parts two seasons (2017-18 to 2018-19), totaling 41 points (18+23) in 122 games.
  • Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues played for the Sabres for parts of five seasons (2015-16 to 2019-20) after being signed by the team as a college free agent in 2015. Rodrigues totaled 71 points (26+45) in 192 games with the club.
  • Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel played parts of four seasons (2012-13 to 2015-16) with the Sabres, tallying two assists in 33 games.
  • Sabres forwards Cody Eakin won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins forward Sidney Crosby at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin and Penguins forward Colton Sceviour were teammates in Dallas from 2012-13 to 2015-16. Penguins hockey operations advisor Trevor Daley also played for the Stars during Eakin’s tenure with the team.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins defensemen Cody Ceci and Mike Matheson at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Tobias Rieder played with Penguins forward Mark Jankowski in Calgary in 2019-20.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and Penguins forward Jared McCann were on Canada’s silver-medal-winning roster at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola represented Finland together at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson won a silver medal together for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league-leaders entering play Friday)

  • Reinhart: 25 G (10th), 10 PPG (T-5th)
  • Ristolainen: 190 Hits (4th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (190), Miller (88), Dahlin (78)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (66), Jokiharju (50), Miller (50)
Shots: Reinhart (129), Olofsson (127), Dahlin (113)

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: 0-9-1 (1), 18/45, 0/14, 18/26
31-40: 3-5-2 (8), 28/35, 3/23, 28/34
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 29/32, 6/33, 17/22
51-56: 2-3-0 (4), 15/24, 2/10, 6/9

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-4; 126-138 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lafrenière, 2:47)
Feb. 25 vs. NJD: L, 4-3 (GWG-Zacha, 1:17)
March 29 vs. PHI: L 4-3 (GWG-Provorov, 0:42)
April 1 vs. NYR: L 3-2 (GWG Zibanejad, 4:32)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-3; 80-74 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)
April 3 vs. NYR: W 3-2 (GDG-Thompson)
April 13 at BOS: L 3-2 (GDG-Coyle)
May 4 vs. NYI: W 4-3 (GDG-Bjork)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Rasmus Dahlin … 4 games … 200 career games
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 5 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Sam Reinhart … 5 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Michael Houser … First NHL win … May 3 vs. NYI
Brett Murray … First NHL game … May 6 at PIT
Rasmus Ristolainen … 246 career points (6th in franchise history, defensemen) … May 6 at PIT
Jeff Skinner … 100 points as a Sabre … May 6 at PIT

Game Preview: 5/6/21 at Pittsburgh

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, May 4
NY Islanders 3 at Buffalo 4 (SO)
Goals: Bjork (2), Eakin; GDG – Bjork
Goalie: Houser (45 saves/48 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 1/1; Shots: NY Islanders 48 – Buffalo 31

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 287)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 54 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 40 games
Jack Eichel (neck, March 9; injured reserve) – 31 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 24 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, April 15) – 12 games
Kyle Okposo (cheek, April 17) – 11 games
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (lower body, May 3) – 2 games
Dustin Tokarski (undisclosed, May 3) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
5/3: Recalled G Michael Houser; Signed G Stefanos Lekkas to a professional tryout contract; Reassigned F C.J. Smith to the taxi squad; Reassigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea to the Rochester Americans (AHL).
5/4: Signed G Stefanos Lekkas to a one-year contract; Reassigned F Brett Murray to the taxi squad.
5/6: Recalled F Brett Murray; Reassigned F Jean-Sebastien Dea to the taxi squad

 

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, May 8: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 3 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PENGUINS

  • This is the seventh of eight meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Pittsburgh 4-2 in Buffalo on April 18.
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 3-5-2 on the road.
  • This is the 201st game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 70-87-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 27-52-21 on the road against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres have never played a regular-season game on May 6.
  • May 6, 1975: Craig Ramsay scores the game-tying goal with 5:25 left in the third period and Rene Robert scores 5:56 into overtime to help the Sabres defeat the Canadiens 5-4.
  • May 6, 1980: Gilbert Perreault (3+1) and Derek Smith (2+2) each record four points in the Sabres’ 7-4 victory over the Islanders.
  • May 6, 2007: Jochen Hecht scores two goals and Daniel Briere tallies three assists in the Sabres’ 5-4 series-clinching win over the Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres used their sixth different goalie of the season in their game on May 3. It is just the third time in franchise history Buffalo has had six different goalies play at least one game (1988-89, 2013-14).
  • Sam Reinhart has scored eight goals in his last seven games.
    • Reinhart has recorded six of the Sabres’ nine multi-goal performances this season and is the only Sabre to have two three-point games.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has recorded six points (2+4) in his last seven games. He has totaled 16 points (9+7) in his last 20 games dating back to March 31.
    • His nine goals are second on the team in that span, trailing only Sam Reinhart (13).
  • Since making his NHL debut on April 9, Arttu Ruotsalainen is tied for fourth among rookies in goals (5) and tied for 10th in points (6).
  • Rasmus Asplund has recorded three points (1+2) in his last four games.
  • Since joining the Sabres, Anders Bjork has totaled six points (3+3) in 13 games, surpassing his total with Boston this season in 17 fewer games.
  • Jeff Skinner’s next point will be his 100th as a Sabre.
  • Entering play Wednesday, the Sabres were the least-penalized team in the NHL with 6:13 of penalty time per game. Buffalo’s 336 total penalty minutes are the fewest in the NHL.

WELCOME TO MY HOUSE

  • Michael Houser earned his first-career NHL victory in his first NHL appearance May 3. He’s just the seventh Sabres goalie to win their NHL debut and first since Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen April 23.
  • If he starts tomorrow, Michael Houser will look to become the third goaltender in franchise history to win his first three career starts. He would be the first to do so since Daren Puppa won his first three starts from Nov. 1 to 10, 1985.
  • With a win tomorrow, Houser would become the second goaltender in the NHL this season to win his first three career starts, joining Florida’s Spencer Knight.
  • Houser’s 79 saves in his first two career starts are the most by a goaltender in franchise history. He trails only Steve Shields (99), Nathan Lieuwen (88), Jacques Cloutier (85) and Linus Ullmark (80) for the most saves by a goaltender in franchise history through their first three career starts.

SAM I AM

  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game with 14 points (11+3) in his last 12 games dating back to April 15. His 11 goals since April 15 leads the NHL and his 14 points tie for 7th.
  • Reinhart recorded 15 points (10+5) in 16 games during the month of April, leading the team in both goals and points during that stretch.
    • Reinhart tied for fifth in the NHL with 10 goals during the month of April.
  • Reinhart has 25 goals in 50 games this season, tying his career high, which he set in 82 games during the 2017-18 season. He is one of 15 players in franchise history to have at least five 20-goal seasons with the Sabres.
  • His 15 road goals this season are tied for third most in the NHL and he is tied for fifth in the league with 10 power-play goals.
  • Reinhart is one of five players in the league this season to score double digit even-strength and power-play goals.
  • Outside of a stretch from March 11 to 18, Reinhart has not gone more than two consecutive games without a point this season.

LEADERS AGAINST THE PENGUINS

  • Victor Olofsson leads all Sabres with four points (2+2) in six games played against the Penguins this season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen leads players on both teams with 31 hits. His average time on ice of 22:01 leads all Sabres players.
  • Jacob Bryson’s 11 blocked shots against Pittsburgh lead the Sabres and are his most against any opponent this season.
  • Casey Mittelstadt is 41-for-60 at the faceoff dot earning him a win percentage of 68.3, tops among Sabres who have taken a minimum of eight draws. His 68.3 win percentage is his best against any opponent this season.

ROAD WARRIORS

  • Rasmus Asplund set a career high in goals (4), assists (3) and points (7) on the road this season.
  • Colin Miller recorded seven points (4+3) in 22 games on the road this season, his best as a Sabre.
  • Casey Mittelstadt’s 13 points (4+9) mark a career high in road games.
  • Sam Reinhart’s 15 road goals in 26 games this season ties his career-high set in 2017-18 when he played in all 41 Sabres road contests.

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on April 6 at New Jersey, Rasmus Ristolainen took sole possession of the eighth-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Richard Smehlik by one goal 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 one point 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), .36 A/GP (15th), .45 PTS/GP (14th)

BUF-PIT CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres assistant coach Mike Bales was part of the Penguins organization for six seasons (2011-12 to 2016-17). He began as a goaltending development coach before becoming the team’s goaltending coach at the start of the 2013-14 season.
  • Sabres forward Riley Sheahan played for the Penguins for parts two seasons (2017-18 to 2018-19), totaling 41 points (18+23) in 122 games.
  • Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues played for the Sabres for parts of five seasons (2015-16 to 2019-20) after being signed by the team as a college free agent in 2015. Rodrigues totaled 71 points (26+45) in 192 games with the club.
  • Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel played parts of four seasons (2012-13 to 2015-16) with the Sabres, tallying two assists in 33 games.
  • Sabres forwards Cody Eakin won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins forward Sidney Crosby at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin and Penguins forward Colton Sceviour were teammates in Dallas from 2012-13 to 2015-16. Penguins hockey operations advisor Trevor Daley also played for the Stars during Eakin’s tenure with the team.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins defensemen Cody Ceci and Mike Matheson at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Tobias Rieder played with Penguins forward Mark Jankowski in Calgary in 2019-20.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and Penguins forward Jared McCann were on Canada’s silver-medal-winning roster at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola represented Finland together at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson won a silver medal together for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league-leaders entering play Wednesday)

  • Reinhart: 25 G (9th), 10 PPG (T-5th)
  • Ristolainen: 182 Hits (T-4th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (182), Miller (87), Dahlin (75)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (62), Jokiharju (50), Miller (50)
Shots: Olofsson (125), Reinhart (125), Dahlin (112)

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: 0-9-1 (1), 18/45, 0/14, 18/26
31-40: 3-5-2 (8), 28/35, 3/23, 28/34
41-50: 4-5-1 (9), 29/32, 6/33, 17/22
51-56: 2-2-0 (4), 11/16, 1/8, 6/8

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-4; 126-138 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lafrenière, 2:47)
Feb. 25 vs. NJD: L, 4-3 (GWG-Zacha, 1:17)
March 29 vs. PHI: L 4-3 (GWG-Provorov, 0:42)
April 1 vs. NYR: L 3-2 (GWG Zibanejad, 4:32)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-3; 80-74 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)
April 3 vs. NYR: W 3-2 (GDG-Thompson)
April 13 at BOS: L 3-2 (GDG-Coyle)
May 4 vs. NYI: W 4-3 (GDG-Bjork)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Rasmus Dahlin … 5 games … 200 career games
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 3 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 244 career points (T-6th in franchise history, defensemen)
Sam Reinhart … 5 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Michael Houser … First NHL win … May 3

Postgame Report: 4/18 vs. Pittsburgh

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Penguins
(28-14-3)
0 0 2 2 36
Sabres
(12-26-7)
1 1 2 4 29

Game Summary
Event Summary

Top Notes

  • His primary assist on Arttu Ruotsalainen’s goal gives Dylan Cozens five assists in his last five games.
  • Today was Sam Reinhart’s fourth multi-goal game of the season. Despite the shortened schedule, Reinhart is on pace to reach the 20-goal mark for the fourth consecutive season.
    • Reinhart leads the team and is tied for 20th in the NHL with 17 goals this season.
  • Both Rasmus Dahlin and Victor Olofsson recorded multi-point games (0+2).
    • Dahlin now has eight points (2+6) in his last nine games dating back to April 3. His six even-strength points in that span tie him for the league league among defensemen.
    • Dahlin tied his career high with eight shots on goal today (Last: Dec. 11, 2018 vs. LAK).
  • Casey Mittelstadt won a career-high 15 faceoffs, going 15-for-21 (71.4 percent) on draws today.
    • The last Sabres player to take 20 or more faceoffs and win 70 percent or more of his draws in a game was Jack Eichel, who went 14-for-20 (70 percent) at Washington on Dec. 21, 2018.
  • In his six games played during the month of April, Dustin Tokarski has a .926 save percentage and a 2.68 goals-against average. Tokarski ranks fourth in the NHL with 201 saves since April 1.
  • The last 11 meetings between the Sabres and Penguins have been won by the team who scored first.
  • The Sabres were 2-for-2 on the penalty kill today, marking the 23rd game this season that the team has been perfect while shorthanded.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen recorded eight hits today to tie his season high.
  • Mattias Samuelsson made his NHL debut today, skating 14:12 and recorded one shot on goal.

Today’s Goaltenders

Today’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision GA SA
Penguins DeSmith L 3 28
Sabres Tokarski W 2 36
Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Penguins DeSmith 10-6-0 .911 2.44
Sabres Tokarski 2-5-2 .914 3.15

 

Game Preview: 4/18/21 vs. Pittsburgh

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, April 17
Buffalo 3 vs. Pittsburgh 2
Goals: Thompson, Mittelstadt
Goalie: Tokarski (38 saves/41 shots)
PP: 1/1; PK: 1/2; Shots: Pittsburgh 41 – Buffalo 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 221)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 44 games
William Borgen (forearm, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 30 games
Jake McCabe (knee, Feb. 22; injured reserve) – 30 games
Jack Eichel (neck, March 9; injured reserve) – 21 games
Carter Hutton (lower body, March 24) – 14 games
Riley Sheahan (upper body, April 15) – 2 games
Linus Ullmark (lower body, April 15) – 2 games
Kyle Okposo (cheek, April 17) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/12: Acquired F Anders Bjork and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Boston Bruins in exchange for F Taylor Hall and F Curtis Lazar
4/15: Recalled G Michael Houser from the taxi squad
4/17: Recalled F Steven Fogarty from the Rochester Americans (AHL); Reassigned G Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from Rochester to the taxi squad
4/18: Recalled D Mattias Samuelsson from the Rochester Americans (AHL); Reassigned F Steven Fogarty to the taxi squad; Reassigned F C.J. Smith to Rochester

 

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, April 20: Boston at Buffalo, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 22: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, April 23: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 25: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, April 27: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
PENGUINS at SABRES

  • This is the sixth of eight meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 3-2 in Buffalo on April 17.
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-8-0 at home.
  • This is the 200th game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 69-87-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 42-35-22 at home against the Penguins all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 2-1-1 all-time on April 18 (regular season)
  • April 18, 1999: Dominik Hasek records his ninth shutout of the season, turning away all 25 Washington shots in a 3-0 home win.
  • April 18, 2006: Martin Biron stops all 33 Hurricanes shots in 4-0 victory at Carolina as the Sabres win their then-franchise record 52nd game of the season.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW.

  • The last ten meetings between the Sabres and Penguins have been won by the team who scored first.
  • Casey Mittelstadt has totaled nine points (7+2) in his last ten games and leads all Sabres in both goals and points during that stretch.
    • At the conclusion of yesterday’s game, Mittelstadt was tied for sixth in the NHL with six goals during the month of April.
  • Mittelstadt leads Buffalo in both faceoff wins (26) and faceoff percentage (66.7) against Pittsburgh this year. His 66.7 win percentage (26-for-39) at the dot against the Penguins this season is his best against any opponent.
  • Dylan Cozens has four assists in his last four games.
  • After yesterday’s game, Rasmus Dahlin’s five even-strength points and six total points since April 3 tied him for fifth and seventh, respectively, among all NHL defensemen during that stretch.
  • Tage Thompson’s second-period goal yesterday gives him goals in consecutive games for the second time this season (Last: April 8 and 9).

BACK-TO-BACK
Today’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 12th of 14 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began yesterday with a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh. The Sabres are 3-9-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-9-1 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (1), two points (3), one point (0) and zero points (7).

THREE’S COMPANY

  • In the team’s last seven games, the line of Rasmus Asplund, Casey Mittelstadt and Tage Thompson has skated together more than any other forward line at 5-on-5 (67:40). During that time, they have outshot their opponents 41-38, outscored opponents 4-0 and have a 54.6 expected-goals percentage at 5-on-5, according to Natural Stat Trick.
  • The trio has recorded 16 high-danger chances-for and given up only nine high-danger chances-against for a 64.0 high-danger chances-for percentage.
  • All three players have scored at least twice during the seven-game stretch – Asplund on April 6 and 11, Mittelstadt on April 6, 9, 11, 15, and 17 and Thompson on April 8, 9, 15 and 17.
  • Mittelstadt (5+1) leads the Sabres in points during the stretch, while Thompson (4+1) is tied for second and Asplund (2+2) is tied for fourth. The trio are also the team’s three leaders in plus/minus since April 6.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO

ANDERS BJORK

  • The Sabres acquired forward Anders Bjork along with a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft from the Boston Bruins on April 12 in exchange for forwards Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar.
  • Bjork recorded his first point as a Sabre on his first shift of the game on April 13 at Boston with an assist on Colin Miller’s
  • In his second game with the team on Thursday, Bjork scored his first goal as a Sabre and added an assist.
  • Bjork was named to the Hobey Baker Top 10 after his junior season at the University of Notre Dame in 2016-17, during which he tied for ninth in NCAA scoring with 52 points (21+31) in 39 games. He totaled 109 points (40+69) in 115 collegiate contests.
  • The Mequon, Wisconsin native has represented the United States at the IIHF World Championship (2017), the IIHF World Junior Championship (2016) and the IIHF U18 World Championship (2014).

DRAKE CAGGIULA

  • The Sabres claimed forward Drake Caggiula off waivers April 9.
  • In 249 career games with Edmonton, Chicago and Arizona, Caggiula has totaled 83 points (42+41).
  • Caggiula set a career high in points (23) and tied his career high in assists (11) during the 2018-19 season with the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Caggiula played four years of collegiate hockey at the University of North Dakota where he totaled 127 points (62+65) in 162 games. He won the 2016 NCAA National Championship with the Fighting Hawks and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player.

RISTO IN THE RECORD BOOK

  • With his goal on April 6 at New Jersey, Rasmus Ristolainen took sole possession of the eighth-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Richard Smehlik by one goal 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 three 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), .37 A/GP (15th), .45 PTS/GP (11th)

BUF-PIT CONNECTIONS

  • Sabres assistant coach Mike Bales was part of the Penguins organization for six seasons (2011-12 to 2016-17). He began as a goaltending development coach before becoming the team’s goaltending coach at the start of the 2013-14 season.
  • Sabres forward Riley Sheahan played for the Penguins for parts two seasons (2017-18 to 2018-19), totaling 41 points (18+23) in 122 games.
  • Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues played for the Sabres for parts of five seasons (2015-16 to 2019-20) after being signed by the team as a college free agent in 2015. Rodrigues totaled 71 points (26+45) in 192 games with the club.
  • Penguins defenseman Chad Ruhwedel played parts of four seasons (2012-13 to 2015-16) with the Sabres, tallying two assists in 33 games.
  • Sabres forwards Cody Eakin won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins forward Sidney Crosby at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Cody Eakin and Penguins forward Colton Sceviour were teammates in Dallas from 2012-13 to 2015-16. Penguins hockey operations advisor Trevor Daley also played for the Stars during Eakin’s tenure with the team.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins defensemen Cody Ceci and Mike Matheson at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres forward Tobias Rieder played with Penguins forward Mark Jankowski in Calgary in 2019-20.
  • Sabres forward Sam Reinhart and Penguins forward Jared McCann were on Canada’s silver-medal-winning roster at the 2019 IIHF World Championship.
  • Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and Penguins defenseman Juuso Riikola represented Finland together at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Sabres forward Jeff Skinner and Penguins defenseman Mike Matheson won a silver medal together for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

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

  • Okposo: 2 SHP (T-10th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (144), Miller (83), Dahlin (59)
Blocked Shots: Miller (48), Ristolainen (46), Irwin (43)
Shots: Olofsson (104), Reinhart (91), Dahlin (84)

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: 0-9-1 (1), 18/45, 0/14, 18/26
31-40: 3-5-2 (8), 28/35, 3/23, 28/34
41-50: 2-1-1 (5), 14/10, 1/9, 5/7

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-4; 126-138 all-time)
Jan. 28 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Lafrenière, 2:47)
Feb. 25 vs. NJD: L, 4-3 (GWG-Zacha, 1:17)
March 29 vs. PHI: L 4-3 (GWG-Provorov, 0:42)
April 1 vs. NYR: L 3-2 (GWG Zibanejad, 4:32)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-3; 80-74 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)
April 3 vs. NYR: W 3-2 (GDG-Thompson)
April 13 at BOS: L 3-2 (GDG-Coyle)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
N/A
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 goal … 47 career goals (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 2 goals … 200 career goals
Assists
Rasmus Ristolainen … 5 assists … 200 career assists
Colin Miller … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
N/A

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Postgame Report: 4/17 vs. Pittsburgh

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Penguins
(28-13-3)
1 2 0 3 41
Sabres
(11-26-7)
0 1 1 2 30

Game Summary
Event Summary

Top Notes

  • With his goal today, Casey Mittelstadt now has nine points (7+2) in his last ten games. He leads the Sabres in both goals and points during that stretch.
    • Mittelstadt is tied for sixth in the NHL with six goals during the month of April.
  • Tage Thompson’s second-period goal gives him goals in consecutive games for the second time this season (Last: April 8 and 9).
    • Thompson’s goal marked his sixth of the season in 26 games played, one shy of his career high that he set in 65 games during the 2018-19 season.
    • With six shots, Thompson tied his career high that he set on Jan. 8, 2019 vs. New Jersey.
  • Sam Reinhart went 9-for-13 at the faceoff dot today. His nine faceoff wins are his most since he won a career-high 11 on Oct. 25, 2017 at Columbus.

Today’s Goaltenders

Today’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision GA SA
Penguins Jarry W 2 30
Sabres Tokarski L 3 41
Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Penguins Jarry 18-8-3 .912 2.74
Sabres Tokarski 1-5-2 .910 3.30