Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Lightning

Game Preview: 11/29/18 at Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, November 27
San Jose 2 at Buffalo 3 (OT)
Goals: Ristolainen, Beaulieu, Skinner
Goalie: Hutton (36 saves/38 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/3; Shots: San Jose 38 – Buffalo 31

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 86)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 25 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 25 games
Patrik Berglund (upper body, Nov. 21; injured reserve) – 4 games
Conor Sheary (upper body, Nov. 27) – 1 game
Marco Scandella (undisclosed, Nov. 27) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/23: Assigned D Lawrence Pilut to Rochester (AHL)
11/27: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Nov. 30: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 3: Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4: Toronto at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 11: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay 2-1 in Buffalo on Nov. 13
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Jan. 12 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 3-7-0 on the road
  • This is the 100th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 55-36-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 29-18-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-11-0 all-time on November 29.
  • November 29, 1981: Lindy Ruff records his first-career hat trick in a 5-2 win at home against the Islanders.
  • November 29, 1993: Dominik Hasek picks up his first shutout as a member of the Sabres, stopping all 24 Toronto shots in a 3-0 win at Maple Leaf Gardens.
  • November 29, 1998: A two-goal night from Michael Peca leads the Sabres to a 6-3 victory over the Lightning in Tampa.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Two Sabres have a chance to appear in milestone games tonight: Nathan Beaulieu (300th game) and Evan Rodrigues (100th game).
  • Buffalo is seeking its first six-game road winning streak in the same season since the team won its first 10 road games of the 2006-07 season. Since then, the Sabres have twice won at least six consecutive road games spanning two seasons: 2009 (7-0-0) and 2011 (6-0-0).
  • Entering tonight’s game, the Sabres have wins in five straight games against divisional opponents for the first time since they won seven in a row against Northeast Division opponents from Dec. 15, 2010 to Feb. 15, 2011.
  • Jeff Skinner’s 11 goals in 13 road games trailed only Patrik Laine (15) for most in the league before Wednesday’s games. With 19 goals through Buffalo’s first 25 games, Skinner entered play Wednesday tied with Laine and David Pastrnak for most in the NHL this season.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded a point in each of his last three games against the Lightning (2+1).

GOING STREAKING

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game on their first 10-game winning streak since the team won its first 10 games of the 2006-07 season. With a win tonight, they would top the franchise record for most consecutive wins, set in January 1984 and tied during that October 2006 stretch.
  • In addition to the three official 10-game winning streaks, the Sabres have twice won at least 10 consecutive regular-season games during streaks that spanned two seasons: 15 games (April 8 to Oct. 26, 2006) and 11 games (April 1 to Oct. 26, 1975).
  • With a win or overtime loss tonight, the Sabres would have points in 11 straight games for the first time since Dec. 26 to Jan. 18, 2010 (8-0-3).

SCORING EARLY IS GREAT…

  • The Sabres are 12-0-2 when scoring first so far this season. Entering play Wednesday, they were one of three teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they’ve opened the scoring in 2018-19.
  • Buffalo is 10-0-2 when leading after the first period. Entering play Wednesday, they were one of five teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they’ve led after 20 minutes in 2018-19.

…BUT SCORING LATE IS NICE TOO

  • The Sabres are 5-6-1 when trailing after two periods. Their five wins when trailing after 40 minutes ranked as the second-most in the league entering play Wednesday.
  • Buffalo’s five wins when trailing after two have already matched last season’s total and leave the team four third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.

NOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Sabres are 10-0-2 in one-goal games so far this season. Buffalo last won more than half of its one-goal games in a season in 2011-12 (21-9-11). The team’s current .833 winning percentage in one-goal games would top the franchise record of .714 (10-4-0) set in the 1977-78 season.

MR. CARTER

  • Carter Hutton is 8-0-0 with a .936 save percentage and a 1.97 goals-against average in his last eight games.
  • The eight-game winning streak tops his previous high, a five-game streak from March 21, 2014 at Calgary to April 13, 2014 at Minnesota. It’s the longest winning streak by a Sabres goaltender since Ryan Miller’s eight-game streak from Oct. 8 to 30, 2009.
  • Entering play Wednesday, Hutton’s 12 wins trailed only Frederik Andersen and Marc-Andre Fleury (13 wins each) for most in the NHL.

DYNAMIC DUO
Jack Eichel and Jeff Skinner are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points and make a mark in the Sabres’ record books on the strength of career-best production at even strength that ranks them among the best even-strength players in the league this season.

  • If he maintains his current pace, Eichel would finish the season with the fourth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre (69), trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70). He would become the first Sabre to record more than 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07.
  • Skinner is currently on pace for the second-highest goal total (62) in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 46 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny’s even-strength total from that season (49) for most in team history.
Player/Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
Eichel Career High (2017-18) 67 25 39 64 22 20 42
Eichel 2018-19 25 5 23 28 4 17 21
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 16 75 92 13 56 69
               
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 25 19 8 27 14 5 19
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 62 26 89 46 16 62

WINNING WAYS
Sam Reinhart has recorded 11 points (2+9) in his last 12 games, including four two-point games during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-0-0 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-2-3 (.883) in his career when he records at least two.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s fifth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Florida. The Sabres are 4-0-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in their previous back-to-back sets is: four points (3), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (0).

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 11/28 games)

  • Buffalo Sabres: 36 PTS (1st), 17 W (T-1st), 81.9 PK% (8th)
  • Eichel: 103 S (T-3rd), 23 A (5th), 21 EVP (T-7th)
  • Hutton: 12 W (3rd), 532 SV (6th)
  • Ristolainen: 82 hits (5th), 25:16 TOI/GP (10th)
  • Skinner: 14 EVG (1st), 19 G (T-1st), 2 OTG (T-1st), plus-15 (T-4th), 3 GWG (T-4th), 5 PPG (T-7th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-9th)

BUF-TBL CONNECTIONS
Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern and D Mikhail Sergachev in Montreal.

Patrik Berglund:

  • Won a silver medal with Lightning D Victor Hedman at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo played together again at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Has represented Sweden in international play with Lightning D Anton Stralman twice: at the 2009 IIHF World Championship, where they won a bronze medal, and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Lightning assistant general manager Pat Verbeek in Dallas.
  • Was a scout for the Stars when Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern played in Dallas.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America with Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern in Washington.

Phil Housley:

  • Coached Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal together for the United States.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden with Lightning D Victor Hedman at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Lightning F Tyler Johnson at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played for Team USA with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal for Canada with Lightning F Brayden Point at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played under Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, winning a bronze medal.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played in Minnesota when Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards was the head coach of the Wild.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Lightning F Steven Stamkos at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal for Canada with Lightning F Brayden Point at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (82), McCabe (42), Girgensons (37)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (43), Bogosian (36), Ristolainen (36)
Shots: Eichel (103), Skinner (81), Ristolainen (60)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 6-2-2 (14), 35/27, 4/28, 26/29
21-30: 5-0-0 (10), 19/12, 4/15, 11/13

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-2; 117-123 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)
Nov. 19 at PIT: W, 5-4 (GWG-Eichel, 0:45)
Nov. 23 vs. MTL: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 3:06)
Nov. 27 vs. SJS: W, 3-2 (GWG-Skinner, 1:41)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-0; 73-66 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)
Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)
Nov. 24 at DET: W, 3-2 (GDG-Reinhart)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Nathan Beaulieu … 1 game … 300 career games played
Evan Rodrigues … 1 game … 100 career games played
Remi Elie … 4 games … 100 career games played
Kyle Okposo … 5 games … 700 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Assists
Kyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
Points
Jason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Post-Game Report: 11/13 vs. Tampa Bay

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Lightning
(12-5-1)
0 1 0 1 31
Sabres
(10-6-2)
1 1 0 2 19

Game Summary

Event Summary

Top Notes

  • The Sabres are now 4-0-1 in their last five home games. It is the first time the team has posted points in five consecutive home games since they earned points in seven straight from Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, 2017 (6-0-1).
  • After scoring tonight, Jeff Skinner (13 goals) finished the game with sole possession of second place in the NHL.
    • Skinner also finished the game tied with Patrick Kane for the league lead with his 11 even-strength goals.
  • Sam Reinhart recorded an assist on Skinner’s goal and now has seven points (1+6) in his last five games.
    • The Sabres are now 9-0-0 this season when Reinhart records a point.
  • With his goal tonight, Kyle Okposo now has three points (2+1) in his last three games against the Lightning.
  • Conor Sheary’s assist on Okposo’s goal gives him five points (3+2) in his last five games.
  • Nathan Beaulieu recorded two assists to earn his sixth career multi-point game and first since March 30, 2017 vs. Florida (0+2).

Tonight’s Goaltenders

Tonight’s Stats
Team Goaltender Decision SV% GAA
Lightning Domingue L .895 2.05
Sabres Hutton W .967 1.00
Updated Season Stats
Team Goaltender Record SV% GAA
Lightning Domingue 3-2-0 .887 3.43
Sabres Hutton 7-6-1 .916 2.65

Post-Game Audio

Sabres head coach Phil Housley

Sabres forward Jeff Skinner

Sabres forward Kyle Okposo

Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton

Lightning head coach Jon Cooper

Lightning forward Steven Stamkos

Lightning forward Anthony Cirelli

Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak

Game Preview: 11/13/18 vs. Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, November 10
Vancouver 3 at Buffalo 4 (SO)
Goals: Beaulieu, Skinner, Reinhart
Goalie: Hutton (36 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 4/4; Shots: Vancouver 39 – Buffalo 37

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 63)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 17 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 17 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/10: Acquired a conditional seventh-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft from Dallas in exchange for D Taylor Fedun

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Nov. 16: Buffalo at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 17: Buffalo at Minnesota, 6 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 19: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 21: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 4 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
LIGHTNING at SABRES

  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Tampa Bay defeated Buffalo 7-5 in Tampa on April 6
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Nov. 29 in Tampa
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 2-5-3 at home
  • This is the 99th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 54-36-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-18-5 at home against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-8-2 all-time on November 13
  • November 13, 1983: Mike Foligno and Gilbert Perreault each score a hat trick in an 11-2 Sabres win vs. Calgary.
  • November 13, 2006: Teppo Numminen appears in his 1,252nd NHL game at Carolina, surpassing Jari Kurri for the most by a European-trained player at the time.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games. It’s Buffalo’s best 10-game stretch since the team posted an identical 6-2-2 record from March 16 to April 5, 2016.
  • Jack Eichel entered play Monday tied for third in the league with seven multi-point games this season, 11 shy of his career-high 18 in a season. Jeff Skinner tied for 10th with six, 10 shy of his career-high 16.
  • Entering tonight’s game, Evan Rodrigues (1+3) and Rasmus Ristolainen (0+3) have each recorded at least a point in three straight matchups with the Lightning.
  • Casey Mittelstadt scored his first career goal in the last meeting between Buffalo and Tampa Bay.

HOME COOKING

  • Buffalo enters tonight’s game with a 5-2-1 record at home this season. Entering play Monday, that record tied the team with the San Jose Sharks for the ninth-best home record in the NHL.
  • With 11 points through eight home games, the team has already clinched its best 10-game start to the home schedule since they began the 2009-10 season with a 7-2-1 record in their first 10 home games.
  • The Sabres have gone 3-0-1 in their last four home games. A point tonight would give the Sabres points in five consecutive home games for the first time since they earned points in seven straight from Jan. 7 to Feb. 7, 2017 (6-0-1).

WHAT’S THE SKINNY?

  • With 12 goals through Buffalo’s first 17 games, Jeff Skinner entered play Monday trailing only David Pastrnak (16 goals) for most in the NHL this season.
  • With his 10th goal in the team’s 16th game of the season on Thursday at Montreal, Skinner reached the 10-goal mark quicker than any Sabres player since Thomas Vanek (10 games) in 2012-13.
  • Only five players in franchise history have scored more goals through 17 team games than Skinner’s current total: Dave Andreychuk (17 in 1992-93), Rick Martin (14 in 1972-73 and 1973-74), Danny Gare (13 in 1980-81), Gilbert Perreault (13 in 1977-78) and Thomas Vanek (13 in 2008-09).
  • Only Rick Vaive (14 in 1988-89) has scored more goals through his first 17 games played with the Sabres.

WINNING WAYS
Sam Reinhart has recorded three two-point games in his last four games played, totaling six points (1+5) during that stretch. The Sabres are 8-0-0 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 24-2-3 (.879) in his career when he records at least two.

THREE’S COMPANY
Entering play Monday, Jeff Skinner, Jason Pominville and Jack Eichel each ranked in the top 10 in the NHL in points since Oct. 20 at Los Angeles. In those 10 games, Skinner has recorded 16 points (11+5), and Pominville (7+7) and Eichel (1+13) have totaled 14 points each.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 11/12 games)

  • Eichel: 15 EVP (T-6th), 15 A (T-7th), 66 S (T-8th)
  • Ristolainen: 1 OTG (T-4th), 25:15 TOI/GP (8th), 2 GWG (T-10th)
  • Skinner: 12 G (T-2nd), 10 EVG (T-2nd), plus-11 (T-5th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-6th)

BUF-TBL CONNECTIONS
Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Played with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern and D Mikhail Sergachev in Montreal.

Patrik Berglund:

  • Won a silver medal with Lightning D Victor Hedman at the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo played together again at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
  • Has represented Sweden in international play with Lightning D Anton Stralman twice: at the 2009 IIHF World Championship, where they won a bronze medal, and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Jason Botterill:

  • Played with Lightning assistant general manager Pat Verbeek in Dallas.
  • Was a scout for the Stars when Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern played in Dallas.
  • Was the assistant general manager in Pittsburgh when Lightning D Cameron Gaunce was playing for the Penguins.

Jack Eichel:

  • Played for Team North America with Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Chris Hajt:

  • Played with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern in Washington.

Phil Housley:

  • Coached Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship, winning a gold medal together for the United States.

Johan Larsson:

  • Represented Sweden with Lightning D Victor Hedman at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.

Jake McCabe:

  • Played for Team USA with Lightning F Tyler Johnson at the 2014 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Lightning F J.T. Miller at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Jason Pominville:

  • Played for Team USA with Lightning assistant coach Jeff Halpern at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Won a gold medal for Canada with Lightning F Brayden Point at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played under Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper for Team Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship, winning a bronze medal.

Marco Scandella:

  • Played in Minnesota when Lightning assistant coach Todd Richards was the head coach of the Wild.

Conor Sheary:

  • Played with Lightning D Cameron Gaunce in Pittsburgh.

Jeff Skinner:

  • Played for Team Canada with Lightning F Steven Stamkos at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal for Canada with Lightning F Brayden Point at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.

Vladimir Sobotka:

  • Represented the Czech Republic at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey with Lightning F Ondrej Palat.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (48), McCabe (26), Girgensons (24)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (29), McCabe (28), Bogosian (24)
Shots: Eichel (66), Skinner (57), Pominville (45)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA,
PP, PK]
1-10: 6-4-0 (12), 26/28, 8/38, 22/30
11-20: 3-2-2 (8), 28/23, 3/23, 22/24

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-2; 114-123 all-time)
Oct. 27 at CBJ: L, 5-4 (GWG-Panarin, 0:31)
Oct. 30 vs. CGY: L, 2-1 (GWG-Gaudreau, 2:40)
Nov. 8 at MTL: W, 6-5 (GWG-Ristolainen, 1:38)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-0; 71-66 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Jeff Skinner … 4 games … 600 career games played
Nathan Beaulieu … 6 games … 300 career games played
Remi Elie … 6 games … 100 career games played
Evan Rodrigues … 6 games … 100 career games played
Goals
Jason Pominville … 2 goals … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
Points
Jeff Skinner … 2 points … 400 career points
Jack Eichel … 4 points … 200 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Conor Sheary … 200th NHL game … Nov. 8 at MTL

Game Preview: 4/6/18 at Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, April 4
Ottawa 4 at Buffalo 2
Goals: O’Reilly, Okposo
Goalie: Johnson (28 saves/31 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 34 – Ottawa 32

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 314)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 37 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 27 games
Jacob Josefson (lower body. March 17) – 10 games
Linus Ullmark (upper body, March 26) – 5 games
Robin Lehner (lower body, March 31) – 3 games
Victor Antipin (concussion, April 2) – 2 games
Zemgus Girgensons (face, April 4) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/31: Assigned F Kyle Criscuolo to Rochester (AHL)
4/2: Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL)
4/3: Recalled F Alexander Nylander and F Kevin Porter from Rochester (AHL)

REMAINING GAMES
Saturday, April 7: Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay 2-1 in Tampa on Feb. 28
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 3-7-0 on the road.
  • This is the 98th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 54-35-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 29-17-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-2 all-time on April 6.
  • April 6, 1980: Danny Gare scores twice in a 7-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Aud to finish the regular season with 56 goals.
  • April 6, 1995: Craig Muni appears in his 100th game as a member of the Sabres, a 1-1 tie at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With wins in each of the last two meetings between these teams, the Sabres enter tonight’s game with consecutive wins against the Lightning for the first time since March 19, 2012 and Feb. 26, 2013. A win tonight would stretch that streak to three games for the first time since Buffalo won four in a row from Oct. 4, 2009 to March 27, 2010
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 36 points (17+19) in his last 36 games dating back to Jan. 18. Reinhart has 19 goals in 41 games so far in 2018, tying him for 13th-most in the league since Jan. 1 entering play Thursday.

TOPPING TAMPA

  • The Sabres’ 29-17-3 (.622) record in Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time road record against any Eastern Conference opponent. The team’s next best road record against an Eastern Conference opponent is its 41-27-11 (.589) mark at Washington.
  • Buffalo’s all-time record of 54-35-8 (.598) against Tampa Bay is the team’s third-best record against any Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only their 88-50-20 (.620) mark against Washington and their 115-69-26 (.610) record against Toronto.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Jack Eichel has recorded eight points (3+5) in his last five games and has played at a point-per-game pace dating back to mid-November, with 48 points (21+27) in his last 48 games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has posted seven points (3+4) in his last six games, including each of his last four.
  • Sam Reinhart enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak, with six points (4+2) in those games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has tallied five assists in his last four games.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s final of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Florida. The Sabres are 5-10-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 5-8-2 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (1), three points (0), two points (8), one point (2) and zero points (4).

ROAD WARRIORS

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 9-4-1 record in their last 14 road games.
  • Jack Eichel has 36 points (11+25) in 33 road games this season. Eichel’s 1.09 points per game on the road this season rank as the ninth-best rate in the NHL.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 18 points (11+7) in his last 18 road games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 17 points (4+13) in his last 19 road games.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has eight points (1+7) in his last seven road games.
  • Kyle Okposo has four points (2+2) his last four road games.
  • Jason Pominville has recorded a point in each of his last three road games (2+1).

QUARTER CENTURY KIDS

  • With his 25th goal of the season on March 29 vs. Detroit, Jack Eichel became the first Sabre aged 21 or younger to reach the 25-goal mark since Pierre Turgeon did so in the 1990-91 season.
  • Sam Reinhart (22 years old) is one goal shy of the 25-goal mark. If he scores another goal this season, the Sabres would have two 25-goal scorers under 23 years of age for the first time since Alexander Mogilny and Donald Audette each topped 25 as 22-year-olds in the 1991-92 season.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (1,239) and faceoff percentage (60.1%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 1,239 wins through 79 games played rank second in NHL history and put him on pace to edge Rod Brind’Amour (1,268 in 2005-06) for the most by any NHL player in a season.
  • At his current pace, O’Reilly would become just the third player ever to win at least 1,000 faceoffs in a season while maintaining a faceoff percentage of at least 59 percent, joining Brind’Amour (five times) and Patrice Bergeron (two times).

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

I LIKE EICH

  • Despite missing 15 games with a high-ankle sprain, Jack Eichel has topped his previous personal bests in goals (24), assists (33) and points (57) on the strength of improved production at even strength.
  • With his 17th multi-point game in his 61st game of the season, Eichel surpassed his career-best total of 16 set in 2016-17. Through 65 games, Eichel now has 18 multi-point games.
  • With his 17th even-strength goal in his 44th game of the season on Jan. 11 vs. Columbus, Eichel surpassed his career-best total from 2015-16 (81 games). Through 65 games, Eichel now has 22 even-strength goals.
  • With his 36th even-strength point in his 53rd game of the season on Feb. 7 vs. Anaheim, Eichel surpassed his career-best total from 2015-16 (81 games). Through 65 games, he now has 42 even-strength points.

Jack Eichel’s Production by Season

Season GP G A PTS ES G ES A ES P
2015-16 81 24 32 56 16 19 35
2016-17 61 24 33 57 14 19 33
2017-18 65 25 37 62 22 20 42

SETTING THEM UP AND KNOCKING THEM DOWN

  • Of Jack Eichel’s 62 points so far this season, 27 have been goals or primary assists recorded during 5-on-5 play (excludes 6-on-5 situations).
  • Through 65 games played, Eichel’s 27 primary points (16+11) during 5-on-5 play have surpassed his career-best total from his 81-game rookie season (12+12).

*All primary point stats via NaturalStatTrick.com

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 4/5 games)

  • Eichel: 3.66 S/GP (7th)
  • O’Reilly: 1,239 FOW (1st), 60.1% FO% (1st), 2,061 FO (1st), 14 PPG (T-5th), 4 SHP (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:31 TOI/GP (4th)

BUF-TBL CONNECTIONS

Former Sabres:

  • Cory Conacher was a member of the Sabres for part of the 2013-14 season, when he posted six points (3+3) in 19 games for Buffalo.

Local Players:

  • Ryan Callahan was born in Rochester, New York and played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.

Nathan Beaulieu:

  • Teammates with Peter Budaj in Montreal from 2012-2014.

Justin Falk:

  • Teammates with Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi for the New York Rangers in 2013-14.
  • Played with Tyler Johnson for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) during the 2007-08 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Canada alongside Braydon Coburn at the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Peter Budaj for the Montreal Canadiens from 2011-2014.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh on the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played at the 2012 World Championship for Team Sweden alongside Victor Hedman.
  • Was born on July 25, 1992, two years to the day before Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Jordan Nolan:

  • Teammates with Peter Budaj for the Los Angeles Kings from 2015-2017.

Alex Nylander:

  • He and Brayden Point were both born in Calgary, Alberta.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Shares a hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota with Ryan McDonagh.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He was born on Feb. 7, 1991, exactly one year after Steven Stamkos.
  • Was teammates with Peter Budaj on the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2011.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller and Anton Stralman for the New York Rangers in 2013-14.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Brayden Point was a member of Team Canada along with Reinhart at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Matt Tennyson:

  • Played with Yanni Gourde in the AHL on the Worcester Sharks from 2011-14.

Scott Wilson:

  • Teammates with Chris Kunitz for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014-2017.

World Championships:

  • Ryan O’Reilly represented Canada alongside Steven Stamkos in 2013, and again in 2016 World Cup.
  • Chad Johnson, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn all played for Team Canada at the World Championship in 2017.
  • Victor Antipin, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov played together on the Russian team at the World Junior Championship in 2012.
  • Victor Antipin, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov were teammates for Russia at the 2017 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Jason Pominville (55th overall) and Peter Budaj (63rd overall) were both selected in the second round of the 2001 NHL Draft.
  • Jacob Josefson (20th overall) and Victor Hedman (2nd overall) were both first round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) and J.T. Miller (15th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall), Slater Koekkoek (10th overall) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th overall) were all first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Alex Nylander (8th overall) was taken one pick before Mikhail Sergachev (9th overall) in the 2016 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (202), Girgensons (134), Nolan (122)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (111), Ristolainen (108), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (238), O’Reilly (224), Reinhart (183)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 3-5-2 (8), 26/36, 5/36, 29/35
11-20: 2-6-2 (6), 20/35, 5/28, 23/27
21-30: 2-6-2 (6), 18/31, 2/32, 24/32
31-40: 3-4-3 (9), 24/33, 3/25, 23/28
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 27/31, 10/33, 15/26
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 28/32, 6/24, 32/38
61-70: 5-4-1 (11), 24/31, 6/32, 20/25
71-80: 3-7-0 (6), 24/40, 9/36, 16/24

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

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

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
N/A

RECENT MILESTONES
Jack Eichel … 100th NHL assist … March 31 at Nashville

Game Preview: 2/28/18 at Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, February 25
Boston 1 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Pouliot, Okposo, Rodrigues, Scandella
Goalie: Johnson (34 saves/35 shots)
PP: 1/5; PK: 4/4; Shots: Boston 35 – Buffalo 24

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 218)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zach Bogosian (lower body, Jan. 11; injured reserve) – 20 games
Jake McCabe (shoulder, Feb. 8; injured reserve) – 10 games
Jack Eichel (high-ankle sprain, Feb. 11; injured reserve) – 8 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/26: Acquired F Daniel O’Regan, a conditional first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for F Evander Kane; Assigned O’Regan to Rochester (AHL)
2/27: Recalled F Seth Griffith from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, March 2: Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Monday, March 5: Toronto at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 7: Calgary at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 8: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 10: Vegas at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay 5-3 in Buffalo on Feb. 13
  • Next meeting: Friday, April 6 in Tampa
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 2-8-0 on the road.
  • This is the 97th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 53-35-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 28-17-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-3 all-time on February 28.
  • February 28, 1971: Steve Atkinson scores three goals against the Minnesota North Stars in a 5-2 win at the Aud. Atkinson, Ron Anderson and Gilbert Perreault all scored in a span of 1:15 in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and clinch the win.
  • February 28, 2000: The Sabres chase Trevor Kidd with four goals on 19 shots, including two from Stu Barnes, on the way to a 5-2 victory at Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 4-0-1 record in their last five games against Atlantic Division opponents and a 7-6-3 record against the division this season.
  • With a win the last time these teams met, the Sabres are looking for consecutive wins against the Lightning for the first time since March 19, 2012 and Feb. 26, 2013.

TOPPING TAMPA

  • The Sabres’ 28-17-3 (.615) record in Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time road record against any Eastern Conference opponent. The team’s next best road record against an Eastern Conference opponent is its 41-27-11 (.589) mark at Washington.
  • Buffalo’s all-time record of 53-35-8 (.594) against Tampa Bay is the team’s third-best record against any Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only their 88-50-20 (.620) mark against Washington and their 113-67-26 (.612) record against Toronto.

WHO’S HOT?

  • Sam Reinhart has totaled 20 points (7+13) in his last 19 games and enters tonight’s game on a four-game point streak, his longest streak since he tallied points in a career-best five straight games in December 2016.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has 21 points (6+15) in his last 26 games dating back to Dec. 29. Ristolainen’s 21 points during that span ranked eighth among NHL defensemen entering play Tuesday.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has recorded eight points (2+6) in his last eight games.
  • Marco Scandella has scored three goals in his last five games.

ROAD WARRIORS

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 5-1-1 record in their last seven road games.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded 12 points (4+8) in his last 12 road games.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled nine points (3+6) in his last eight road games.
  • Chad Johnson has stopped 57 of 60 shots faced in his last two road games (.950), earning wins in both of those contests.

PLAYING WITH POWER

  • The Sabres have tallied at least one power-play goal in 14 of their last 22 games dating back to Jan. 7 at Philadelphia (and went 0-for-0 on Jan. 11 vs. Columbus), converting at a 27.7 percent clip during that span.
  • Buffalo’s 18 power-play goals during this stretch led the league entering play Tuesday.
  • During this stretch, the Sabres have five players with at least seven power-play points.
  • Ryan O’Reilly led the league entering play Tuesday with seven power-play goals scored since Jan. 7. Kyle Okposo tied for third in the league with 11 power-play points during that stretch.
  • O’Reilly’s 11 power-play goals this season tied for fifth in the league before Tuesday’s games.

DRAWING ATTENTION*

  • Ryan O’Reilly, who leads the NHL in faceoffs won (962) and faceoff percentage (60.8%) this season, is climbing the single-season record books as well. His 962 wins already rank as the third-most wins by a Sabre in a season (behind his last two seasons) and are on pace to become the second-most by any NHL player in a season:
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2005-06 – 1,268
    • Ryan O’Reilly *pace* (BUF), 2017-18 1,257
    • Adam Oates (WSH), 1999-00 – 1,235
    • Rod Brind’Amour (CAR), 2001-02 – 1,218
    • Joe Sakic (COL), 2000-01 – 1,214
  • At his current pace, O’Reilly would become just the third player ever to win at least 1,000 faceoffs in a season while maintaining a faceoff percentage of at least 59 percent, joining Rod Brind’Amour (five times) and Patrice Bergeron (two times).

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

DANGEROUS KILLERS

  • The Sabres scored two shorthanded goals on Feb. 11 vs. Colorado, marking the second time this season the team has scored two shorthanded goals in a game (last: Oct. 7 at NY Islanders).
  • Buffalo entered play Tuesday tied for the league lead with nine shorthanded goals this season, the team’s highest total since the 2007-08 season (9).
  • Ryan O’Reilly’s four shorthanded assists tied for the league lead entering play Tuesday, and his four shorthanded points tied for second.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 2/27 games)

  • Girgensons: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • O’Reilly: 962 FOW (1st), 60.8% FO% (1st), 1,582 FO (1st), 4 SHP (T-2nd), 11 PPG (T-5th)
  • Pouliot: 2 SHG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 26:31 TOI/GP (3rd)

BUF-TBL CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Cory Conacher was a member of the Sabres for part of the 2013-14 season, when he posted six points (3+3) in 19 games for Buffalo.

Local Players:

  • Ryan Callahan was born in Rochester, New York and played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.

Justin Falk:

  • Teammates with Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi for the New York Rangers in 2013-14.
  • Played with Tyler Johnson for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) during the 2007-08 season.

Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Canada alongside Braydon Coburn at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh on the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played at the 2012 World Championship for Team Sweden alongside Victor Hedman.
  • Was born on July 25, 1992, two years to the day before Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Robin Lehner:

  • Played with Cory Conacher for the Ottawa Senators from 2012-2014.

Kyle Okposo:

  • Shares a hometown of St. Paul, Minnesota with Ryan McDonagh.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He was born on Feb. 7, 1991, exactly one year after Steven Stamkos.

Benoit Pouliot:

  • Teammates with Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, J.T. Miller and Anton Stralman for the New York Rangers in 2013-14.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Brayden Point was a member of Team Canada along with Reinhart at the 2015 World Junior Championship.

Scott Wilson:

  • Teammates with Chris Kunitz for the Pittsburgh Penguins from 2014-2017.

World Championships:

  • Ryan O’Reilly represented Canada alongside Steven Stamkos in 2013, and again in 2016 World Cup.
  • Chad Johnson, Ryan O’Reilly, Brayden Point and Alex Killorn all played for Team Canada at the World Championship in 2017.
  • Victor Antipin, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov played together on the Russian team at the World Junior Championship in 2012.
  • Victor Antipin, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Nikita Kucherov were teammates for Russia at the 2017 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Jacob Josefson (20th overall) and Victor Hedman (2nd overall) were both first round picks in the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Nathan Beaulieu (17th overall) and J.T. Miller (15th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall), Slater Koekkoek (10th overall) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th overall) were all first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (160), McCabe (110), Girgensons (105)
Blocked Shots: Scandella (91), Ristolainen (84), McCabe (79)
Shots: Eichel (201), O’Reilly (170), Ristolainen (134)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 3-5-2 (8), 26/36, 5/36, 29/35
11-20: 2-6-2 (6), 20/35, 5/28, 23/27
21-30: 2-6-2 (6), 18/31, 2/32, 24/32
31-40: 3-4-3 (9), 24/33, 3/25, 23/28
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 27/31, 10/33, 15/26
51-60: 3-6-1 (7), 28/32, 6/24, 32/38
61-70: 2-1-0 (4), 8/8, 2/10, 6/8

OVERTIME RESULTS (4-10; 112-121 all-time)
Oct. 17 at VGK: L, 5-4 (GWG-Perron)
Oct. 21 at BOS: W, 5-4 (GWG-O’Reilly)
Nov. 11 at MTL: L, 2-1 (GWG-Pacioretty)
Nov. 14 at PIT: L, 5-4 (GWG-Sheary)
Dec. 8 at CHI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Forsling)
Dec. 10 at STL: L, 3-2 (GWG-Tarasenko)
Dec. 15 vs. CAR: L, 5-4 (GWG-Slavin)
Dec. 27 at NYI: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barzal)
Dec. 29 at NJD: W, 4-3 (GWG-Ristolainen)
Jan. 1 vs. NYR: L, 3-2 (GWG-Miller)
Jan. 22 at CGY: W, 2-1 (GWG-Eichel)
Feb. 6 vs. ANA: L, 4-3 (GWG-Henrique)
Feb. 15 at OTT: L, 3-2 (GWG-Hoffman)
Feb. 22 at DET: W, 3-2 (GWG-Scandella)

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

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Points
Zemgus Girgensons … 3 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A