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Buffalo Sabres game preview: 11/29/18 at Florida

STAFF REPORTS



LAST GAME

Thursday, November 29
Buffalo 4 at Tampa Bay 5
Goals: Reinhart (2), Girgensons, Thompson
Goalie: Hutton (32 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 4/5; Shots: Tampa Bay 37 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 91)Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missedMatt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 26 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 26 games
Patrik Berglund (upper body, Nov. 21; injured reserve) – 5 games
Conor Sheary (upper body, Nov. 27) – 2 games
Marco Scandella (upper body, Nov. 27) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS11/27: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL)
UPCOMING GAMESMonday, 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.
Thursday, Dec. 13: Arizona at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT'S GAMESABRES at PANTHERS
  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo 4-3 in Florida on April 7
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Dec. 18 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 97th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 48-40-8 series record.
  • The Sabres are 21-22-4 on the road against the Panthers all-time
THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY
  • The Sabres are 6-8-3 all-time on November 30.
  • November 30, 1939: Ground is broken on Buffalo Memorial Auditorium
  • November 30, 1980: The Sabres defeat the Colorado Rockies 4-1 at the Aud. Rookie Alan Haworth scores his first NHL goal for the Sabres, who extend their unbeaten streak to 10 consecutive home games, and Rene Robert scores the lone Rockies goal.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Jeff Skinner's 11 goals in 14 road games trailed only Patrik Laine (15) for most in the league after last night's game. With 19 goals through Buffalo's first 26 games, Skinner finished last night's game behind only Laine (21) most in the NHL this season.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has totaled nine points (1+8) with a plus-8 rating in his last 10 games, averaging 21:37 of ice time per game during that stretch.
  • Jack Eichel recorded his 11th multi-point game of the season with two assists last night at Tampa Bay. Though 26 games, Eichel's 11 multi-point games tie for fourth-most in the league this season and leave him seven shy of his career high 18.
  • Tage Thompson enters tonight's game on a career-best three-game point streak (2+1).
  • With losses in their last five games against Florida, Buffalo needs a win tonight to avoid the team's first-ever six-game winless streak against the Panthers. The Sabres are seeking their first road win against the Panthers since Nov. 12, 2015.
TAMING THE CATS
  • Carter Hutton is 2-0-0 in three career appearances against the Panthers with a .957 save percentage and a 1.22 goals-against average.
  • Jason Pominville has totaled 39 points (16+23) in 42 career games against Florida, including 10 points (5+5) in his last 11 meetings.
  • Sam Reinhart has 11 points (7+4) in his last 11 games against the Panthers, including a point in each of the last three meetings.
  • Conor Sheary has totaled seven points (2+5) in his last five matchups with Florida.
  • Vladimir Sobotka has tallied six assists in his last six meetings with the Panthers.
  • Jeff Skinner has recorded five points (4+1) in his last five games against Florida.
SCORING EARLY IS GREAT…
  • The Sabres are 12-0-2 when scoring first so far this season. After last night's game, 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. After last night's game, 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 after last night's game.
  • 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 COMFORTThe Sabres are 10-1-2 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 .769 winning percentage in one-goal games would top the franchise record of .714 (10-4-0) set in the 1977-78 season.
DYNAMIC DUOJack 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 third-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre (73), trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93. 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 (60) in Sabres history, trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 44 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 26 5 25 30 4 19 23
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 16 79 95 13 60 73
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 26 19 8 27 14 5 19
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 60 25 85 44 16 60
WINNING WAYSSam Reinhart has recorded 13 points (4+9) in his last 13 games, including five two-point games during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-1-0 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-3-3 (.855) in his career when he records at least two.
BACK-TO-BACKTonight's game wraps up Buffalo's fifth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 5-4 loss at Tampa Bay. The Sabres are 4-1-0 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 after last night's game)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 36 PTS (T-2nd), 17 W (T-3rd), 81.8 PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 105 S (3rd), 25 A (T-4th), 23 EVP (T-5th), 30 P (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 12 W (3rd), 564 SV (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 85 hits (5th), 25:24 TOI/GP (8th)
  • Skinner: 14 EVG (T-1st), 2 OTG (T-1st), 19 G (T-2nd), 3 GWG (T-4th), plus-14 (T-6th), 5 PPG (T-8th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-9th)
BUF-FLA CONNECTIONSFormer Sabres:
  • Panthers Head Coach Bob Boughner played for the Sabres for three seasons (1995-1998), recording 13 points (2+11) in 177 games played.
  • Panthers D Mark Pysyk spent the first four years of his career (2012-2016) with the Sabres organization after being selected by Buffalo in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He recorded 26 points (5+21) in 125 games played with the team.
Nathan Beaulieu:
  • Won a bronze medal with Panthers F Jonathan Huberdeau and D Mark Pysyk while representing Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Zach Bogosian:
  • Played with Panthers G Michael Hutchinson in Winnipeg
Jack Eichel:
  • Played for Team North America with Panthers D Aaron Ekblad and F Vincent Trocheck at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Phil Housley:
  • Coached Panthers F Vincent Trocheck at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a gold medal together for the United States.
 Jake McCabe:
  • Won a gold medal for Team USA with Panthers F Vincent Trocheck at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Represented the United States with Panthers F Frank Vatrano at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
Kyle Okposo:
  • Played for the Islanders with Panthers F Michael Haley.
  • Played with Panthers D Keith Yandle for Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.
Sam Reinhart:
  • Played for Team Canada with Panthers D Aaron Ekblad at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Won a gold medal with Panthers D Mike Matheson while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
Rasmus Ristolainen:
  • Has represented Finland in international play with Panthers F Aleksander Barkov on three separate occasions: at the 2012 and 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Jeff Skinner:
  • Played for Team Canada with Panthers G James Reimer at the 2011 IIHF World Championship.
  • Won a silver medal with Panthers D Mike Matheson while representing Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
Steve Smith:
  • Was a scout for the Blackhawks when Panthers F Troy Brouwer was playing in Chicago.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERSHits: Ristolainen (85), McCabe (42), Girgensons (39)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (44), Ristolainen (39), Bogosian (37)
Shots: Eichel (105), Skinner (82), Ristolainen (61)
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: 5-1-0 (10), 23/17, 4/17, 15/18
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 PlayedRemi Elie … 3 games … 100 career games played
Kyle Okposo … 4 games … 700 career games played
GoalsJason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)
AssistsKyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
PointsJason Pominville … 3 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)
RECENT MILESTONESNathan Beaulieu … 300th NHL game … Nov. 29 at TBL
Evan Rodrigues … 100th NHL game … Nov. 29 at TBL


from Sabres Digital Press Box via IFTTT