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Sabres Game Preview: 11/19/18 at Pittsburgh

STAFF REPORTS

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

LAST GAME

Saturday, November 17
Buffalo 3 at Minnesota 2
Goals: McCabe, Dahlin, Pominville
Goalie: Ullmark (37 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/3; Shots: Minnesota 39 – Buffalo 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 69)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Matt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 20 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 20 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Wednesday, Nov. 21: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 4 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 24: Buffalo at Detroit, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 27: San Jose at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 29: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT'S GAME
SABRES at PENGUINS
  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Penguins this season.
  • Last meeting: Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 5-1 in Pittsburgh on Dec. 2, 2017
  • Next meeting: Friday, March 1, 2019 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Penguins; 2-6-2 on the road
  • This is the 189th game all-time between Buffalo and Pittsburgh; Buffalo has a 65-80-43 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-50-21 on the road against the Penguins all-time.
THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY
  • The Sabres are 10-9-4 all-time on November 19.
  • November 19, 1993: Dale Hawerchuk records three points (1+2) against his former team, including his 300th point as a member of the Sabres, in a 6-0 win vs. Winnipeg.
  • November 19, 1999: Martin Biron records his first NHL shutout with 18 saves in a 4-0 win vs. Atlanta.
  • November 19, 2002: Ryan Miller makes his first NHL start, recording 21 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss at New Jersey.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Jeff Skinner's 10 goals in 10 road games this season tied for the league lead entering play Sunday.
  • Jason Pominville is expected to appear in his 681st game with the Sabres tonight. If he does, he would tie Rick Martin for the ninth-most games played in franchise history.
  • Jeff Skinner is expected to play in his 600th NHL game tonight.
HOT AGAINST PITTSBURGH
  • Carter Hutton has stopped 74 of 75 shots (.987) in four career appearances against the Penguins – all of which have taken place in Pittsburgh – including shutouts in each of his two starts against the team.
  • Kyle Okposo has more goals (14) and points (32) against the Penguins than any other opponent.
  • Sam Reinhart has five points (2+3) in his last five games against the Penguins.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded at least a point in each of his three visits to Pittsburgh in the last two seasons, totaling four points (2+2) in those games.
GOING STREAKING
  • The Sabres enter tonight's game on their first five-game winning streak since March 19 to 27, 2012, marking the longest active streak in the NHL.
  • A win today would give the team its first six-game winning streak in a single season since Dec. 27, 2009 to Jan. 8, 2010.
  • With a win or overtime loss tonight, the Sabres would have points in six straight games for the first time since they had points in nine straight games (7-0-2) from March 10 to 27, 2012.
TWO YEARS LATER…
The Sabres and Penguins faced off on this date two years ago. Of the 46 players on the teams' rosters on that date, only seven Sabres and 10 Penguins remain on their respective teams' rosters today.

THE FIRST TWENTYThe Sabres enter tonight's game with a 12-6-2 record through their first 20 games this season. Their 26 points through 20 games ties the 2009-10 season as the team's second-best 20-game start in the overtime point era. Buffalo has previously posted 26 or more points through 20 games seven times in franchise history and has made the playoffs on each of those occasions.

SCORING EARLY IS GREAT…
  • The Sabres are 8-0-2 when scoring first so far this season. Entering play Sunday, they were one of four teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they've opened the scoring in 2018-19.
    • Their current win percentage when scoring first (.800) is the team's best since the 2005-06 season (36-5-4, .800).
  • Buffalo is 7-0-2 when leading after the first period. Entering play Sunday, they were one of six teams who have earned at least a point in every game in which they've led after 20 minutes in 2018-19.
    • Their current win percentage when leading after one (.778) is the team's best since the 2009-10 season (21-4-2, .778).
…BUT SCORING LATE IS NICE TOO
  • The Sabres are 4-6-1 when trailing after two periods. Their four wins when trailing after 40 minutes tied for second-most in the league entering play Sunday.
  • Buffalo's current win percentage when trailing after two periods is .363. The franchise record for best win percentage when trailing after two periods is currently the team's .286 mark (7-19-0) from the 1983-84 season.
  • After capping off their comeback with a game-winning goal with 1:05 remaining in the third period on Saturday at Minnesota, the Sabres became the only team to score two game-winners within the last two minutes of a game so far this season.
NOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
The Sabres are 6-0-2 in one-goal games so far this season. The team last won more than half of its one-goal games in a season in 2011-12 (21-9-11). The team's current .750 winning percentage in one-goal games would top the franchise record of .714 (10-4-0) set in the 1977-78 season.

THA CARTER IV
Carter Hutton is 4-0-0 with a .950 save percentage and a 1.42 goals-against average in his last four games. With a win in his next appearance, Hutton would tie his longest career winning streak, matching his five-game streak from March 21, 2014 at Calgary to April 13, 2014 at Minnesota.

KILLING IT
  • Buffalo is 15-for-16 on the penalty kill in the team's last seven games dating back to Nov. 3 vs. Ottawa. During this seven-game stretch, the Sabres' goaltenders have turned aside 15 shots on the power play and the team has killed off 25:07 of power-play time.
    • This stretch has improved the team to 30-for-33 (90.9%) in their last 12 games dating back to Oct. 21 at Anaheim, the third-best mark in the NHL during that span before Sunday's games.
  • On the season, the Sabres have killed off 48 of the team's 57 shorthanded situations (81.3%), tying them for ninth in the league entering play Sunday.
WHAT'S THE SKINNY?
  • With 14 goals through Buffalo's first 20 games, Jeff Skinner entered play Sunday trailing only David Pastrnak (17 goals) for most in the NHL this season.
  • With his 10th goal in the team's 16th game of the season on Nov. 8 at Montreal, Skinner reached the 10-goal mark quicker than any Sabres player since Thomas Vanek (10 games) in 2012-13.
  • Only four players in franchise history have scored more goals through 20 team games than Skinner's current total: Dave Andreychuk (17 in 1992-93), Rick Martin (16 in 1972-73 and 15 in 1973-74), Danny Gare (15 in 1975-76) and Thomas Vanek (15 in 2008-09).
WINNING WAYS
Sam Reinhart has recorded seven points (1+6) in his last seven games, including three two-point games during that stretch. The Sabres are 9-0-0 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 24-2-3 (.879) in his career when he records at least two.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres' league rankings before 11/18 games)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 12 W (T-4th), 26 PTS (T-4th), 81.3 PK% (T-9th)
  • Eichel: 80 S (T-5th), 18 A (T-5th), 17 EVP (T-5th)
  • Hutton: 8 W (T-6th), 406 SV (10th)
  • Ristolainen: 66 hits (T-4th), 1 OTG (T-8th), 25:16 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: plus-13 (T-1st), 11 EVG (T-1st), 14 G (T-2nd)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-7th)
BUF-PIT CONNECTIONSFormer Penguins:
  • Sabres General Manager Jason Botterill spent 10 seasons (2007-2017) with the Penguins, first joining the team as their Director of Hockey Operations before being promoted to assistant general manager and eventually associate general manager. Botterill played an integral role in building the rosters of three Stanley Cup-winning teams, and served as the general manager of the AHL's Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins from 2009-10 to 2016-17, guiding the team to two division titles and eight consecutive playoff appearances.
  • Sabres F Conor Sheary spent parts of five seasons (2013-2018) with the Penguins organization, recording 93 points (48+45) in 184 games. He was a member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams (2016, 2017), scoring the overtime winner in Game 2 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final against the San Jose Sharks.
Former Sabres:
  • Penguins F Derek Grant spent played one season (2016-17) with the Sabres organization, playing in 40 games and notching three assists.
  • Penguins D Chad Ruhwedel spent parts of four seasons (2012-2016) with the Sabres organization, recording two assists in 33 games played.
Nathan Beaulieu:
  • Played with Penguins assistant coach Sergei Gonchar in Montreal.
  • Won a bronze medal with Penguins D Jamie Oleksiak and F Tanner Pearson for Team Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Patrik Berglund:
  • Played for Team Sweden with Penguins F Patric Hornqvist at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Zach Bogosian:
  • Played for Team USA with Penguins D Jack Johnson at the 2009 IIHF World Championship.
Jack Eichel:
  • Played for Team North America with Penguins G Matt Murray at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Chris Hajt:
  • Played with Penguins assistant coach Sergei Gonchar in Washington.
Phil Housley:
  • Played with Penguins Head Coach Mike Sullivan in Calgary.
  • Was an assistant coach in Nashville when Penguins F Matt Cullen, F Derek Grant and F Patric Hornqvist were playing for the Predators.
  • Played with Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin in New Jersey.
  • Played with Penguins assistant coach Sergei Gonchar in Washington.
Carter Hutton:
  • Played with Penguins F Matt Cullen and F Patric Hornqvist in Nashville.
Johan Larsson:
  • Played with Penguins F Matt Cullen in Minnesota.
  • Represented Sweden with Penguins F Patric Hornqvist at both the 2012 and 2018 IIHF World Championships, winning a gold medal in 2018.
Kyle Okposo:
  • Played for the Islanders with Penguins assistant general manager Bill Guerin.
  • Has played for Team USA with Penguins D Jack Johnson four times: at the 2007 IIHF World Junior Championship and at the 2009, 2010 and 2012 IIHF World Championships. The duo won a bronze medal together in 2007.
Davis Payne:
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Penguins F Tanner Pearson was playing for the Kings.
Jason Pominville:
  • Played with Penguins F Matt Cullen in Minnesota.
  • Represented the United States with Penguins F Phil Kessel at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.
Sam Reinhart:
  • Won a gold medal for Team Canada with Penguins F Derick Brassard at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
Rasmus Ristolainen:
  • Represented Finland at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship with Penguins D Olli Maatta and D Juuso Riikola. Ristolainen and Maatta played together again at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Marco Scandella:
  • Played with Penguins F Matt Cullen in Minnesota.
Jeff Skinner:
  • Played for the Hurricanes when Penguins General Manager Jim Rutherford and assistant general manager Jason Karmanos held the same roles in Carolina.
  • Played for Team Canada with Penguins D Justin Schultz at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Steve Smith:
  • Was an assistant coach in Edmonton when Penguins D Justin Schultz was playing for the Oilers.
Vladimir Sobotka:
  • Played with Penguins F Phil Kessel and assistant coach Mark Recchi in Boston.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (66), McCabe (32), Girgensons (28)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (35), Ristolainen (34), Bogosian (29)
Shots: Eichel (80), Skinner (66), Okposo/Pominville (47)

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

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 (2-0; 72-66 all-time)
Nov. 10 vs. VAN: W, 4-3 (GDG-Mittelstadt)Nov. 16 at WPG: W, 2-1 (GDG-Sheary)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played:
Jason Pominville … 1 game … 681 games played with Sabres (T-9th in franchise history)
Jeff Skinner … 1 game … 600 career games played
Nathan Beaulieu … 4 games … 300 career games played
Evan Rodrigues … 5 games … 100 career games played
Remi Elie … 6 games … 100 career games played

Goals:Jason Pominville … 1 goal … 211 goals with Sabres (T-11th in franchise history)

Assists:Kyle Okposo … 9 assists … 300 career assists

Points:Jack Eichel … 1 point … 200 career points
Jason Pominville … 4 points … 511 points with Sabres (T-8th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
Jeff Skinner … 400th NHL point … Nov. 16 at WPG


from Sabres Digital Press Box via IFTTT