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Buffalo Sabres game preview: 12/3/18 at Nashville

STAFF REPORTS


LAST GAME
Friday, November 30
Buffalo 2 at Florida 3 (OT)
Goals: Skinner, Reinhart
Goalie: Ullmark (40 saves/43 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 2/4; Shots: Florida 43 – Buffalo 24

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 96)Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missedMatt Hunwick (neck, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 27 games
Scott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 27 games
Marco Scandella (upper body, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 3 games
Conor Sheary (upper body, Nov. 27; injured reserve) – 3 games
Jake McCabe (upper body, Nov. 29) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS11/27: Recalled D Lawrence Pilut from Rochester (AHL)
11/30: Activated F Patrik Berglund from IR; Recalled D Matt Tennyson from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Conor Sheary and D Marco Scandella on IR

UPCOMING GAMESTuesday, 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.
Saturday, Dec. 15: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT'S GAMESABRES at PREDATORS
  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Predators this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Nashville 7-4 in Nashville on March 31
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 2 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Predators; 6-4-0 on the road.
  • This is the 26th game all-time between Buffalo and Nashville; Buffalo has a 10-11-4 series record.
  • The Sabres are 9-4-0 on the road against the Predators all-time.
THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY
  • The Sabres are 9-5-3 all-time on December 3.
  • December 3, 1974: Rick Martin records his second of a franchise-record four four-goal games as the Sabres top the Washington Capitals 5-3.
  • December 3, 1981: Mike Foligno makes his Sabres debut in a 6-3 loss at Boston.
  • December 3, 1989: Mike Foligno plays in his 600th game as a Sabre in a 4-3 win vs. St. Louis.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • The road team has won each of the six meetings between these clubs in the last three seasons. The last home win in the series was a 3-0 Predators win in Nashville on March 21, 2015.
  • Jeff Skinner's 12 goals in 15 road games trailed only Patrik Laine (15) for most in the league entering play Sunday. With 20 goals through Buffalo's first 27 games, Skinner entered play Sunday behind only Laine (21) most in the NHL this season.
  • Jack Eichel recorded his 12th multi-point game of the season with two assists on Friday at Florida. Through 27 games, Eichel's 12 multi-point games tie for fourth-most in the league this season and leave him six shy of his career high 18.
A NOVEMBER TO REMEMBER
  • Buffalo's 11-3-1 (.767) record in November gave the team its best points percentage in a month since April 2011 (4-0-1, .900). It was the Sabres' best full month since Oct. 2009 (8-2-1, .773).
  • The team's 17-7-3 (.685) record through November's games marks the team's best record through two months since the 2006-07 season (19-3-2, .833).
  • Jeff Skinner scored 15 goals in 15 games during November to join Rick Martin in 1972-73 as just the second player ever to score 20 goals for the Sabres before December.
  • Rasmus Dahlin was selected as the NHL Rookie of the Month for November after totaling 10 points (1+9) and a plus-9 rating in 15 games, averaging 19:54 of ice time per game during the month.
  • Carter Hutton was 8-3-0 with a .923 save percentage in 11 appearances in November, including a career-best eight-game winning streak from Nov. 8 to 27.
HOT AGAINST NASHVILLE
  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (3+6) in six career games against the Predators, including a franchise record-tying five assists in the last meeting between these clubs.
  • Jeff Skinner has posted 16 points (8+8) in 13 career meetings with the Predators.
  • Kyle Okposo has 11 points (6+5) in 11 career games against Nashville, including five (3+2) in five road games.
  • Sam Reinhart has six points (5+1) in six career games against the Predators, including a hat trick in the last matchup.
  • Jake McCabe has points in each of his last two matchups with the Predators (1+2).
  • Zemgus Girgensons has recorded three points (1+2) in his last three games against Nashville.
  • Zach Bogosian has assists in three of his last four games against the Predators, including each of the last two.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen tallied three assists in the last meeting between these clubs.
SCORING EARLY IS GREAT…
  • The Sabres are 12-0-3 when scoring first so far this season. Entering play Sunday, they were one of two 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 Sunday, they were one of four 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 Sunday.
  • 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 10-1-3 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 .714 winning percentage in one-goal games would match 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 and would top LaFontaine's franchise-record 52 even-strength assists that season. He would also become the first Sabre to record more than 95 points since the 1992-93 season (LaFontaine/Mogilny/Hawerchuk).
  • Skinner is currently on pace for the second-highest goal total (61) 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 27 5 27 32 4 20 24
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 15 82 97 12 61 73
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 27 20 8 28 15 5 20
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 61 24 85 46 15 61
WINNING WAYSSam Reinhart has recorded 15 points (5+10) in his last 14 games, including six two-point games during that stretch. The Sabres are 12-1-1 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 25-3-4 (.844) in his career when he records at least two.
BACK-TO-BACKTonight's game opens up Buffalo's sixth of 16 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. Toronto. The Sabres are 4-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-1-1 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 (1) and zero points (0).
SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres' league rankings before 12/2 games)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 36 PTS (T-3rd), 17 W (4th)
  • Eichel: 109 S (3rd), 20 EVA (3rd), 27 A (T-4th), 24 EVP (5th), 32 P (T-9th)
  • Hutton: 12 W (3rd), 564 SV (9th)
  • Ristolainen: 86 hits (5th), 25:27 TOI/GP (8th)
  • Skinner: 15 EVG (1st), 2 OTG (T-1st), 20 G (2nd), 3 GWG (T-5th), plus-15 (T-5th), 5 PPG (T-9th)
  • Ullmark: 1 SO (T-9th), .927 SV% (10th)
BUF-NSH CONNECTIONSNathan Beaulieu:
  • Played with Predators D P.K. Subban and D Yannick Weber in Montreal.
Patrik Berglund:
  • Represented Sweden with Predators F Mattias Ekholm and F Filip Forsberg at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Jason Botterill:
  • Was the assistant general manager for the Penguins when Predators F Nick Bonino was playing in Pittsburgh.
Jack Eichel:
  • Played with Predators F Ryan Hartman for Team USA at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Remi Elie:
  • Played with Predators D Dan Hamhuis in Dallas.
Phil Housley:
  • Coached Predators F Ryan Hartman at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a gold medal together for the United States.
Johan Larsson:
  • Won a gold medal for Team Sweden with Predators F Filip Forsberg at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship. The duo won a second gold medal together at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, a team that Predators F Viktor Arvidsson and D Mattias Ekholm were also on.
Jake McCabe:
  • Won a gold medal with Predators F Ryan Hartman while representing the United States at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Played for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2014 IIHF World Championship. Predators Head Coach Peter Laviolette was the head coach of the team.
Kyle Okposo:
  • Played for Team USA with Predators F Craig Smith at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
Sam Reinhart:
  • Won a gold medal with Predators D Ryan Ellis while representing Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.
Rasmus Ristolainen:
  • Played for the Finnish National Team with Predators G Jusse Saros at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship. Ristolainen scored the overtime, gold-medal-clinching goal.
  • Represented Finland with Predators G Pekka Rinne at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Jeff Skinner:
  • Played for Team Canada with Predators D P.K. Subban at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERSHits: Ristolainen (86), Girgensons (43), McCabe (42)
Blocked Shots: McCabe (44), Ristolainen (41), Bogosian (40)
Shots: Eichel (109), Skinner (83), Ristolainen (64)
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: 5-1-1 (11), 25/20, 5/21, 17/22
OVERTIME RESULTS (4-3; 117-124 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)Nov. 30 at FLA: L, 3-2 (GWG-Barkov, 2:26)
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 … 3 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


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