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Sabres game preview: 12/27/18 at St. Louis

STAFF REPORTS


LAST GAME
Saturday, December 22
Anaheim 0 at Buffalo 3
Goals: Dahlin, Skinner, Sheary
Goalie: Ullmark (40 saves/40 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 3/3; Shots: Anaheim 40 – Buffalo 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 147)Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missedScott Wilson (ankle, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 37 games
Casey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 8 games
Nathan Beaulieu (lower body, Dec. 16) – 4 games
Jason Pominville (undisclosed, Dec. 21; injured reserve) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS12/21: Activated D Jake McCabe and D Lawrence Pilut from IR; Placed F Jason Pominville on IR
12/22: Assigned D Brendan Guhle to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMESSaturday, Dec. 29: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 31: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 3: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 5: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 8: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT'S GAMESABRES at BLUES
  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blues this season.
  • Next meeting: Sunday, March 17, 2019 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: St. Louis defeated Buffalo 1-0 in St. Louis on Feb. 3
  • The Sabres are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Blues, 1-5-4 on the road.
  • This is the 119th game all-time between Buffalo and St. Louis; Buffalo has a 46-55-17 series record.
  • The Sabres are 15-32-11 on the road against the Blues all-time.
THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY
  • The Sabres are 13-7-3 all-time on December 27.
  • December 27, 1991: Dave Andreychuk and Pat LaFontaine each score twice and Clint Malarchuk makes 38 saves in an 8-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at The Aud.
  • December 27, 2003: Jason Pominville makes his NHL debut in a 3-1 win at Washington.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • The Sabres are seeking their first victory in St. Louis since Dec. 27, 2009.
  • Jeff Skinner has totaled 12 points (9+3) in 12 career games against the Blues.
  • Kyle Okposo has recorded 10 points (3+7) in 10 games against St. Louis since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen enters tonight's game on his third three-game point streak of the season (1+2) and is looking to stretch the streak to four games for the first time since February 2018.
  • The Blues join the Panthers and Canadiens as one of three NHL teams (excluding the Sabres) that Jack Eichel has not yet recorded a goal against.
LEADING THE WAY
  • Since Jack Eichel, Jeff Skinner and Sam Reinhart began playing together on Nov. 13 vs. Tampa Bay, the Sabres have gone 12-5-3 and gotten a goal from at least one of the three in all but two of the team's 20 games.
  • Each of the three has played at or near a point-per-game pace in the 20 games since they began playing together as a line:
    • Eichel: 29 points (10+19), plus-12 rating
    • Reinhart: 24 points (6+18), plus-11 rating
    • Skinner: 19 points (14+5), plus-10 rating
COMEBACK KIDS
  • The Sabres are 6-8-2 this season when trailing after two periods. Their six wins when trailing after 40 minutes ties for second-most in the league and their .375 win percentage in those games ranks second.
  • Buffalo's six wins when trailing after two have already surpassed last season's total and leave the team three third-period comebacks shy of the franchise record of nine set in the 2005-06 season.
NOT TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
  • The Sabres are 11-3-5 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 .579 winning percentage in one-goal games would be the 11th-best mark in franchise history and would be the Sabres' best record in one-goal games since 2006-07 (25-9-7, .610).
WORKING OVERTIME
  • The Sabres are 8-5 in games that have been tied after regulation this season, including a 5-4 record in overtime and a 3-1 record in shootouts. Their five overtime wins have already matched their overtime win total from last season (5-10) and their three shootout wins are the team's highest total since 2014-15 (8-5).
  • Jeff Skinner is tied for the league lead with three overtime goals this season. Skinner's total through 35 games matches the Sabres' single-season record shared by Daniel Briere (2006-07) and Derek Roy (2009-10) and ties him for 10th-most career overtime goals in franchise history.
SAM I AM
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded 33 points (8+25) in his last 29 games, including each of his career-high 12 multi-point games this season.
  • The Sabres are 16-4-3 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 27-4-6 (.811) in his career when he records at least two.
DAH-LEAN ON MERasmus Dahlin leads rookie defensemen and ranks third among all NHL rookies with 20 points (4+16) this season.
  • With his 20th point in his 37th game, he was the fourth-fastest 18-year-old defenseman in NHL history to reach the 20-point mark, trailing only Phil Housley (28 GP), Ray Bourque (30 GP) and Aaron Ekblad (34 GP).
  • Only nine defensemen in NHL history have recorded more points before their 19th birthdays than Dahlin's
  • Dahlin's totals put him on pace for 44 points this season. It would tie as the fifth-most by a rookie defenseman since the 2005-06 season and would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for most ever by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
POINTS IN BUNCHES
  • Jack Eichel recorded his 18th multi-point game of the season on Saturday vs. Anaheim (0+2). He has now recorded two points in eight of his last 12 games.
  • Eichel's 18 multi-point games tie him with Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon for the league lead and have already matched his single-season high.
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 second-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre (80), trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) 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 to log the second-highest goal total in Sabres history (58), trailing only Mogilny in 1992-93 (76). His 44 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny's even-strength total from 1992-93 (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 37 14 34 48 11 25 36
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 82 31 75 106 24 55 80
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 37 26 12 38 20 8 28
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 58 27 84 44 18 62
SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres' league rankings)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 47 PTS (T-4th), 21 W (T-7th), 83.6% PK% (5th)
  • Eichel: 158 S (2nd), 36 EVP (T-3rd), 25 EVA (T-4th), 34 A (T-5th), 48 P (T-7th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:42 TOI/GP (5th), 116 hits (5th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-1st), 6 GWG (2nd), 20 EVG (2nd), 26 G (2nd), plus-21 (6th)
BUF-STL CONNECTIONSFormer Sabres:
  • Blues F Ryan O'Reilly played for the Sabres for three seasons (2015-2018), totaling 176 points (65+111) in 224 games and leading the team in points in the 2015-16 season.
Former Blues:
  • Sabres associate coach Davis Payne served as head coach of the Blues from 2009-2011, leading the team to a 67-55-15 record during his tenure.
  • Sabres G Carter Hutton spent two seasons with St. Louis (2016-2018), posting a 30-15-5 record and a .923 save percentage in 62 games with the team. He led all qualifying NHL goaltenders with a .931 save percentage and a 2.09 goals-against average in his final season with the Blues in 2017-18.
  • Sabres F Vladimir Sobotka played for the Blues from 2010 to 2018, recording 133 points (41+92) in 329 regular-season games with the team and adding 14 points (3+11) in 32 postseason contests.
  • Sabres F Tage Thompson was selected by St. Louis in the first round (26th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut with the Blues last season, tallying nine points (3+6) in 41 games as a rookie.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERSHits: Ristolainen (116), Girgensons (60), Okposo (48)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (65), Bogosian (60), McCabe (51)
Shots: Eichel (158), Skinner (112), Ristolainen (97)
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: 5-3-2 (12), 31/32, 5/28, 23/29
31-40: 4-2-1 (9), 20/17, 5/24, 21/22
OVERTIME RESULTS (5-4; 118-125 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)
Dec. 4 vs. TOR: L, 4-3 (GWG-Matthews, 4:57)
Dec. 11 vs. LAK: W, 4-3 (GWG-Skinner, 1:49)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 73-67 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)Dec. 15 at WSH: L, 4-3 (GDG-Ovechkin)
MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)Games PlayedVladimir Sobotka … 3 games … 500 career games played
AssistsKyle Okposo … 5 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
RECENT MILESTONESRemi Elie … 100th NHL game … Dec. 22 vs. ANA


from Sabres Digital Press Box via IFTTT

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