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Buffalo Sabres game preview: 2/7/19 vs. Carolina

STAFF REPORTS


LAST GAME
Tuesday, February 5
Minnesota 4 at Buffalo 5 (SO)
Goals: Rodrigues, Smith, Dahlin, Reinhart; GDG-Reinhart
Goalie: Ullmark (41 saves/45 shots)
PP: 2/2; PK: 3/3; Shots: Minnesota 45 – Buffalo 39

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 179)Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missedCasey Nelson (upper body, Dec. 8; injured reserve) – 23 games
Johan Larsson (upper body, Feb. 1) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS2/2: Placed F Remi Elie on waivers
2/3: Assigned F Remi Elie to Rochester (AHL)
2/4: Recalled F C.J. Smith from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMESSaturday, Feb. 9: Detroit at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 10: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 12: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 15: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 17: Buffalo at New Jersey, 6 p.m.

TONIGHT'S GAMEHURRICANES at SABRES
  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, March 16 at Carolina
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo 4-3 at Carolina on Jan. 11
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 203rd game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo has a 102-74-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 58-33-9 at home against the Hurricanes all-time.
THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY
  • The Sabres are 12-7-1 all-time on February 7.
  • February 7, 1980: Danny Gare scores his eighth career hat trick and Don Edwards stops 25 shots to earn his 11th career shutout in a 9-0 win vs. Pittsburgh.
  • February 7, 1995: Donald Audette plays in his 200th NHL game, a 2-1 win vs. Washington.
  • February 7, 2013: Tyler Ennis records his 100th NHL point (assist) in a 5-4 shootout win vs. Montreal.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Tonight's matchup is the third game of a seven-game homestand that ties the stretch from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2, 1997 as the longest in franchise history.
  • Zach Bogosian is expected to appear in his 600th NHL game tonight.
  • C.J. Smith has scored in each of his last two NHL games, marking the first and second goals of his career.
  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Hurricanes since March 22, 2016.
  • Jack Eichel has totaled nine points (6+3) in 10 career games against the Hurricanes, including six (3+3) in his last three.
HOME COOKING
  • Buffalo enters tonight's game with a 15-7-3 (.660) record at home. The team's .660 points percentage at home ranked ninth in the NHL entering play Wednesday.
  • Carter Hutton is 10-5-2 at home this season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.50 goals-against average.
  • Jeff Skinner (15+11) and Sam Reinhart (7+19) tie to lead all Sabres with 26 points in 25 home games this season. Reinhart has yet to play two consecutive home games without recording a point in 2018-19.
  • Jack Eichel is also playing above a point-per-game pace at KeyBank Center this season, totaling 24 points (10+14) in 23 home games.
DAH-LEAN ON ME
  • Entering play Wednesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked second among all NHL rookies with 29 points this season. His 23 assists tied for the rookie lead.
  • With 29 points (6+23) through 52 games, Dahlin is scoring at a higher rate than he did in the Swedish Hockey League last season, when he totaled 20 points (7+13) in 41 games for Frölunda.
  • Dahlin's current point total puts him on pace for 46 points this season. It would trail only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83) for the most ever recorded by a defenseman before his 19th birthday.
  • With six multi-point games so far this season, Dahlin has recorded more multi-point games as an 18-year-old than all but two defensemen in NHL history: Phil Housley (13) and Bobby Orr (8).
SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS
  • Jeff Skinner's seven game-winning goals tied for second-most in the NHL this season entering play Wednesday. He is the first Sabres player with at least seven game-winners in a season since Derek Roy (9) in 2008-09 and is four shy of matching the single-season franchise record of 11 shared by Danny Gare (1979-80) and Alexander Mogilny (1992-93).
  • Skinner was also tied for third in the league with three overtime goals this season. Skinner's total 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 been playing above a point-per-game pace since the beginning of November, having totaled 41 points (12+29) in 40 games during that span.
  • Reinhart has already set career-high totals in assists (34) and multi-point games (14) this season. His 47 points leave him just three shy of his career high 50 from the 2017-18 season.
  • The Sabres are 20-8-4 this season when Reinhart records at least one point and 29-4-6 (.821) in his career when he records at least two.
LEADING THE WAY
  • All three of the Sabres' top three scorers are currently on pace to shatter their personal bests in points on the strength of career-best production at even strength:
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 49 17 39 56 13 28 41
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 79 27 63 90 21 45 66
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 52 31 16 47 24 12 36
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 49 25 74 38 19 57
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 52 13 34 47 12 24 36
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 54 74 19 38 57
MAKING HISTORY
  • At his current pace, Jack Eichel would finish the season with the fifth-most even-strength points ever recorded by a Sabre, trailing only Pat LaFontaine (83) and Alexander Mogilny (78) in 1992-93, and Gilbert Perreault in 1975-76 (70) and 1979-80 (68).
  • Eichel is on pace to become the first Sabres player to record at least 90 points since Daniel Briere (95) in 2006-07 and would also trail only LaFontaine's franchise-record 52 even-strength assists in 1992-93.
  • Jeff Skinner is currently one goal off the pace to become the seventh 50-goal scorer in Sabres history and the first since 1992-93 (Mogilny and LaFontaine). His 38 even-strength goals would finish behind only Mogilny's even-strength total from 1992-93 (49), Rick Martin's 44 in 1973-74, and Danny Gare's 41 in 1975-76 and 39 in 1979-80 for fifth-most in team history.
SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres' league rankings before 2/6 games)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 82.5% PK% (7th)
  • Eichel: 2 OTG (T-6th), 200 S (9th)
  • Ristolainen: 25:13 TOI/GP (7th)
  • Skinner: 7 GWG (T-2nd), 31 G (T-3rd), 24 EVG (T-3rd), 3 OTG (T-3rd)
BUF-CAR CONNECTIONSFormer Hurricanes:
  • Sabres F Jeff Skinner spent eight seasons playing for the Hurricanes after being selected by the team in the first round (7th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft. He played in 579 games for the club, scoring 204 goals and adding 175 assists. He still ranks in the top 10 in franchise history in games played (9th), goals (5th) and points (7th).
  • Sabres assistant coach Steve Smith was on the Hurricanes' coaching staff for four seasons (2014-2018).
Nathan Beaulieu:
  • Won a bronze medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Dougie Hamilton at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Zach Bogosian:
  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta.
Jason Botterill:
  • Played for the Thrashers when Hurricanes General Manager Don Waddell was the general manager in Atlanta. The two later worked together in Pittsburgh when Botterill was the Penguins' assistant general manager and Waddell served as a scout for the team.
Jack Eichel:
  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Jaccob Slavin at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Matt Hunwick:
  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh.
  • Won a bronze medal for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2013 IIHF World Championship.
Johan Larsson:
  • Shares a birthday with Hurricanes F Jordan Martinook (July 25, 1992).
  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.
Kyle Okposo:
  • Played for the Islanders with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan and F Nino Niederreiter. Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth was also on the Islanders' coaching staff during Okposo's tenure with the team.
  • Played for Team USA with Hurricanes D Justin Faulk at the 2012 IIHF World Championship.
Davis Payne:
  • Played with Hurricanes assistant coach Dean Chynoweth in Boston.
  • Was an assistant coach in Los Angeles when Hurricanes F Justin Williams was playing for the Kings.
Jason Pominville:
  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.
Rasmus Ristolainen:
  • Has played for Team Finland with Hurricanes F Teuvo Teravainen three times: at the 2013 and 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships and at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. The duo won a gold medal together in 2014.
  • Won a gold medal with Hurricanes F Saku Maenalanen at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship.
  • Represented Finland with Hurricanes F Sebastian Aho at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Marco Scandella:
  • Played with Hurricanes F Nino Niederreiter in Minnesota.
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship.
Conor Sheary:
  • Played with Hurricanes F Greg McKegg in Pittsburgh. Hurricanes goaltending coach Mike Bales was also on the Penguins' coaching staff during Sheary's tenure with the team.
Jeff Skinner:
  • Won a silver medal for Team Canada with Hurricanes D Calvin de Haan at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
Vladimir Sobotka:
  • Played for the Czech Republic National Team with Hurricanes G Petr Mrazek at both the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and at the 2017 IIHF World Championship.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERSHits: Ristolainen (157), Girgensons (84), McCabe (72)
Blocked Shots: Bogosian (80), Ristolainen (79), McCabe (76)
Shots: Eichel (200), Skinner (172), Ristolainen (127)
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: 4-4-2 (10), 24/27, 7/31, 27/29
41-50: 4-6-0 (8), 30/34, 1/25, 14/20
51-60: 1-1-0 (2), 8/11, 3/5, 5/5
OVERTIME RESULTS (6-5; 119-126 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)Dec. 29 vs. BOS: L, 3-2 (GWG-Kuraly, 3:44)
Jan. 16 at CGY: W, 4-3 (GWG-Eichel, 1:10)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (4-1; 74-67 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)
Feb. 5 vs. MIN: W, 5-4 (GDG-Reinhart)
MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)Games PlayedZach Bogosian … 1 game … 600 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 games … 400 career games played
Marco Scandella … 2 games … 500 career games played
Jason Pominville … 6 games … 712 games with Sabres (T-8th in franchise
history)
Zemgus Girgensons … 7 games … 400 career games played
GoalsJack Eichel … 10 goals … 100 career goals
AssistsKyle Okposo … 4 assists … 300 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 9 assists … 200 career assists
PointsJason Pominville … 1 point … 512 points with Sabres (sole possession, 8th in franchise history) 
RECENT MILESTONESSam Reinhart … 300th NHL game … Feb. 1 vs. CHI
Jason Pominville … 212th goal with Sabres (sole possession, 11th in franchise history) … Feb. 1 vs. CHI


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