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Buffalo Sabres game preview: 3/20/19 vs. Toronto

STAFF REPORTS


LAST GAME
Sunday, March 17
St. Louis 3 at Buffalo 4 (SO)
Goals: Larsson, Rodrigues, Sheary; GDG-Reinhart
Goalie: Hutton (30 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 34 – St. Louis 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 213)Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missedJake McCabe (upper body, March 4) – 7 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYSN/A

UPCOMING GAMESSaturday, March 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, March 25: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 28: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 30: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT'S GAMEMAPLE LEAFS at SABRES
  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo 5-2 in Toronto on March 2.
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 6-3-1 at home.
  • This is the 214th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo has a 115-72-26 series record.
  • The Sabres are 70-29-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.
THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY
  • The Sabres are 13-9-1 all-time on March 20.
  • March 20, 1971: Dave and Ken Dryden become the first brothers ever to face off in goal against each other in an NHL game. When Ken replaced the injured Rogie Vachon in the second period, Sabres Head Coach Punch Imlach put Dave in net to face his brother.
  • March 20, 1977: The Sabres get goals from five different players, including two from Gilbert Perreault, as they defeat the Washington Capitals 6-2 on the road.
  • March 20, 1996: The Sabres acquire Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, a second-round pick (Cory Sarich) and a third-round pick (Maxim Afinogenov) from St. Louis in exchange for Yuri Khmylev and an eighth-round pick (Andrei Podkonicky).
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Jason Pominville enters tonight's game on six-game point streak against the Maple Leafs (4+3). He has more career points against Toronto (57) than any other opponent, and his .89 points-per-game mark through 64 career games against the Maple Leafs ranks behind only his career rates against the Tampa Bay Lightning (.96) and the Los Angeles Kings (.91).
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 15 points (10+5) in 12 career games against Toronto, including seven (5+2) in five home games.
  • Sam Reinhart has recorded 15 points (6+9) in his last 15 games against the Maple Leafs, including at least a point in eight of the last 10 meetings.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen has recorded seven assists in his last seven games against Toronto.
HOME COOKING
  • The home team has won 28 of the last 37 games between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • The Sabres are 19-4-2 in their last 25 home games against the Maple Leafs. Toronto has not won three straight games in Buffalo since the Maple Leafs won each of their first six visits to Buffalo.
  • Carter Hutton is 12-7-2 at home this season with a .919 save percentage.
  • Jeff Skinner (20+14 in 36 games) and Jack Eichel (14+20 in 32 games) tie to lead all Sabres with 34 points at home this season.
  • Skinner is the first player to score 20 goals at KeyBank Center since Derek Roy had 20 in 2007-08. Thomas Vanek (30 in 2006-07) was the last player to score more than 20 at home in a season for the Sabres.
A FRESH START
  • Through his first 10 games with the Sabres, Brandon Montour has recorded six points (2+4), trailing only Conor Sheary (4+3) for most points during that stretch. Five of his six points as a Sabre (2+3) have come at even strength.
  • Montour's 10 games with the Sabres have represented his best 10-game stretch of the season judging by shot metrics at 5-on-5. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, his CF%, FF% and SCF% during 5-on-5 play through 10 games with the Sabres mark his best 10-game stretch of the season in each category. His rates so far with the Sabres also top his full-season rates in each of those categories from both of his first two NHL seasons.
  • In these 10 games, Montour has also seen a drastic uptick in scoring rates in goals (.65), assists (.65) and points (1.31) per 60 minutes played at 5-on-5 compared to his rates from the last two seasons.
THREE'S COMPANY
  • Since Alexander Nylander's recall on March 10, he has played on a line with Evan Rodrigues and Conor Sheary for 30 minutes of play.
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Buffalo has outshot opponents 30-8 with the trio on the ice and logged 50 of the 67 total shot attempts (74.63 CF%) taken with them on the ice.
  • The Sabres have also accounted for 25 of the 30 total scoring chances (83.33 SCF%) by either team while they are on the ice together.
  • Sunday's win vs. St. Louis featured goals from both Rodrigues and Sheary, as well as two primary assists from Nylander.
DYNAMIC DUOJack Eichel and Jeff Skinner have both recorded a point on the same goal 31 times this season, making them the most productive Sabres duo since Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek combined on 39 goals in the 2011-12 season. At least one of the two has recorded a point on 100 of the team's 194 goals this season (51.5%).
DAH-LEAN ON ME
  • Entering play Tuesday, Rasmus Dahlin led rookie defensemen and ranked third among all NHL rookies in points (38). His 30 assists ranked second among all rookies.
  • With 38 points (8+30) through 72 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 is tied with Bobby Orr (38 points in 1966-67) for the second-most points ever recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 19th birthday, trailing only Phil Housley (57 points in 1982-83).
  • With seven 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: Housley (13) and Orr (8).
  • Dahlin's three game-winning goals this season are the most ever recorded by a Sabres rookie defenseman. His total also ties for ninth-most by any Sabres rookie and eighth-most in a season by any defenseman in franchise history.
JACK ATTACK
  • Jack Eichel has totaled 72 points this season, setting a new career-high mark, also tying his previous high with 25 goals. He has joined Rick Martin and Thomas Vanek as the third player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four NHL seasons.
  • With 47 assists so far this season, Eichel is the first Sabres player to record at least 45 assists in a season since Tim Connolly recorded 48 in 2009-10. The last Sabre to record at least 50 assists was Jason Pominville (53) in 2007-08.
SKINNER, SKINNER, CHICKEN DINNER
  • Jeff Skinner has scored 37 goals this season, becoming the fifth player ever to score at least 35 in his first season with the Sabres and tying his previous single-season high set in 2016-17.
  • With his next goal, he will tie Gilbert Perreault (1970-71) and Ray Sheppard (1987-88) for third-most ever scored by a first-year Sabre.
  • Skinner's 29 even-strength goals are already the most ever recorded by player in his first year with the Sabres, breaking a record previously held by Danny Gare (26) since 1974-75.
  • Skinner is on pace to become the first Sabres player to score at least 40 goals since Thomas Vanek (40) in 2008-09 and would have the highest total since Thomas Vanek scored 43 in 2006-07. He would become just the 11th different player in Sabres history to score at least 40 in a season.
RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS
  • With his goal on March 2 at Toronto, Jason Pominville tied Don Luce for 10th-most regular-season goals in Sabres history (216). He now trails Rene Robert by six goals for ninth-most all-time.
  • Pominville needs eight points to tie Luce for seventh-most in franchise history (526) and eight assists to tie him for seventh-most in that category (310).
LEADING THE WAYEach of the Sabres' top three scorers is currently on pace to shatter his previous personal best 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 67 25 47 72 17 34 51
Eichel 2018-19 (Pace) 77 29 54 83 20 39 59
Reinhart Career High (2017-18) 82 25 25 50 13 16 29
Reinhart 2018-19 72 18 41 59 16 29 45
Reinhart 2018-19 (Pace) 82 21 47 67 18 33 51
Skinner Career High (2016-17) 79 37 26 63 30 18 48
Skinner 2018-19 72 37 22 59 29 14 43
Skinner 2018-19 (Pace) 82 42 25 67 33 16 49
SCORING WHEN IT COUNTS
  • Jeff Skinner's seven game-winning goals tied for sixth-most in the NHL this season entering play Tuesday. 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.
SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres' league rankings before 3/19 games)
  • Buffalo Sabres: 81.5% PK% (9th)
  • Eichel: 268 S (5th)
  • Ristolainen: 24:51 TOI/GP (9th)
  • Skinner: 3 OTG (T-3rd), 29 EVG (5th), 7 GWG (T-6th), 37 G (T-8th)
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERSHits: Ristolainen (217), Girgensons (121), McCabe (96)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen (115), Bogosian (113), McCabe (95)
Shots: Eichel (268), Skinner (236), Ristolainen (172)
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: 3-6-1 (7), 26/38, 7/30, 19/22
61-70: 2-8-0 (4), 23/39, 6/27, 18/26
71-80: 1-1-0 (2), 6/7. 0/4, 3/3
OVERTIME RESULTS (7-6; 120-127 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)Feb. 8 vs. CAR: L, 6-5 (GWG-Teravainen, 3:25)
March 1 vs. PIT: W, 4-3 (GWG-Sheary, 4:11)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (6-2; 76-68 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)Feb. 21 at TBL: L, 2-1 (GDG-Stamkos)
March 7 at CHI: L, 5-4 (GDG-Kane)
March 17 vs. STL: W, 4-3 (GDG-Reinhart)
MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)GoalsJason Pominville … 1 goal … 217 goals with Sabres (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Jack Eichel … 2 goals … 100 career goals
AssistsKyle Okposo … 1 assist … 300 career assists
Jeff Skinner … 3 assists … 200 career assists
Matt Hunwick … 6 assists … 100 career assists
PointsSam Reinhart … 1 point … 200 career points
Jason Pominville … 8 points … 526 assists with Sabres (T-7th in franchise history)
Rasmus Ristolainen … 10 points … 200 career points
RECENT MILESTONESN/A


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