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Sharpen Up: All the Sabres news you need to know on December 8, 2019

Buffalo takes on Edmonton tonight with pregame coverage on MSG starting at 7:30 p.m. ET

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak / Sabres.com

The Buffalo Sabres will look to close out their three-game road trip on a high note. They're in Edmonton tonight to play the Oilers at Rogers Place. 

It's an 8 p.m. ET faceoff with the Buick Game Night pregame show kicking things off on MSG at 7:30. 

Buffalo's next home game is Tuesday against St. Louis. That game will air on NBCSN.  

Here's what you need to know. 

 

Tonight's matchup

From @SabresPR's Game Notes…

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Oilers this season.
  • Last meeting: Edmonton defeated Buffalo 7-2 in Edmonton on Jan. 14
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Jan. 2 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Oilers; 6-4-0 on the road.

 

  • Tonight's game is the third in a three-game road trip through Western Canada for the Sabres. Buffalo is 13-7-4 against the Pacific Division since the beginning of last season, including a 3-2-3 record in 2019-20.
  • The Sabres are 26-40-11 all-time against the Oilers but are 11-6-1 against Edmonton since 2005-06 and 4-2-0 against them in the last three seasons.

 

  • Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger served as the head coach of the Edmonton Oilers during the 2012-13 season. He spent the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns as the Oilers' associate coach.

 

  • Victor Olofsson leads all NHL rookies with 12 goals this season and ranks second among rookies with 28 points.
  • He has recorded 16 points (6+10) in his last 15 games, including two-point outings in each of the team's last three contests.
  • Olofsson is the first Sabres rookie to record three straight multi-point games since Tyler Ennis did so from Jan. 15 to 20, 2011.
  • The last Sabres rookie to record at least four consecutive multi-point games was Ales Kotalik, who did it in four straight games from Jan. 3 to 10, 2003.

 

  • Jack Eichel enters today's game on a career-best 12-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. As of the conclusion of yesterday's game, his 10 goals and 22 points during the streak led the NHL during that timeframe.
  • Eichel's streak is the longest active point streak in the NHL and the longest by a Sabre since Tim Connolly tallied points in 16 straight from Dec. 23, 2009 to Jan. 25, 2010.
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 11 multi-point games this season, tying for eighth-most in the NHL at the conclusion of yesterday's game.
  • After yesterday's game, his four multi-goal games tied for fourth-most (one shy of the league lead) and his eight multi-assist games tied for the league lead.

 

  • Rasmus Ristolainen enters the game with points in five straight contests (1+5). It is his first five-game streak since Jan. 18 to 25, 2018 (1+5). With a point tonight, he would tie his career-best six straight games with a point from Feb. 12 to 25, 2017 (0+6).

 

  • The Sabres and the Buffalo Bills are playing on the same day for the third of five times this season after doing so three times last season.
  • The teams have played on the same date 222 times, with both teams winning their respective games on 50 of those days.
  • The Sabres are 119-69-34 when playing on a Bills game day and the Bills enter this game 95-125-2 on those dates.
  • The last time the Sabres and Bills both won on the same date was Nov. 24, 2019.

 

A look back at last night

Video: BUF Recap: Late rally ends with 6-5 loss in overtime

From the Postgame Report…

In the end, a game that went back and forth for three periods had one last twist. 

After erasing three deficits in regulation, the Buffalo Sabres nearly defeated the Vancouver Canucks on a shot from Jack Eichel that found the back of the net in overtime. Instead, Henri Jokiharju was called for interference and J.T. Miller scored for the Canucks on the ensuing power play. 

The result was a 6-5 victory for the Canucks and a road point for the Sabres on a night that could have seen them leave empty-handed. 

"It's a big point," said Kyle Okposo, who scored in his return from a 10-game absence. "… We could have wilted, but we didn't. We found a way to tie the game and get a point. Obviously, we would have liked to get a second one, that's disappointing. But I liked the way we fought back and that's a huge point."

Video: POSTGAME: Krueger

Video: POSTGAME: Hutton

Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said he understood the penalty against Jokiharju, which came after the defenseman collided with Canucks forward Jake Virtanen as Eichel skated above them in the 3-on-3 extra period. Virtanen fell over Jokiharju's stick as he attempted to turn and switch onto Eichel. 

The whistle sounded as Eichel skated alone to toward the right faceoff circle and buried a shot behind goaltender Thatcher Demko.

"I can understand the call because of it being literally a breakaway out of it," Krueger said. "It was definitely not intentional. Joki wasn't even looking in that direction, so in a normal moment of the game that might not get called. But I think in a 3-on-3 overtime when it leads to a breakaway, you can see both sides of it and you just have to swallow it down."

Video: POSTGAME: Olofsson

Video: POSTGAME: Okposo

The Sabres erased deficits of 2-0, 3-2, and 5-3 in regulation. Okposo, Sam Reinhart, Victor Olofsson, Zemgus Girgensons, and Marcus Johansson all scored goals. Johansson's goal tied the score with 58.5 seconds remaining in the third period. 

"We didn't quit or anything like that," Olofsson said. "I thought we just kept playing our game and we didn't panic, took it one goal at a time. I think it's great that we came back and I think we could've even got that last goal too."

Read the full recap here.
 

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