The Buffalo Sabres' home-and-home series against the Toronto Maple Leafs concludes tonight at Scotiabank Arena. Buffalo took Game 1 by a 6-4 score last night at KeyBank Center.
It's a 7 p.m. faceoff tonight with the Buick Game Night pregame show getting underway at 6:30 on MSG.
Tonight also marks the broadcast premiere of "Beyond Blue and Gold: Ray v. Domi," which will air during the intermissions on MSG.
Here's what you need to know.
From @SabresPR's Game Notes…
- Jack Eichel enters today's game on an eight-game point streak that began on Nov. 16. As of the conclusion of last night's game, his 15 points (8+7) during the streak led the NHL during that timeframe.
- Victor Olofsson has recorded points in 10 of his last 11 games (4+6). He enters today's game on a career-best, six-game point streak (3+3).
- Jimmy Vesey enters today's game with points in each of Buffalo's last four games, totaling five points (3+2) during that span.
- It is Vesey's first career four-game point streak. His current three-game goal scoring streak matches his previous best stretch, set from Feb. 23 to 27, 2019.
- Vesey has posted five points (3+2) in his last six games against the Maple Leafs
- Sam Reinhart has recorded 13 points (6+7) in 14 games against the Maple Leafs dating back to the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
- Jeff Skinner has totaled seven points (3+4) in eight games against Toronto since the beginning of the 2017-18 season. All 10 of Skinner's goals this season have come during 5-on-5 play.
- This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
- Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Toronto 6-4 in Buffalo on Nov 29.
- Next meeting: Tuesday, Dec. 17 in Toronto
- The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 3-6-1 on the road.
'Ray v. Domi' premieres tonight on MSG
Rob Ray and Tie Domi went toe to toe 13 times in their NHL careers. Over the summer, the two sat down to review all those fights and look back at how the game has changed since their playing days.
With the Buffalo Sabres in the midst of a home-and-home series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, there isn't a better time to premiere "Beyond Blue and Gold: Ray v. Domi."
The two-part documentary will air tonight on MSG during the intermissions of the Sabres' road game against Toronto.
A look back at last night
Video: Eichel notches three points in win vs. Maple Leafs
From the Lexus Postgame Report…
Jack Eichel stepped over the boards with 1:36 remaining, one of five Sabres tasked with protecting a one-goal lead against the Toronto Maple Leafs inside KeyBank Center on Friday. Toronto had just called a timeout, prepping for a 6-on-5 attack with goalie Michael Hutchinson pulled.
Sixty-nine hectic seconds later, Eichel was still on the ice, watching his shot travel out of the Buffalo zone and into the empty Toronto net at the other end of the ice. He lifted his stick into the air as his teammates surrounded him, exhausted and victorious.
The goal capped a three-point night for the captain in Buffalo's back-and-forth, 6-4 win over the Maple Leafs. But for all his offensive contributions, it was Eichel's late defensive presence that stuck out in coach Ralph Krueger's memory afterward.
"I was most excited about his last couple of minutes, how he came to play without the puck, how hard he defended when they pulled the goalie out," Krueger said. "He did put one in the empty net, but it was the work he did before that I think that shows Jack is maturing right in front of our eyes.
"Every day is fun coaching Jack Eichel."
Video: Postgame Interview: Jack Eichel
Video: Postgame Interview: Ralph Krueger
Video: Postgame Interview: Victor Olofsson
The victory was far from a one-man show. Jeff Skinner, Casey Mittelstadt, Victor Olofsson and Jimmy Vesey all added goals as the Sabres erased a 2-0 deficit in the second period and then fended off an aggressive Maple Leafs comeback attempt in the third. Linus Ullmark made 25 saves.
Statistically speaking, Eichel is taking over games like never before. This was his sixth three-point outing of the season - two more than his previous career high, set in 2016-17. Only Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl have more such games this season.
Eichel has tallied 15 points (8+7) during his eight-game point streak. Through 26 contests, he's on pace for 82-game totals of 50 goals and 107 points.
Oh, and he has also never shied away from the rivalry with the Maple Leafs. He has 12 goals in 14 career contests against Buffalo's neighbors to the north, his best per-game output against any opponent.
The two teams meet again at Scotiabank Arena in less than 24 hours.
"We always play them hard and they always play us tough," Eichel said. "… It's good to see us get a win tonight. I don't think we did too well against them last year. We've got a big game tomorrow night. We know they're going to be ready to go. We've just got to be ready at puck drop."
Click here to read the full recap.
Don't miss Founders' Night
December 2, 1969: The day the NHL awarded the Knox brothers and the City of Buffalo an expansion franchise.
To honor that historic moment, the Buffalo Sabres will host Founders' Night on Monday when the Sabres take on the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center.
Members of Seymour H. Knox III and Northrup R. Knox's families will be welcomed onto the ice as part of a pregame ceremony and special video presentation. Those who served on the original board of directors and their families will also be recognized throughout the night.
Be in you seats early for that, but make sure you arrive at KeyBank Center before the ceremony for birthday-themed festivities to mark the occasion.
There will be a pregame happy hour in the main Labatt Blue Zone bar with $5 beer specials, food sampling from various corporate partners, and live music.
Tickets are on sale now.
Today in Sabres history
1939: Ground is broken on Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.