|(2/7/18) Ristolainen played 32:39 against the Ducks on Tuesday.|
It's the second time in less than a month Ristolainen played more than 30 minutes. He registered five hits, three shots and a blocked shot against the Ducks, but the stats don't tell the story; Ristolainen's giveaway on an errant pass to Jack Eichel cost the Sabres the game in overtime, and head coach Phil Housley admitted that he didn't think Ristolainen had a good game, citing a lack of focus. In fairness to Ristolainen, however, this is the third straight season he's averaging more than 25 minutes per game, even though the Sabres have consistently said they'd like to take some pressure off the 23-year-old. Injuries to new acquisitions such as Nathan Beaulieu didn't help, but perhaps the big Finn is simply suffering from fatigue, both mentally and physically. He's missed nine games already this season and his 2.8 shooting percentage is the lowest of his career.