Game Preview: 12/23/14 at DET

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, December 21
Buffalo 4 at Boston 3 (OT)
Goals: Meszaros, Ristolainen, Schaller
Goalie: Enroth (33 saves/37 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 0/1; Shots: Boston 37 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 112)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 34 games
Mike Weber (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 5 games
Cody McCormick (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 5 games
Torrey Mitchell (lower body, Dec. 16; injured reserve) – 3 games
Tyson Strachan (lower body, Dec. 20; injured reserve) – 2 games
Matt Moulson (illness, Dec. 20) – 2 games
Tyler Myers (lower body, Dec. 21) – 1 game
Patrick Kaleta (illness, Dec. 21) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/17:
Assigned F Mikhail Grigorenko to Rochester (AHL)
12/20: Recalled F Mikhail Grigorenko and F Johan Larsson from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Cody McCormick on IR
12/21: Recalled F Tim Schaller and D Mark Pysyk from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Torrey Mitchell and D Tyson Strachan on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec. 27:
New York Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 29: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 31: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 2: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 3: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RED WINGS

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 13 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Detroit, 3-2 (SO), in Buffalo on Nov. 2
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 1-7-2 on the road.
  • This is the 122nd game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 54-51-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-35-7 on the road against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 17-8-4 all-time on December 23.
  • December 23, 1989: Phil Housley records five points (1+4) in a 6-5 win over the Quebec Nordiques, earning his share of the Sabres’ record for most points in one game by a defenseman (John Van Boxmeer is the other).
  • December 23, 2013: Mark Pysyk scores in overtime as the Sabres top the Coyotes, 2-1, despite dressing only 16 skaters and losing Drew Stafford to a game misconduct in the second period.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win the last time these teams met, the Sabres broke an eight-game losing streak against the Red Wings. A win tonight would be the Sabres’ first in Detroit since Oct. 13, 2006 and would give the Sabres wins in consecutive games against the Red Wings for the first time since March 4, 1994 and Nov. 1, 1995.
  • Chris Stewart leads all Sabres with 14 points (7+7) in 25 career games against the Red Wings.
  • Zemgus Girgensons scored in his NHL debut on Oct. 2, 2013 against the Red Wings and has four points (3+1) in five career games against Detroit.
  • Jhonas Enroth has compiled a 9-3-1 record in his last 13 games.

FAMILIAR FOES       

  • Tonight’s game marks the seventh of nine divisional games in the month of December, more than any other month this season. Buffalo is 3-2-1 against divisional opponents so far this month.
  • Having played five divisional games in November, the Sabres will play 14 of their 30 divisional games during November and December. Buffalo is 7-2-2 against divisional foes since Nov. 2.

HEATING UP BEFORE WINTER

  • With a .500 record (6-6-1) in November, the Sabres had their best month since they went 5-5-2 in December 2013. The 13 points earned by the team last month was Buffalo’s highest total in a month since the team went 8-4-0 in April 2013.
  • The Sabres are 10-5-1 in their last 16 games, dating back to a 6-2 win on Nov. 15 vs. TOR.

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • Josh Gorges is tied for fourth in the NHL with 83 blocked shots entering Monday night’s games despite missing nine games to injury this season.
  • Gorges has blocked 13.0 percent of all opponent shot attempts taken with him on the ice this season, the fourth-highest percentage among NHL defensemen who have played at least 10 games (see chart below) before Monday’s games.
  • His best full-season on-ice shot blocking percentage was 13.0 percent in 2011-12 with Montreal. No NHL-regular defenseman has topped 14 percent in a full season since the league started counting blocked shots in 2005-06.

Top NHL Defensemen, On-Ice Shot Blocking Percentage

(min. 10 games played)

Rank Player Team GP BS On-Ice

BS%

1 Christopher Tanev VAN 32 80 14.1%
2 Kris Russell CGY 33 104 13.9%
3 Michael Stone ARI 31 83 13.1%
4 Josh Gorges BUF 25 83 13.0%
5 Radko Gudas TBL 28 57 12.1%

“BALSO PAR ZEMGU”

  • Second-year Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons ended week four of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Fan Vote with 1,089,865 votes. This total makes him a distant leader, ahead of second-place Patrick Kane (586,310) and third-place Jonathan Toews (573,198). More than 82 percent of his total votes were cast by Latvians.
  • His nine goals this season have already bested his total of eight from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has averaged 20:43 of ice time in his last 14 games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:55 per game this season.

BUF-DET CONNECTIONS
Ted Nolan:

  • Played parts of two seasons for the Red Wings (1981-82 and 1983-84), appearing in a total of 60 games. Initially selected by Detroit in the fifth round of the 1978 NHL Draft, Nolan tallied 20 points (5+15) during his time with the club.

Andre Benoit:

  • Played with Jakub Kindl for the Kitchener Rangers during the 2004-05 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played with Darren Helm for two seasons (2005-2007) with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL).

Jhonas Enroth:

  • Played with Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Jonathan Ericsson for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played with Joakim Andersson for Sweden at the 2008 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist for Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • He and Niklas Kronwall are natives of Stockholm, Sweden.

Brian Flynn:

  • Played with Gustav Nyquist at the University of Maine for three seasons from 2008-2011.

Cody Hodgson:

  • Hodgson and Brendan Smith were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

Matt Moulson

  • Played with Kyle Quincey for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2008-09 season.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played with Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar for Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Played with Drew Miller for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2009-10 season.

Chris Stewart:

  • Played with Kyle Quincey for the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2011.

Mike Weber:

  • Played with Matt Lashoff for the Barrie Colts (OHL) during the 2006-07 season.

Local Players:

  • Tom McCollum was born in Amherst, NY and played for the Wheatfield Blades (EMJHL)
  • Riley Sheahan was born in St. Catharines, Ontario.

NHL Draft:

  • Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson and Tom McCollum were all taken in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Hodgson was selected 10th overall by Vancouver, Myers was taken 12th overall, Ennis went 26th overall and McCollum was selected 30th overall.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (106), Foligno (92), Weber (72)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (83), Myers (71), Ristolainen (58)
Shots: Ennis (81), Moulson (73), Stewart (67)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
2-8-0 (2), 11/33, 0/32, 33/39
11-20: 3-5-2 (8), 23/36, 4/27, 28/39
21-30: 7-3-0 (14), 22/22, 2/25, 20/25
31-40: 1-2-1 (3), 10/17, 3/13, 10/13

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-2; 98-100 all-time)
October 30 vs. Boston: L, 3-2 (GDG-Marchand, 1:20)
December 13 vs. Florida: W, 4-3 (GDG-Zadorov, 0:29)
December 21 at Boston: L, 4-3 (Eriksson, 2:14)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-1; 62-47 all-time)
October 14 at Carolina: W, 4-3 (GDG-Girgensons)
November 2 vs. Detroit: W, 3-2 (GDG-Girgensons)

November 5 vs. Montreal: L, 2-1 (GDG-Parenteau)
November 29 at Montreal: W, 4-3 (GDG-Flynn)
December 2 vs. Tampa Bay: W, 2-1 (GDG-Hodgson)
December 15 vs. Ottawa: W, 5-2 (GDG-Moulson)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Cody McCormick … 2 games … 400 career games played
Points
Torrey Mitchell … 3 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 4 points … 500 career points
Matt Moulson … 10 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Tyler Ennis … 300th NHL game … Dec. 20 vs. COL
Johan Larsson … 1st NHL goal … Dec. 20 vs. COL
Tim Schaller … 1st NHL point (goal) … Dec. 21 at BOS

Game Preview: 12/21/14 at BOS

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, December 20
Colorado 5 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Larsson
Goalie: Enroth (18 saves/22 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 29 – Colorado 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 104)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 33 games
Mike Weber (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 4 games
Cody McCormick (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 4 games
Torrey Mitchell (lower body, Dec. 16; injured reserve) – 2 games
Tyson Strachan (lower body, Dec. 20; injured reserve) – 1 game
Matt Moulson (illness, Dec. 20) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/15:
Recalled F Mikhail Grigorenko from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Mike Weber on IR
12/17: Assigned F Mikhail Grigorenko to Rochester (AHL)
12/20: Recalled F Mikhail Grigorenko and F Johan Larsson from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Cody McCormick on IR
12/21: Recalled F Tim Schaller and D Mark Pysyk from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Torrey Mitchell and D Tyson Strachan on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Dec. 23:
Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 27: New York Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 29: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 31: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 2: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BRUINS

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Bruins this season.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, March 17 in Boston
  • Last meeting: Boston defeated Buffalo, 3-2 (OT), in Buffalo on Oct. 30
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Bruins; 4-4-2 on the road.
  • This is the 276th game all-time between Buffalo and Boston; Buffalo has a 119-115-41 series record.
  • The Sabres are 46-70-19 on the road against the Bruins all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 13-5-2 all-time on December 21.
  • December 21, 1975: Rick Martin scores four goals and Fred Stanfield scores three as the Sabres defeat Washington by a score of 14-2, the largest winning margin in franchise history. The Sabres roster combined for 40 points in the game, the most in team history.
  • December 21, 1991: Alexander Mogilny sets the franchise record for fastest goal from the start of a game, beating Toronto goaltender Jeff Reese just five seconds after the opening faceoff.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Entering tonight, the Sabres have lost three straight games to the Bruins for the first time since Apr. 8 to Dec. 7, 2010. They will look to avoid the first four-game losing streak since they lost six in a row from April 9, 1995 to Feb. 3, 1996.
  • Drew Stafford leads all Sabres with 27 points (13+14) in 44 career games against the Bruins.
  • Johan Larsson scored his first NHL goal last night vs. COL after being a late recall from Rochester.

FAMILIAR FOES

  • Tonight’s game marks the sixth of nine divisional games in the month of December, more than any other month this season. Buffalo is 3-2-0 against divisional opponents so far this month.
  • Having played five divisional games in November, the Sabres will play 14 of their 30 divisional games during November and December. Buffalo is 7-2-1 against divisional foes since Nov. 2.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s eighth of 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, which began last night with a 5-1 loss vs. COL. The Sabres are 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-4-0 in the second game. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to- back sets is: four points (1), three points (0), two points (3), one point (0) and zero points (3).

HEATING UP BEFORE WINTER

  • With a .500 record (6-6-1) in November, the Sabres had their best month since they went 5-5-2 in December 2013. The 13 points earned by the team last month was Buffalo’s highest total in a month since the team went 8-4-0 in April 2013.
  • The Sabres are 10-5-0 in their last 15 games, dating back to a 6-2 win on Nov. 15 vs. TOR. Before their success in November, the team hadn’t had a 15-game stretch with at least 20 points since March 19 to April 17, 2013 (9-4-2).

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • Josh Gorges tied for fifth in the NHL with 80 blocked shots after Saturday’s game despite missing nine games to injury this season.
  • Gorges has blocked 13.1 percent of all opponent shot attempts taken with him on the ice this season, the fourth-highest percentage among NHL defensemen who have played at least 10 games (see chart below) as of the end of last night’s Sabres game.
  • His best full-season on-ice shot blocking percentage was 13.0 percent in 2011-12 with Montreal. No NHL-regular defenseman has topped 14 percent in a full season since the league started counting blocked shots in 2005-06.

Top NHL Defensemen, On-Ice Shot Blocking Percentage

(min. 10 games played)

Rank Player Team GP BS On-IceBS%
1 Christopher Tanev VAN 31 78 14.2%
2 Kris Russell CGY 32 102 14.2%
3 Michael Stone ARI 31 83 13.1%
4 Josh Gorges BUF 24 80 13.1%
5 Raphael Diaz CGY 16 24 12.8%

MY NAME IS JHONAS

  • In his last 12 games, Jhonas Enroth has compiled a 9-3-0 record, with a .928 save percentage and a 2.37 goals-against average.
  • Enroth is 4-0 on the season in shootouts, having allowed just one goal on 18 attempts (.944).
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, Enroth’s fourth career shutout on Tuesday vs. LAK made him the first goaltender in NHL history to record his first four shutouts in 1-0 wins.

“BALSO PAR ZEMGU”

  • Second-year Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons ended week four of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Fan Vote with 1,089,865 votes. This total makes him a distant leader, ahead of second-place Patrick Kane (586,310) and third-place Jonathan Toews (573,198). More than 82 percent of his total votes were cast by Latvians.
  • His nine goals this season have already bested his total of eight from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has averaged 20:43 of ice time in his last 13 games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:52 per game this season.

BUF-BOS CONNECTIONS

Former Sabres:

  • Daniel Paille was a part of the Sabres’ organization from 2002-2009. He was selected in the first round (20th overall) by the Sabres in the 2002 NHL Draft. He played 195 games for the Sabres, recording 77 points (35+42). He played 153 games for the Rochester Americans, where he also recorded 77 points (35+42).
  • Joe Sacco served as an assistant coach for the Sabres during the 2013-14 season.

Former Bruins:

  • Andrej Meszaros played for the Bruins during the 2013-14 season, recording five points (2+3) over 14 games before adding a pair of assists in four playoff appearances.

Ted Nolan:

  • Coached Brad Marchand for the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) during the 2005-06 season.

Andre Benoit:

  • Played with Chris Kelly for the Ottawa Senators during the 2010-11 season.
  • He and Gregory Campbell were teammates for the Kitchener Rangers during the 2002-03 season.

Jhonas Enroth:

  • Played with Loui Eriksson for Team Sweden at the 2014 Olympics as well as the 2011 and 2012 World Hockey Championships.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Dougie Hamilton for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Patrice Bergeron for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played alongside Zdeno Chara for the Ottawa Senators during the 2005-06 season.
  • Played with Chris Kelly for the Ottawa Senators from 2005-2008.  The two, along with Zdeno Chara, were also reunited with the Bruins during the 2013-14 season.
  • Played with Simon Gagne during the 2012-13 season.

Nikita Zadorov:

  • Played with Seth Griffith for the London Knights during the 2012-13 season.

Hometown Connections:

  • Cody Hodgson, Reilly Smith, Chris Kelly and Dougie Hamilton are all natives of Toronto, Ontario.
  • Mike Weber and Matt Bartkowski were both born in Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Cody McCormick and Gregory Campbell are both from London, Ontario.

NHL Draft:

  • Michael Neuvirth (34th overall), Jhonas Enroth (46th overall), Mike Weber (57th overall) and Milan Lucic (50th overall) were all selected in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (104), Foligno (92), Weber (72)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (80), Myers (71), Ristolainen (56)
Shots: Ennis (78), Moulson (73), Stewart (65)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
2-8-0 (2), 11/33, 0/32, 33/39
11-20: 3-5-2 (8), 23/36, 4/27, 28/39
21-30: 7-3-0 (14), 22/22, 2/25, 20/25
31-40: 1-2-0 (2), 7/14, 2/11, 10/12

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-1; 98-99 all-time)
October 30 vs. Boston: L, 3-2 (GDG-Marchand, 1:20)
December 13 vs. Florida: W, 4-3 (GDG-Zadorov, 0:29)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-1; 62-47 all-time)
October 14 at Carolina: W, 4-3 (GDG-Girgensons)
November 2 vs. Detroit: W, 3-2 (GDG-Girgensons)

November 5 vs. Montreal: L, 2-1 (GDG-Parenteau)
November 29 at Montreal: W, 4-3 (GDG-Flynn)
December 2 vs. Tampa Bay: W, 2-1 (GDG-Hodgson)
December 15 vs. Ottawa: W, 5-2 (GDG-Moulson)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Cody McCormick … 2 games … 400 career games played
Points
Torrey Mitchell … 3 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 4 points … 500 career points
Matt Moulson … 10 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Tyler Ennis … 300th NHL game … Dec. 20 vs. COL
Johan Larsson … 1st NHL goal … Dec. 20 vs. COL

SABRES RECALL SCHALLER, PYSYK FROM ROCHESTER

BUFFALO, N.Y. (December 21, 2014) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled forward Tim Schaller and defenseman Mark Pysyk from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Schaller (6’2”, 206 lbs., 11/16/90) will be joining the Sabres for the second time this season. He’s currently tied for the Amerks’ team lead with eight goals and ranks fourth on the club with 18 points (8+10) in 29 games. The Merrimack, N.H. native made his NHL debut on Nov. 29 in Montreal and played two games with the Sabres this season, registering five hits and three blocked shots.

Pysyk (6’1”, 192 lbs., 1/11/92) is being recalled for the first time this season. The Sherwood Park, Alberta native is currently tied for second among Amerks defensemen with 10 points (1+9) in 28 games. Buffalo’s first-round pick (23rd overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft, Pysyk has tallied 12 points (2+10) in 63 games for the Sabres since making his NHL debut in 2012.

Post-Game Report: 12/20 vs. COL

Final Score

1st 2nd 3rd OT SO Final SOG
Avalanche
(11-13-8)
2 0 3 - - 5 23
Sabres
(13-18-2)
0 0  1 - - 1 29

Game Summary

Event Summary

Top Notes

  • The Sabres fell to Colorado for the eighth straight time and are now 0-4-4 against the Avalanche since their win on Dec. 4, 2005 in Colorado.
  • With the loss, the Sabres are now 2-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 3-1-0 when out-shooting their opponent this season.
  • Johan Larsson, who was recalled from Rochester (AHL) before tonight’s game, scored his first NHL goal tonight. Tyler Ennis appeared in his 300th NHL game.
  • With his assist, Chris Stewart now has five points (3+2) in his last five games against the Avalanche. Fellow former Colorado player Andre Benoit recorded the other assist on the Sabres’ lone goal.
  • Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen led all skaters on both teams with a career-high 27:01 of ice time.

 

Post-Game Audio

Sabres head coach Ted Nolan

Sabres forward Tyler Ennis

Sabres forward Johan Larsson

Sabres forward Brian Gionta

Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy

Avalanche forward Alex Tanguay

Avalanche forward Cody McLeod

Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson

Avalanche goaltender Calvin Pickard

SABRES RECALL LARSSON FROM ROCHESTER

BUFFALO, N.Y. (December 20, 2014) — The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has recalled forward Johan Larsson from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Larsson (7/25/92, 5’11”, 206 lbs) joins the Sabres for the second time this season after being recalled for a four-game stint in early November. He currently leads the Amerks with eight goals and owns the second-highest point total, 23 (8+15), through 26 games played. In 33 NHL games played with the Sabres and Minnesota Wild through parts of three seasons, he has recorded four assists.

Acquired by the Sabres in trade with the Wild at the 2013 Trade Deadline, Larsson was drafted by Minnesota in the second round (56th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.