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Monday, January 21
Buffalo 2 at Toronto 1
Goals: Hodgson, Pominville
Goalie: Miller (34 saves/35 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 6/7; Shots: Toronto 35 – Buffalo 20
CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 6)
Nathan Gerbe (back, Jan. 20) – 2 games
Cody McCormick (hand, Jan. 20; injured reserve) – 2 games
Ville Leino (lower body, Jan. 20; injured reserve) – 2 games
TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/18 Placed LW Nathan Gerbe and C Cody McCormick on IR
1/19 Assigned D Adam Pardy, F Kevin Porter and F Nick Tarnasky to Rochester (AHL)
1/24 Activated LW Nathan Gerbe from IR; placed LW Ville Leino on IR
Friday, Jan. 25 Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 27 Buffalo at Washington, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 29 Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 31 Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 2 Buffalo at Montreal, 2 p.m.
SABRES at HURRICANES
-This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Carolina, 3-2 (OT), in Buffalo on March 7, 2012.
-The Sabres are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 4-2-4 on the road.
-This is the 183rd game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina; Buffalo leads the series with a 96-63-24 record. They are 42-34-16 on the road against the Hurricanes.
- The Sabres have started the season 2-0 for the 11th time in franchise history. Tonight, they will try to extend that record to 3-0 for the fifth time in franchise history and the third time in the last seven seasons.
- After tonight’s game, the teams will both travel to Buffalo for a second matchup tomorrow at First Niagara Center. Buffalo is 68-60-29 all-time in the first game of a home-and-home series and 79-56-22 in the second game. They have swept the pair 32 times and lost both games 25 times, splitting the other 100. (Source: Elias Sports Bureau)
LEADING THE WAY AGAINST THE HURRICANES
Thomas Vanek leads all Sabres with 26 points (11+15) in 26 career games against the Hurricanes… Vanek and Jason Pominville each had five points (3+2) in four games against Carolina last season… Jhonas Enroth is 2-0-0 with a 0.49 GAA and a .986 SV% against the Hurricanes, his best numbers against any team.
WEATHERING THE STORM
The Sabres have a record of 14-6-4 against the Hurricanes since their seven-game series in the 2006 Eastern Conference Finals. Buffalo went 2-2-0 against Carolina last season; the team has gotten at least half of the available points in the season series every year since going 1-2-1 against the Hurricanes in 2005-06.
Tonight’s game will be the 400th of Drew Stafford’s career, all of which he has spent with the Sabres. Stafford will become the fourth player on Buffalo’s roster to play 400 games with the Sabres, joining Jochen Hecht (568), Thomas Vanek (549) and Jason Pominville (543).
THOMAS THE TANK
Thomas Vanek recorded a career-best five points (2+3) Sunday vs. PHI, becoming the first Sabres player to notch five points since Drew Stafford (3+2) vs. ATL on Jan. 18, 2008. He followed up the five-point performance with an assist on Monday at TOR. Dating back to last season, Vanek has 17 points (5+12) in his last 12 games.
A FRESH FACE
At 18 years and 254 days old, Mikhail Grigorenko became the sixth 18-year-old ever to dress for the Sabres on opening day on Sunday vs. PHI. Only four other players had suited up for the Sabres’ first regular season game at a younger age: Pierre Turgeon (18 years-41 days), Tom Barrasso (18-188), Phil Housley (18-211) and Shawn Anderson (18-244). (Source: Elias Sports Bureau)
LET’S PLAY TWO
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s second of nine sets of back-to-back games this season after the team had a league-high 21 sets last season. The Sabres are 1-0-0 in the first game and 1-0-0 in the second. Buffalo’s points breakdown in back-to-back sets is as follows: four points (1), three points (0), two points (0), one point (0) and zero points (0).
2011-12 SEASON RECAP
Buffalo was 39-32-11 last season, finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference, three points out of the final playoff spot… Jason Pominville led the Sabres in scoring for the first time with 73 points (30+43) in 82 games… Ryan Miller posted a career-best six shutouts and overtook Dominik Hasek for the franchise record in wins, finishing the season with 252.
Since Lindy Ruff was named Buffalo’s head coach on July 21, 1997, there have been 170 coaching changes in the NHL. Ruff is the second-longest tenured coach in the four major professional sports leagues. Only Gregg Popovich, who began coaching the San Antonio Spurs in 1996, has been head coach of his team longer. Ruff has 567 wins as head coach of the Sabres, second-most by a head coach with a single franchise, trailing only Al Arbour (740). Ruff has more wins than any other coach with his first NHL team.
2012-13 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 23 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:
*13 were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round Buffalo selections (Vanek, 2003; Stafford, 2004; Myers and Ennis, 2008; Grigorenko, 2012)
*Six were acquired in trades: Hecht, Regehr, Ehrhoff, Hodgson, Sulzer, Ott
*Three were signed as free agents: Leopold, Leino, Scott
*One was acquired from waivers: Ellis
*20 played in Buffalo at some point last season
*Three are new to the Sabres this season: Mikhail Grigorenko was selected by the Sabres 12th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft; Scott signed as a UFA on July 1 after spending last season with the Rangers and Blackhawks; Ott was acquired in a trade with Dallas on July 2 after spending eight seasons with the Stars.
*Three players (Brennan, Foligno and Grigorenko) opened the season on an NHL roster for the first time in their careers.
BUF Assistant Coach Kevyn Adams played in Carolina for five seasons (2001-02 to 2006-07), including the Hurricanes’ 2005-06 Stanley Cup winning season. While in Carolina, Adams recorded 72 points (38+34) through 300 games.
Adams also played with CAR C Tuomo Ruutu on the Chicago Blackhawks in 2007-08.
BUF D Andrej Sekera and CAR C Tim Brent were both third-round selections in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Sekera, selected by Buffalo, was selected 71st overall while Brent, picked by Anaheim, was the 75th overall selection.
BUF C Jochen Hecht and CAR D Joe Corvo were born one day apart. Hecht was born on June 21, 1977 and Corvo was born a day earlier, on June 20, 1977.
BUF G Ryan Miller and CAR D Tim Gleason both played for Team USA at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
BUF C Steve Ott and CAR LW Jussi Jokinen played together for three seasons on the Dallas Stars (2005-06 to 2007-08).
Jokinen also played alongside BUF AC Teppo Numminen, CAR C Tuomo Ruutu and CAR D Joni Pitkanen on Team Finland in the 2006 Olympics in Torino.
BUF G Jhonas Enroth, BUF D Mike Weber and CAR D Jamie McBain were all drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Enroth was the 46th overall selection, Weber the 57th overall pick and McBain the 63rd overall selection.
BUF C Mikhail Grigorenko and CAR C Jeff Skinner were both born on May 16. Skinner, born in 1992, is two years older than Grigorenko, who was born in 1994.
Skinner shares a hometown with BUF C Cody Hodgson. Both Skinner and Hodgson were born in Toronto.
BUF LW Thomas Vanek and CAR C Eric Staal were both first-round draft picks in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Staal was the 2nd overall selection and Vanek was picked 5th overall.
Staal also played with BUF D Robyn Regehr on Team Canda in the 2006 Olympics in Torino. Staal was also a player for Team Canada in 2010 when he was coached by BUF HC Lindy Ruff, who served as an assistant coach for Team Canada in Vancouver.
BUF D Jordan Leopold played with CAR C Jordan Staal on the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2009-10.
SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 2-0-0 (4), 7/3, 3/9, 9/11
OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 93-91 all-time)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 43-37 all-time)
MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Drew Stafford … 1 game … 400 career games played
Cody Hodgson … 7 games … 100 career games played
Ville Leino … 2 points … 100 career points
Jordan Leopold … 6 points … 200 career points
Tyler Ennis … 7 points … 100 career points