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Saturday, February 23
NY Islanders 4 at Buffalo 0
Goalie: Miller (28 saves/32 shots)
PP: 0/6; PK: 3/4; Shots: Buffalo 35 – NY Islanders 32
CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 50)
Ville Leino (lower body, Jan. 20; injured reserve) – 19 games
Jordan Leopold (upper body, Feb. 21) – 2 games
Alexander Sulzer (lower body, Feb. 26; injured reserve) – 0 games
TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/20 Placed C Cody McCormick on waivers
2/21 Recalled C Kevin Porter from Rochester (AHL); Loaned C Cody McCormick to Rochester (AHL)
2/25 Recalled D Adam Pardy from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Alexander Sulzer on IR
Thursday, Feb. 28 Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 2 New Jersey at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
Sunday, March 3 Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, March 5 Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 7 Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
SABRES at LIGHTNING
-This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay, 7-3, in Tampa Bay on March 19, 2012.
-These teams next meet on Tuesday, March 26 in Tampa Bay.
-The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 7-3-0 on the road.
-This is the 75th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo leads the series with a 47-22-5 record. They are 25-9-3 on the road against the Lightning.
THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY
- The Sabres are 5-8-6 all-time on Feb. 26. They haven’t won on this date in their last 11 tries, with the last win coming on Feb. 26, 1987, a 4-3 win vs. St. Louis that featured the 99th hat trick in franchise history (Wilf Paiement).
- Feb. 26, 1995: Dominik Hasek appeared in his 100th game with the Sabres, a 4-2 loss to the NY Rangers.
- The Sabres have lost four straight games for the first time this season. They will look to avoid their first five-game regulation losing streak since they went 0-5-0 from Jan. 14 to Jan. 21, 2012.
- Buffalo hasn’t lost three straight road games in regulation since that same 0-5-0 run, all of which were on the road.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
- The Sabres are in the midst of an eight-game stretch without any back-to-back games; it is the longest such stretch of the season.
- Dating back to last season, Thomas Vanek has 36 points (14+22) in his last 28 games.
- Since 2005-06, 24 of 33 teams replacing their head coach mid-season have seen an improvement in their record after replacing the coach; 14 of those teams made the playoffs that season.
HOW THEY STACK UP (Sabres ranked in the top 10 in the NHL before 2/25 games)
Thomas Vanek: 25 points (T-3rd), 12 goals (T-3rd), 5 power play goals (T-4th), 26 takeaways (1st)
Jason Pominville: 18 takeaways (T-6th)
Steve Ott: 82 hits (1st)
Marcus Foligno: 7 assists (T-3rd, rookies), 8 points (T-7th, rookies), 19 PIM (4th, rookies), 45 hits (4th, rookies)
LEADING THE WAY AGAINST TAMPA BAY
- Four Sabres (Pominville, Vanek, Stafford, Hodgson) average more than a point per game against the Lightning in their careers.
- Ryan Miller is 18-7-0 all-time against TBL with a 2.75 GAA.
- Jason Pominville leads all Sabres with 35 points (16+19) in 27 games against TBL.
- Thomas Vanek leads the team with 23 goals in only 28 games against TBL, five shy of his career-best 28 against Boston (48 GP).
LOGGING BIG MINUTES
Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has averaged 24:57 TOI per game this season, the highest average of his career and the highest per-game average by a Sabres skater since Alexei Zhitnik skated 25:01 per game in the 2003-04 season. Jason Pominville’s average TOI of 20:46 is the highest by a Sabres forward since Miroslav Satan averaged 21:23 in 2002-03.
MEET THE NEW BOSS
After being named interim head coach of the Buffalo Sabres on Feb. 20, Ron Rolston became the 16th head coach in Sabres history. Rolston joins the Sabres after spending the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons as head coach of the Rochester Americans (AHL), compiling a 63-44-17 regular-season record. Prior to joining the Americans, Rolston spent seven seasons as head coach with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, where he led the United States Under-18 team to three gold medals and a silver medal in four tournaments as head coach at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD
The Sabres hired Ron Rolston to serve as interim head coach on Feb. 20 after the Sabres got off to a 6-10-1 (.382) start. It was the first time the Sabres had replaced their head coach mid-season since John Muckler took over for Rick Dudley on Dec. 11, 1991 after a 9-15-4 (.393) start to the season. The 1991-92 team went 22-22-8 under Muckler, ending the season 31-37-12 and finishing third in the Adams Division to clinch a playoff spot.
RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS
With a goal Feb. 5 at OTT, Jason Pominville passed Alexander Mogilny (444) for 12th-most points in Sabres history. Pominville’s assist on Buffalo’s first goal Feb. 3 vs. FLA tied Mike Foligno (264) for 10th-most assists in Sabres history and his next assist will give him sole possession of 10th place in franchise history. He trails Derek Roy by two assists for ninth.
BUF interim head coach Ron Rolston coached TBL D Brian Lee when Lee was on the 2007 U.S. World Junior team and Rolston served as an assistant coach for the squad. The U.S. won a bronze medal in the 2007 tournament.
BUF F Steve Ott and TBL F B.J Crombeen played together from 2007-2009 as members of the Dallas Stars.
BUF G Ryan Miller and TBL F Adam Hall played together from 1999-2002 as members of the Michigan State Spartans. Hall also played with BUF D Jordan Leopold in the World Junior Championship in 1999 and 2000 for the United States.
BUF D Robyn Regehr, TBL F Martin St. Louis and TBL F Vincent Lecavalier played together as members of the 2006 Canadian Olympic team.
BUF G Ryan Miller and TBL F Ryan Malone played together as members of the 2010 United States Olympic team. The United States finished second in the tournament, losing the gold medal game to Canada in overtime.
TBL F Cory Conacher played for Canisius College (located in Buffalo) from 2007-2011. Conacher is seventh all-time in Canisius scoring history, with 62 goals and 85 assists in 129 career games.
BUF F John Scott and TBL F Benoit Pouliot played together for the Minnesota Wild from 2008-2010. TBL D Marc-Andre Bergeron also played for the Wild during the 2008-2009 season.
BUF D Robyn Regehr and TBL F Martin St. Louis played together for the Calgary Flames during the 1999-00 season.
TBL F Steven Stamkos, BUF F Cody Hodgson, F Tyler Ennis and D Tyler Myers were all selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Stamkos was taken 1st overall, Hodgson was taken 10th overall, Myers was taken 12th overall and Ennis was taken 26th overall.
BUF F Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson, D Tyler Myers and TBL Keith Aulie all played for the 2009 Canadian World Junior team. The team won the gold medal, and Hodgson was the leading scorer in the tournament with 16 points (5+11).
BUF F Jochen Hecht and TBL D Eric Brewer played together for the Edmonton Oilers during the 2001-02 season.
TBL D Matthew Carle and BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played together for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2008. Carle also played with BUF F Ville Leino for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2009-2011.
BUF G Jhonas Enroth and TBL D Victor Hedman played together for Sweden in the 2008 World Junior Championship. Sweden won the silver medal in the tournament and Hedman was named one of the top two defensemen of the tournament.
BUF F Nathan Gerbe and TBL D Brian Lee played together for the United States in the 2006 and 2007 World Junior Championship tournaments. The United States finished fourth in 2006 and third in 2007.
TBL D Sami Salo played with BUF D Christian Ehrhoff for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011. Salo also played with BUF F Cody Hodgson in Vancouver from 2010-2012 and with D Alexander Sulzer during the 2011-12 season.
BUF D Alexander Sulzer played with TBL G Anders Lindback for the Nashville Predators during the 2010-11 season.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ott (82), Foligno (45), Weber (43)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (34), Leopold (31), Sekera (27)
Shots: Vanek (69), Ennis (57), Hodgson (55)
SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 3-6-1 (7), 30/37, 6/36, 32/40
11-20: 3-6-0 (6), 18/26, 1/35, 29/36
OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 93-92 all-time)
January 29 vs. Toronto L, 4-3 (GWG-Frattin, 4:58)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-0; 44-37 all-time)
February 7 vs. Montreal W, 5-4 (GDG-Pominville)
MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Thomas Vanek … 5 goals … 247 career goals (ties Mike Foligno, 6th in franchise history)
Jason Pominville … 1 assist … 265 career assists (sole possession, 10th in franchise history)
Jordan Leopold … 2 points … 200 career points
Ville Leino … 2 points … 100 career points