Game Preview: 2/28/13 at FLA


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, February 26
Buffalo 2 at Tampa Bay 1
Goals: Hodgson, Myers
Goalie: Miller (29 saves/31 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 6/6; Shots: Tampa Bay 31 – Buffalo 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 53)
Ville Leino (lower body, Jan. 20; injured reserve) – 20 games
Jordan Leopold (upper body, Feb. 21) – 3 games
Alexander Sulzer (lower body, Feb. 26; injured reserve) – 1 games

2/25        Recalled D Adam Pardy from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Alexander Sulzer on IR

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.
Sunday, March 10               Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.


-This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
-Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Buffalo on Feb. 3.
-The teams next meet one month from today, on Thursday, March 28 in Florida.
-The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 7-2-1 on the road.
-This is the 74th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo leads the series with a 42-26-5 record. Buffalo is 18-15-2 on the road against the Panthers all-time.


  • The Sabres are 7-4-2 all-time on Feb. 28.
  • Feb. 28, 1971: Steve Atkinson scored three goals against the Minnesota North Stars in a 5-2 Sabres win at the Aud. Atkinson, Ron Anderson and Gilbert Perreault all scored in a span of 1:15 in the third period.
  • Feb. 28, 2000: Buffalo defeated Florida, 5-2, in Florida. Current Sabres assistant coach James Patrick led all Sabres with an ice time of 24:12 and five blocked shots.


  1. The Sabres will attempt to win consecutive road games for the first time since they won three straight from March 19 to March 27, 2012.
  2. After Tuesday night’s 2-1 win at Tampa Bay, Buffalo will look to sweep a Florida road trip for the ninth time in 27 attempts. They have only been swept in four of those 27.
  3. Jason Pominville’s team-leading 29 points (11+18) in 28 games against the Panthers is his second-best per-game output against an Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only his 35 points (16+19) in 28 games against Tampa Bay. Pominville has points in eight straight games against the Panthers (5+8).
  4. Thomas Vanek’s team-leading 17 goals in 28 games against the Panthers is his second-best per-game output against an Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only his 23 goals in 29 games against Tampa Bay.


  • 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 38 points (14+24) in his last 29 games.
  • Vanek’s eight multi-point games tie for fourth-most in the league.
  • Vanek and Cody Hodgson have combined on 13 goals this season, tied for fourth-most in the league.
  • 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 2/27 games)
Thomas Vanek: 27 points (3rd), 12 goals (T-4th), 15 assists (T-9th), 5 power play goals (T-4th), 27 takeaways (1st)
Jason Pominville: 19 takeaways (T-6th)
Steve Ott: 86 hits (1st)
Marcus Foligno: 7 assists (T-4th, rookies), 8 points (T-8th, rookies), 19 PIM (T-4th, rookies), 48 hits (4th, rookies)

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has averaged 24:43 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 20:44 is the highest by a Sabres forward since Miroslav Satan averaged 21:23 in 2002-03.

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.

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.

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 D Jordan Leopold played with the Panthers for the 2009-10 season. As a Panther, Leopold played in 61 games and notched 18 points (7+11).

BUF D Alexander Sulzer played with the Panthers during the 2010-11 season. While in Florida, Sulzer played in nine games and recorded one point (0+1).

BUF Assistant Coach Kevyn Adams played for Florida during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. He played in 56 games and tallied 21 points (7+14) during the two seasons.

Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, FLA D Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a Sabre, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games. Campbell was selected as an NHL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff and FLA C Marcel Goc played together for four seasons on the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2009.

Goc also played with BUF C Jochen Hecht and BUF D Christian Ehrhoff on the German Olympic Team. Hecht and Ehrhoff represented Germany at the 2002 Winter Games, while Goc joined the two for the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games.

BUF G Ryan Miller and FLA D Mike Weaver played together for one season at Michigan State University.

FLA RW Tomas Kopecky and BUF D Andrej Sekera represented their native Slovakia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

BUF AC Kevyn Adams and FLA RW Kris Versteeg both played on the 2007-08 Chicago Blackhawks squad.

BUF AC James Patrick played with FLA RW Alex Kovalev for two seasons (1992-93, 1993-94) on the New York Rangers, including the Rangers’ Stanley Cup winning season in 1993-94.

BUF G Jhonas Enroth, BUF D Mike Weber and FLA C Shawn Matthias were all drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Enroth, drafted by Buffalo, was the 46th overall selection, Matthias was selected by Detroit one pick later with the 47th overall selection, and Weber, also picked by Buffalo, was the 57th overall selection.

BUF D Jordan Leopold played with FLA G Jose Theodore for two seasons on the Colorado Avalanche (2006-07, 2007-08). FLA RW George Parros also played for the Avalanche in 2006-07.

FLA C Mike Santorelli and BUF D Alexander Sulzer played together for two seasons (2008-09, 2009-10) on the Nashville Predators, along with FLA RW Jerred Smithson. Sulzer and Santorelli also played together for the Panthers during the 2010-11 season after they both were traded to Florida.

FLA HC Kevin Dineen was the head coach of the Portland Pirates for the three seasons the Sabres were affiliated with the Pirates. Dineen helped develop three straight AHL rookies of the year in Nathan Gerbe (2009), Tyler Ennis (2010) and Luke Adam (2011).

Dineen was also a teammate of BUF AC James Patrick on the Canadian Olympic Team at the 1984 Games in Sarajevo.

BUF AC Kevyn Adams was also a teammate of Dineen’s on the 2000-01 Columbus Blue Jackets squad.

FLA AC Craig Ramsay began his coaching career with Buffalo when he served as an assistant coach during the 1986-87 season and took over as interim head coach later in the year. Prior to leaving the Sabres in 1993, Ramsay also served as the team’s director of player personnel and assistant general manager. Ramsay played for the Sabres for 14 seasons and is second in franchise history with 1,070 games played for the club.

BUF C Mikhail Grigorenko shares a birthday with FLA LW Tomas Fleischmann. Grigorenko, born on May 16, 1994, is exactly 10 years younger than Fleischmann, who was born in 1984.

BUF D TJ Brennan and FLA C Stephen Weiss were both born on April 3. Brennan, born in 1989, is six years younger than Weiss, who was born in 1983.

BUF RW Drew Stafford and FLA D Tyson Strachan were both born on October 30. Stafford, born in 1985, is one year younger than Strachan, who was born in 1984.

Ott (86), Foligno (48), Weber (44)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (35), Leopold (31), Sekera (29)
Shots: Vanek (71), Ennis (58), Hodgson (57)

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: 4-6-0 (6), 20/27, 1/36, 35/42

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


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