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Saturday, March 2
New Jersey 3 at Buffalo 4 (SO)
Goals: Pominville (2), Hecht; GDG- Pominville
Goalie: Miller (28 saves/31 shots)
PP: 0/6; PK: 5/5; Shots: New Jersey 31 – Buffalo 23
CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 60)
Ville Leino (lower body, Jan. 20; injured reserve) – 22 games
Jordan Leopold (upper body, Feb. 21; injured reserve) – 5 games
Alexander Sulzer (lower body, Feb. 26; injured reserve) – 3 games
Thomas Vanek (upper body, March 2) – 1 game
TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
2/25 Recalled D Adam Pardy from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Alexander Sulzer on IR
3/1 Recalled C Brian Flynn from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Jordan Leopold on IR
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.
Tuesday, March 12 NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 16 Ottawa at Buffalo, 3 p.m.
SABRES at RANGERS
-This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York, 4-1, in New York on March 23.
-These teams next meet in nine days, March 12 in Buffalo.
-The Sabres are 5-2-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 5-3-2 on the road.
-This is the 163rd game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo leads the series with a 77-53-32 record. Buffalo is 31-30-19 on the road against the Rangers all-time.
- The Sabres enter today’s game looking for their first four-game winning streak since they won five straight from March 19-27. At three games, the Sabres have the third-longest active winning streak in the league (Chicago-8, Boston-6).
- Tonight is the second game of a back-to-back set for the Sabres after a 4-3 shootout win vs. NJD yesterday. Prior to this set, Buffalo hadn’t played back-to-back games since Feb. 9 and 10.
- The Sabres will look to win a third consecutive road game for the first time since March 19-27, 2012.
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Cody Hodgson has 16 points (5+11) in his last 16 games… Dating back to last season, Thomas Vanek has 38 points (14+24) in his last 30 games… Vanek’s eight multi-point games tie for fourth-most in the league… Vanek and Hodgson have combined on 13 goals this season, tied for sixth-most in the league by any duo…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 tonight’s game)
Thomas Vanek: 27 points (3rd), 12 goals (T-4th), 5 power play goals (T-5th), 27 takeaways (1st)
Jason Pominville: 20 takeaways (8th)
Steve Ott: 94 hits (1st)
Marcus Foligno: 7 assists (6th, rookies), 8 points (10th, rookies), 21 PIM (3rd, rookies), 53 hits (4th, rookies)
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 20:48 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.
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s fifth of nine sets of back-to-back games this season after the team had a league-high 21 sets last season. They defeated the New Jersey Devils, 4-3 (SO), yesterday. The Sabres are 3-2-0 in the first game and 1-3-0 in the second. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is as follows: four points (1), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (2).
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.
NYR G Martin Biron played 297 games for the Buffalo Sabres from 1995-2007, compiling a record of 134-115-29 over that span. The Sabres selected Biron in the first round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft (16th overall).
BUF AC James Patrick spent 10 years as a member of the New York Rangers. Patrick was New York’s first round selection (ninth overall) in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft. He went on to play 11 seasons with the club for a total of 671 regular season contests in which he amassed 467 points (104+363). Patrick also suited up for 63 playoff games, contributing 31 points (5+26).
BUF LW Thomas Vanek and NYR C Brian Boyle were both first-round draft selections in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Vanek was the fifth overall pick, while Boyle was selected 26th overall.
BUF LW Nathan Gerbe and NYR C Brian Boyle played together for two seasons (2005-06, 2006-07) at Boston College.
BUF HC Ron Rolston coached NYR C Brian Boyle for one season (2003-04) at Boston College – Rolston served as an Assistant Coach.
NYR RW Ryan Callahan played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.
BUF RW Drew Stafford and NYR RW Ryan Callahan both represented the United States in the 2005 World Junior Championships.
BUF G Ryan Miller and NYR RW Ryan Callahan were teammates for Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
BUF LW John Scott and NYR RW Marian Gaborik were teammates on the Minnesota Wild for the 2008-09 season.
BUF D Andrej Sekera and NYR RW Marian Gaborik both played for Team Slovakia at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
BUF C Steve Ott and NYR RW Marian Gaborik were both first-round draft selections in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Gaborik was selected third overall by Minnesota, while Ott was chosen 25th overall by Dallas.
BUF G Jhonas Enroth and NYR LW Carl Hagelin both represented Team Sweden at the 2008 World Junior Championships.
BUF AC Kevyn Adams and NYR C Jeff Halpern were teammates on the 2005 US World Junior Championship team.
BUF C Steve Ott was teammates with NYR C Brad Richards and C Jeff Halpern with the Dallas Stars. Ott played with Richards for four seasons (2007-08 – 2010-11) and Halpern for two (2006-07, 2007-08).
NYR C J.T. Miller played under BUF HC Ron Rolston for two seasons (2009-10, 2010-11) with the United States National Team Development Program when Rolston was serving as the program’s head coach.
BUF D Robyn Regehr was teammates with NYR LW Rick Nash and C Brad Richards for Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino.
BUF C Steve Ott and NYR LW Rick Nash both represented Canada in the 2002 World Junior Championships.
NYR LW Taylor Pyatt played 230 games with the Buffalo Sabres from 2001-2006, totaling 80 points (38+42). Buffalo acquired Pyatt via trade from the New York Islanders along with Tim Connolly in exchange for Michael Peca on June 24, 2001.
NYR D Ryan McDonagh played under BUF HC Ron Rolston for Team USA at the 2009 World Junior Championships.
BUF LW Ville Leino was teammates with NYR RW Arron Asham (2009-10 season) and C Darroll Powe (2009-10, 2010-11 seasons) on the Philadelphia Flyers.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ott (94), Foligno (53), Weber (50)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (39), Sekera (36), Leopold (31)
Shots: Vanek (73), Ennis (64), Pominville (62)
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
21-30: 2-0-0 (4), 8/6, 1/7, 8/9
OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 93-92 all-time)
January 29 vs. Toronto L, 4-3 (GWG-Frattin, 4:58)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-0; 46-37 all-time)
February 7 vs. Montreal W, 5-4 (GDG-Pominville)
February 28 at Florida W, 4-3 (GDG-Vanek)
March 2 vs. New Jersey W, 4-3 (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