Game Preview: 3/7/13 at NJD


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, March 5
Buffalo 3 at Carolina 4
Goals: Hodgson (2), Brennan
Goalie: Miller (24 saves/28 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 40 – Carolina 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 67)
Ville Leino (lower body, Jan. 20; injured reserve) – 24 games
Jordan Leopold (upper body, Feb. 21; injured reserve) – 7 games
Alexander Sulzer (lower body, Feb. 26; injured reserve) – 5 games

3/1          Recalled C Brian Flynn from Rochester (AHL); Placed D Jordan Leopold on IR

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.
Sunday, March 17               Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 19             Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.


-This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New Jersey, 4-3 (SO), in Buffalo on March 2, 2012.
-These teams next meet  one month from today, on Sunday, April 7 in Buffalo.
-The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 6-2-2 on the road.
-This is the 138th game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo is 70-45-22 against the Devils (33-23-12 at home).


  • The Sabres are 7-5-4 all-time on March 7. Their last two games on this date were overtime victories (2010- 2-1 at NYR, 2012- 3-2 vs. CAR).
  • March 7, 1989: Traded Lindy Ruff to the New York Rangers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 1990 NHL Entry Draft (Richard Smehlik).


  1. The Sabres and Devils will meet for the second time in six days after the Sabres dispatched the Devils, 4-3, in a shootout at First Niagara Center on Saturday, March 2.
  2. Buffalo is in the midst of a four-game road trip, their longest such stretch this season. Tonight, the team will look to avoid their first three-game road winless streak since they finished the 2011-12 season 0-2-1 on the road.



  • The Sabres are 3-2-1 against the Atlantic Division this season, their best record against any division.
  • Jason Pominville leads all Sabres skaters with 16 points (9+7) in 25 career games against New Jersey; he’s scored three goals in his last two games against the Devils.
  • Steve Ott has an assist in each of his last three games against the Devils.
  • Cody Hodgson has 18 points (7+11) in his last 18 games.
  • Dating back to last season, Thomas Vanek has 39 points (14+25) in his last 31 games.
  • The Sabres have scored a shorthanded goal in three consecutive games entering tonight for the first time since Feb. 16-21, 1991 (Dixon Ward, Michael Peca, Garry Galley).

HOW THEY STACK UP (Sabres ranked in the top 10 in the NHL before 3/6 games)
Thomas Vanek: 28 points (T-4th), 12 goals (T-5th), 5 power play goals (T-5th), 27 takeaways (2nd)
Jason Pominville: 21 takeaways (T-8th)
Steve Ott: 109 hits (2nd)

The Sabres enter the second half of the season with a 9-13-2 (.417) record. Since 2005-06, the team has had a 154-96-37 (.601) record in the second half of the season. The Sabres started each of the last two seasons 18-18-5 (.500) in the first half, rebounding to go 25-11-5 (.671) in the second half of the 2010-11 season and 21-14-6 (.585) in 2011-12.

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has averaged 25:00 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.

With two assists on March 5 at CAR, Jason Pominville passed Mike Foligno (264) for 10th-most assists in Sabres history and tied Derek Roy (266) for ninth-most. He trails Dale Hawerchuk by nine assists for eighth.

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.

NJD D Henrik Tallinder played 468 games with the Buffalo Sabres from 2001-2010, totaling 108 points (20+88). The Sabres selected Tallinder in the second round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft (48th overall), and he left the organization on July 1, 2010 when he signed a contract with New Jersey.

NJD F Dainius Zubrus played 19 games for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2006-07 season, tallying eight points (4+4). Buffalo acquired Zubrus and Timo Helbling from the Washington Capitals in exchange for Jiri Novotny and Buffalo’s 2007 first round pick on Nov. 27, 2007.

NJD F Steve Bernier played 17 games for the Sabres during the 2007-08 season after the team acquired Bernier and a 2008 first-round draft pick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Brian Campbell and a 2008 seventh-round draft pick on November 26, 2008. Bernier recorded nine points (3+6) during his time in Buffalo.

BUF interim head coach Ron Rolston coached NJD D Peter Harrold when Harrold played for Boston College in 2003-04. Rolston served as an assistant coach for the Eagles.

Rolston also coached NJD LW Stefan Matteau in 2010-11, when Matteau was part of the U.S. National Team Development Program and Rolston was serving as the program’s head coach.

BUF F Steve Ott and NJD F Krystofer Barch played together for the Dallas Stars from 2006-2012.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff and NJD F Steve Bernier played together from 2005-2008 as members of the San Jose Sharks. They also played together for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2009-10 season.

BUF F Thomas Vanek and NJD F Steve Bernier were both drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Vanek was taken 5th overall by Buffalo, and Bernier was taken 13th overall by San Jose.

BUF F Mikhail Grigorenko and NJD F Stefan Matteau were both selected in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Grigorenko was taken 12th overall, and Matteau was taken 29th overall by New Jersey.

NJD F Alexei Ponikarovsky and BUF D Jordan Leopold played together for the Pittsburgh Penguins during the 2009-10 season.

BUF F Drew Stafford and NJD F Travis Zajac were both taken in the first round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Stafford was selected 13th overall by Buffalo, and Zajac was taken 20th overall by New Jersey. Stafford and Zajac also played together for the University of North Dakota from 2004-2006. North Dakota was the runner-up in the 2005 Frozen Four, and in 2006 they were national semifinalists.

BUF F Nathan Gerbe and NJD D Mark Fayne were both selected in the fifth round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Gerbe was taken 142nd overall by Buffalo, and Fayne was taken 155th overall by New Jersey.

BUF F Jochen Hecht and NJD D Bryce Salvador played together for the St. Louis Blues during the 2000-01 season. The Blues finished fourth in the Western Conference during the regular season and lost in the Western Conference finals to the eventual-Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

BUF F Steve Ott and NJD D Anton Volchenkov were both selected in the first round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Volchenkov was taken 21st overall by Ottawa and Ott was taken 25th overall by Dallas.

BUF F John Scott and NJD D Marek Zidlicky played together from 2008-2010 for the Minnesota Wild.

BUF D Robyn Regehr and NJD G Martin Brodeur both played for the 2006 Canadian Olympic team.

NJD D Andy Greene and BUF F Drew Stafford share a birth date. Greene was born on Oct. 30, 1982, and Stafford was born three years later on Oct. 30, 1985.

BUF F Patrick Kaleta and NJD D Peter Harrold share a birth date. Harrold was born on June 8, 1983, and Kaleta was born on June 8, 1986.

Ott (109), Weber (56), Foligno (54)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (43), Sekera (43), Weber (32)
Shots: Vanek (75), Pominville (69), Ennis (68)

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: 2-11 (5), 13/13, 2/15, 12/16

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 93-92 all-time)
January 29 vs. Toronto       L, 4-3 (GWG-Frattin, 4:58)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-1; 46-38 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)

March 3 at NY Rangers      L, 3-2 (GDG-Nash)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)

Thomas Vanek … 5 goals … 247 career goals (ties Mike Foligno, 6th in franchise history)
Jason Pominville … 1 assist … 267 career assists (sole possession, 9th in franchise history)
Jordan Leopold … 2 points … 200 career points
Ville Leino … 2 points … 100 career points

Jason Pominville … 265 career assists (sole possession, 10th in franchise history) … 3/6 at CAR

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