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Tuesday, March 19
Buffalo 3 at Montreal 2 (OT)
Goals: Ott (2), Ennis
Goalie: Enroth (32 saves/34 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Montreal 34 – Buffalo 21
CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 80)
Alexander Sulzer (lower body, Feb. 26; injured reserve) – 11 games
Andrej Sekera (upper body, March 17) – 2 games
TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/15: Activated C Ville Leino from IR; Assigned C Mikhail Grigorenko to Quebec (QMJHL)
3/15: Acquired a fifth-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft from Florida in exchange for defenseman TJ Brennan
3/17: Recalled D Mark Pysyk from Rochester (AHL)
Saturday, March 23: Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 26: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 28: Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 30: Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 31: Boston at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
MAPLE LEAFS at SABRES
-This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
-Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo, 3-1, in Toronto on Feb. 21.
-The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 8-1-1 at home.
-This is the 188th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo leads the series with a 103-61-23 record. The Sabres are 61-25-8 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.
THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY
- March 21, 1971: Eddie Shack picks up his second hat trick in as many months as the Sabres defeat the Boston Bruins on the road, 7-5. Shack scored two of the goals only 2:22 apart. All three were scored in a span of 15:58.
- March 21, 1976: The Sabres hold the Kansas City Scouts to only eight total shots in a game, including zero in the third period, in a 3-1 win.
- March 21, 1981: Ric Seiling and Danny Gare each score twice as the Sabres down the Maple Leafs, 6-2, in Toronto.
- Tonight’s game is the second of three straight against Northeast Division opponents for the Sabres. The Sabres dispatched the Canadiens, 3-2 (OT) on Tuesday and will return to Montreal on Saturday for a second matchup with the Canadiens in five days.
- The Sabres are 10-1-1 in their last 12 home games against the Maple Leafs. Toronto hasn’t won consecutive games in Buffalo since March 21 and Dec. 12, 2008.
- Buffalo has points in three straight home games (2-0-1) entering tonight’s game.
HOW THEY STACK UP (Sabres ranked in the top 10 in the NHL before 3/20 games)
Thomas Vanek: 31 points (T-9th), 14 goals (T-8th), 6 power play goals (T-9th), 29 takeaways (T-5th)
Steve Ott: 125 hits (2nd), 58.4% faceoff percentage (7th)
Jason Pominville: 25 takeaways (T-10th)
LEADING THE WAY AGAINST THE LEAFS
Thomas Vanek has 47 points (22+25) in 47 career games against Toronto… Jason Pominville has 47 points (17+30) in 49 career games against the Maple Leafs, including 12 (5+7) in his last 10 , dating back to 2010-11… Ryan Miller is 28-15-1 all-time against Toronto with a 2.45 GAA and a .921 SV%; Miller has more wins (28) and shutouts (4) against the Maple Leafs than any other team.
TWICE IS NICE
The Sabres have had a player score two goals in each of the team’s last four games:
3/12 vs. NYR: Marcus Foligno
3/16 vs. OTT: Drew Stafford
3/17 at WSH: Cody Hodgson
3/19 at MTL: Steve Ott
Buffalo last accomplished this feat in the 2006-07 season:
2/22/07 vs. OTT: Thomas Vanek
2/24/07 at OTT: Henrik Tallinder
2/27/07 at TOR: Jochen Hecht
3/2/07 vs. MTL: Michael Ryan & Thomas Vanek
The Sabres also last had a two-plus goal-scorer in five straight games in 2006-07:
1/20/07 at MTL: Danny Briere
1/26/07 at CBJ: Chris Drury
1/27/07 at NYI: Jochen Hecht
1/30/07 vs. BOS: Danny Briere
2/1/07 at BOS: Chris Drury
The Sabres improved to 5-5-2 this season against their divisional rivals with a 3-2 overtime win at Montreal on Tuesday. The team went 13-6-5 against the Northeast division last season. Buffalo’s intra-division points percentage (.649) in 2011-12 tied for the eighth-best in franchise history.
LOGGING BIG MINUTES
Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has averaged 25:05 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 26:32 per game in the 2002-03 season. Jason Pominville’s average TOI of 20:51 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.
BUF AC Kevyn Adams played for the Maple Leafs from 1997-2000, appearing in 58 games and recording 13 points (5+8).
TOR C Clarke MacArthur spent four seasons with the Sabres (2007-08 – 2009-10). While in Buffalo, MacArthur played in 187 games and recorded 79 points (41+38).
BUF G Ryan Miller and TOR D John-Michael Liles played together for three seasons (1999-2002) at Michigan State University. Miller and Liles also played together on the 2006 United States Olympic Team in Torino.
BUF D Jordan Leopold has also played with Liles as a member of the Colorado Avalanche from 2006-2009.
BUF D Robyn Regehr and TOR D Dion Phaneuf played together for five seasons on the Calgary Flames (2005-06 – 2009-10). BUF D Jordan Leopold was also on the Flames squad for the 2005-06 and 2008-09 seasons.
BUF C Tyler Ennis is exactly one year older than TOR C Nazem Kadri. Ennis was born on October 6, 1989 and Kadri was born in 1990. BUF LW Ville Leino is exactly seven years older than Kadri.
TOR D Michael Kostka was a former Sabres prospect. He played for the Portland Pirates in 2008-09 and 2009-10 alongside current Sabres, Tyler Ennis, Jhonas Enroth and Mike Weber.
BUF RW Jason Pominville was drafted two spots ahead of TOR C Jay McClement (drafted by STL) in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
BUF LW Thomas Vanek was drafted fifth overall in 2003, four picks before TOR D Dion Phaneuf.
SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ott (125), Weber (75), Foligno (63)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (57), Sekera (51), Weber (47)
Shots: Vanek (92), Pominville (83), Ennis/Hodgson (76)
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: 4-3-3 (11), 29/31, 5/36, 26/35
31-40: 0-0-0 (0), 0/0, 0/0, 0/0
OVERTIME RESULTS (1-2; 94-93 all-time)
January 29 vs. Toronto: L, 4-3 (GWG-Frattin, 4:58)
March 16 vs. Ottawa: L, 4-3 (GWG-Turris, 3:54)
March 19 at Montreal: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ott, 2:16)
SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-2; 46-39 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)
March 7 at New Jersey: L, 3-2 (GDG-Clarkson)
MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Steve Ott … 4 games … 600 career games played
Christian Ehrhoff … 5 games … 600 career games played
Thomas Vanek … 3 goals … 247 career goals (ties Mike Foligno, 6th in franchise history)
Jason Pominville … 6 assists … 275 career assists (ties Dale Hawerchuk, 8th in franchise history)
Jordan Leopold … 200 career points … 3/19 at MTL
Ville Leino … 100 career points … 3/19 at MTL