Game Preview: 10/2/13 at Detroit

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
N/A

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 0)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Joel Armia (hand, Oct. 2) – 0 games
Marcus Foligno (upper body, Oct. 2; injured reserve) – 0 games
Corey Tropp (jaw, Oct. 2) – 0 games
Nikita Zadorov (finger, Oct. 2) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
9/30        Assigned F Luke Adam and D Alexander Sulzer to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Oct. 4                        Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5                   Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 8                    Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 10                Columbus at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12                 Buffalo at Chicago, 8 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RED WINGS

-First of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season
-Last meeting: Detroit defeated Buffalo, 5-0, in Detroit on Jan. 16, 2012
-The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 1-7-2 on the road
– This is the 117th game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo leads the series with a 53-47-16 record. The Sabres are 19-33-7 on the road against the Red Wings all-time.

STORYLINES

  • Tonight is the Sabres’ first game against their new Atlantic Division rivals. The Sabres will face Atlantic Division opponents in three of their first four games.
  • The Sabres are opening their season against the Red Wings for the fourth time in franchise history (1975-76, 1976-77, 1999-00). They are 1-2-0 in the previous three, with the home team winning each time.
  • Buffalo is 18-23-1 all-time in road openers (including a 7-8-0 record in season openers played on the road). The Sabres last opened their schedule in Detroit 14 years ago today, with a 2-0 loss on Oct. 2, 1999.
  • The Sabres are looking for their first win at Detroit since their 3-2 shootout victory on Oct. 13, 2006. The Sabres haven’t won a game at Detroit in regulation since March 10, 2002 (5-1).
  • Christian Ehrhoff leads all Sabres with 15 points (5+10) in 26 career games against the Red Wings. Ehrhoff, Steve Ott (28 GP) and Cody McCormick (11 GP) are the only Sabres skaters to have played at least 10 games against Detroit.

OPENING NIGHT

  • Tonight marks the 43rd season opener in Buffalo Sabres franchise history
  • The Sabres are 24-14-4 in season openers all-time; 7-8-0 when opening on the road
  • Ron Rolston will begin his first full season as the team’s head coach tonight; Sabres head coaches have a record of 9-3-1 (.731) in their first season openers with the team
  • Buffalo has opened against Detroit three times in franchise history: Oct. 9, 1975 (4-0 win vs. DET), Oct. 9, 1976 (4-0 loss at DET) and Oct. 2, 1999 (2-0 loss at DET)

THE BIG TWO
Only Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller have played in all eight of Buffalo’s season openers since the start of the 2005-06 season. Miller has started all eight games and has a record of 6-1-1.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
The Sabres have had a newly acquired player score in each of their last two season-openers: Steve Ott (Jan. 20, 2013 vs. PHI) and Ville Leino (Oct. 7, 2011 vs. ANA). Each player scored on his first shot of his Sabres career.

A FRESH FACE
If he dresses for tonight’s game, Rasmus Ristolainen will become the seventh 18-year-old ever to dress for the Sabres on opening day. Mikhail Grigorenko became the sixth after appearing in the team’s opener last season vs. PHI (1/20).

YOUTH MOVEMENT
The Sabres have not dressed more than two teenagers during the course of a season since 1995-96, when they had five (Jay McKee, Martin Biron, Wayne Primeau, Vaclav Varada, Curtis Brown) suit up for the team. Buffalo may have three teenagers on the ice on opening night alone, with Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko and Rasmus Ristolainen all on the opening day roster. If this trio and defenseman Nikita Zadorov all see time this season, the Sabres would be the first NHL team to ice four rookies since those 1995-96 Sabres. Florida (4) and Winnipeg (6) also dressed at least four teenagers that season.

FAST STARTER
Over the course of his career, Thomas Vanek is a point-per-game player during the first 10 games of the season, totaling 90 points (45+45) in 80 career games during this portion of the schedule. He has never finished the first 10 games of a season with fewer than seven points.

Vanek began the 2012-13 season with 21 points (10+11) in 10 games and began the 2011-12 season with 15 points (8+7) in 10 games. He finished last season at a point-per-game pace for the second time in his career, with 41 points (20+21) in 38 games.

FEARLESS LEADERS

  • Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott have each been selected to wear the captain’s “C” for the Sabres in 2013-14, becoming the 17th and 18th full-season captains in franchise history (excludes rotating captaincies in 2003-04 and 2007-08).
  • In total, 23 different players have previously served as captain of the Sabres for at least a one-month period; the duo will bring the total to 25.
  • Vanek will serve as captain for the team’s home games and Ott will serve as captain on the road. The Sabres last employed a two-captain rotation in 2005-06 and 2006-07, when Chris Drury and Daniel Briere served as co-captains.
  • Christian Ehrhoff has been named the team’s lone alternate captain; he will wear the “A” in every game, with one of Ott or Vanek wearing the other.

2013 PRESEASON

  • Buffalo finished the preseason with a 4-2-1 record; 2-0-1 at home, 2-2-0 on the road
  • Foligno (3+1), Girgensons (3+1) and Grigorenko (2+2) tied for the team lead with four points each
  • Ryan Miller was 1-2-0 with a 2.40 GAA and .929 SV%; Jhonas Enroth was 1-0-1 with a 1.95 GAA and .932 SV%
  • The Sabres were 1/26 (3.8%) on the PP; and 29/32 (90.6%) on the PK.

2012-13 SEASON RECAP

  • Buffalo went 21-21-6 last season, finishing 12th in the Eastern Conference
  • The team was 15-11-5 under head coach Ron Rolston
  • Thomas Vanek led the Sabres in goals, assists and points for the second time in his career, scoring 41 points (20+21) in 38 games
  • Ryan Miller played in his 500th NHL game, overtaking Dominik Hasek for the franchise records in games played (500) and saves (14,806).

2013-14 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 23 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • 13 were originally drafted by the Sabres — eight were first-round Buffalo selections (Vanek, 2003; Stafford, 2004; Myers and Ennis, 2008; Pysyk, 2010; Grigorenko and Girgensons, 2012; Ristolainen, 2013) and three were second-round picks (Tallinder [re-acquired via trade], 1997; Enroth and Weber, 2006)
  • Six were acquired in trades: Ehrhoff, Hodgson, Ott, Larsson, Tallinder, McBain
  • Five were signed as free agents: McCormick, Leino, Flynn, Scott, Porter
  • 18 played in Buffalo at some point last season
  • Five are new to the Sabres this season: Rasmus Ristolainen was selected by the Sabres 8th overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft; Zemgus Girgensons will make his Sabres debut after spending his first pro season with the Rochester Americans (AHL) in 2012-13; Henrik Tallinder, Jamie McBain, and Johan Larsson were each acquired in separate trades. Larsson finished the 2012-13 season with Rochester.
  • Four players (Flynn, Girgensons, Larsson, Ristolainen) are opening the season on an NHL roster for the first time in their careers.

BUF-DET CONNECTIONS
BUF LW Ville Leino played for Detroit during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. He appeared in 55 games, and tallied 16 points (9+7).

Leino was also teammates with DET D Jakub Kindl, Helm, Howard, Ericsson and Lashoff for Grand Rapids during the 2008-09 AHL season.

DET LW Justin Abdelkader has played with three current Sabres: Jamie McBain (2007 United States World U20 Championship team under Sabres HC Ron Rolston), Leino (Grand Rapids – AHL, 2008-09) and Corey Tropp (Michigan State, 2007-08).

Abdelkader and McBain also share the same birthday. The former was born on February 25, 1987, while the latter was born one year later, on February 25, 1988.

McBain and DET D Brendan Smith were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for two seasons (2007-2009).

DET RW Daniel Alfredsson, D Niklas Kronwall, D Jonathan Ericsson, LW Henrik Zetterberg and RW Johan Franzen as well as BUF G Jhonas Enroth and C Johan Larsson all suited up for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

DET G Jonas Gustavsson, Alfredsson, Franzen, Kronwall, Zetterberg and BUF D Henrik Tallinder all represented Sweden at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Franzen and Tallinder were also teammates with Linkopings HC (SEL) during the 2004-05 season.

Kronwall, Tallinder and BUF G Jhonas Enroth are all natives of Stockholm, Sweden.

DET RW Patrick Eaves and BUF LW Thomas Vanek were both selected in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Vanek was chosen fifth overall and Eaves was taken 29th overall.

BUF C Cody Hodgson, DET C Stephen Weiss and Smith were all born in Toronto, Ontario.

BUF C Tyler Ennis and DET C Darren Helm were teammates for two seasons (2005-2007) with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL).

DET RW Mikael Samuelsson played with BUF D Christian Ehrhoff (2009-2011) and Hodgson (2010-11) in Vancouver for the Canucks.

Weiss and BUF C Steve Ott played together as members of the 2002 Canadian World Junior Championship team.

BUF C Kevin Porter and DET D Danny Dekeyser were both born in Detroit.

Porter and DET D Kyle Quincey were teammates for three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche (2009-2012) under the tutelage of current Sabres AC Joe Sacco.

DET LW Drew Miller is the younger brother of BUF G Ryan Miller.

DET D Brian Lashoff played with BUF D Mike Weber for the Barrie Colts (OHL) during the 2006-07 season.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
N/A
Blocked Shots: N/A
Shots: N/A

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-0-0 (0), 0/0, 0/0, 0/0

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 94-93 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 50-41 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Kevin Porter … 6 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Thomas Vanek … 2 goals … 252 career goals (ties Craig Ramsay for 5th in franchise history)
Steve Ott … 6 goals … 100 career goals
Points
Thomas Vanek … 12 points … 500 career points (ties Danny Gare for 9th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
Ryan Miller … 500 career games played … 4/26 vs. NYI
Thomas Vanek … 248 career goals (6th in franchise history) … 4/22 vs. WPG

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