Game Preview: 10/4/13 vs. Ottawa


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Wednesday, October 2
Buffalo 1 at Detroit 2
Goals: Girgensons
Goalie: Miller (32 saves/34 shots)
PP: 0/7; PK: 3/3; Shots: Detroit 34 – Buffalo 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 4)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Joel Armia (hand, Oct. 2) – 1 game
Marcus Foligno (upper body, Oct. 2; injured reserve) – 1 game
Corey Tropp (jaw, Oct. 2) – 1 game
Nikita Zadorov (finger, Oct. 2) – 1 game

: Assigned F Luke Adam and D Alexander Sulzer to Rochester (AHL)

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.
Monday, Oct. 14: Minnesota at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.


-First of four meetings between the Sabres and Senators this season
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Ottawa, 4-2, in Buffalo on April 5
-The Sabres are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Senators; 4-3-3 at home
– This is the 117th game all-time between Buffalo and Ottawa; Buffalo leads the series with a 57-42-17 record. The Sabres are 31-19-7 at home against the Senators all-time.


  • The Sabres are 1-3-1 all-time on October 4.
  • October 4, 1991: Brad May scores his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot in his debut, a 5-4 loss vs. PIT.


  • October is the Sabres’ second best month since 2005-06; they have a 38-21-6 October  record (.631) in that span, including a 0-1-0 record so far this season.
  • The Sabres are opening their home schedule against the Senators for the first time in franchise history.
  • Buffalo is 21-15-6 all-time in home-openers.
  • The Sabres have points in their last seven home games against the Senators, going 4-0-3 in that span. Their last regulation home loss to the Senators was on Oct. 22, 2010.
  • Thomas Vanek leads all Sabres with 35 points (19+16) in 49 career games against the Senators.
  • Mike Weber has three points (1+2) in his last two games against the Senators. Weber’s seven points (1+6) in 17 career games against the Senators are his highest total against any team.
  • Steve Ott has points (1+1) in each of his last two games against Ottawa. Ott (1+2) and Drew Stafford (2+1) each had three points in four games against the Senators in 2012-13.


  • Tonight marks the 43rd home-opener in Buffalo Sabres franchise history
  • The Sabres are 21-15-6 in home-openers all-time
  • Buffalo has never before played its first home game of the season against Ottawa

With his goal on Wednesday at DET, Zemgus Girgensons became the first Sabres player to score in his NHL debut since TJ Brennan did so on Nov. 23, 2011 vs. BOS. The Sabres have now had a newly acquired player score in each of their last three 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.

With Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko and Rasmus Ristolainen playing on Wednesday at DET, the Sabres have already dressed three teenagers during the course of a season for the first time since 1995-96, when they had five (Jay McKee, Martin Biron, Wayne Primeau, Vaclav Varada, Curtis Brown) suit up for the team. If Nikita Zadorov (currently sidelined with a finger injury) sees 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.

Over the course of his career, Thomas Vanek is better than a point-per-game player during the first 10 games of the season, totaling 90 points (45+45) in 81 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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).

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.

OTT LW Clarke MacArthur played for the Sabres from 2006-2010.  While with the team, MacArthur appeared in 187 games and recorded 79 points (41+38).

BUF D Tyler Myers, BUF C Tyler Ennis and OTT D Erik Karlsson were all drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Myers was the 12th overall pick, Karlsson was selected 15th overall and Ennis was drafted with the 26th overall pick.

Karlsson, BUF LW Johan Larsson and BUF G Jhonas Enroth all represented Sweden at the 2012 World Hockey Championship.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played with OTT LW Milan Michalek on the San Jose Sharks from 2003-2009.

Michalek was a first-round draft pick in 2003 NHL Entry Draft along with BUF LW Thomas Vanek. Vanek, selected by Buffalo, was the fifth overall pick while Michalek, selected by San Jose, was the sixth overall pick.

BUF C Cody Hodgson and OTT C Jason Spezza were both born in Toronto, ON.

Spezza also played with BUF C Cody McCormick with the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League during the 2002-03 season.

BUF LW John Scott, Ennis and OTT LW Matt Kassian were all born in Edmonton, AB.

Scott and Kassian were teammates on the AHL’s Houston Aeros during the 2008-09 season.  Larsson was also a teammate of Kassian’s on the Aeros in 2012-13.

Larsson and OTT G Robin Lehner played together as members of Team Sweden at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo.

OTT HC Paul MacLean was an assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings when Sabres C Ville Leino (2008-2010) played for the team.

MacLean also coached current Sabres AC Teppo Numminen when MacLean was an assistant for the 1996-97 Phoenix Coyotes.

BUF C Kevin Porter and OTT RW Bobby Ryan played together with the US World Junior team in 2005 and 2006.

Ryan and BUF G Ryan Miller both represented the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Porter also played with OTT C Kyle Turris on the San Antonio Rampage in the AHL from 2008-2010.

BUF D Jamie McBain and OTT C Jim O’Brien played together with the US National Team Development Program Under-17 team from 2004-2005 and on the US World Junior Under-18 Team from 2005-2006.

McBain has been teammates with two current Senators players: Turris at the University of Wisconsin (2007-08) and D Joe Corvo with Carolina (2009-2011, 2012-13).

OTT G Craig Anderson, Corvo and BUF RW Drew Stafford all represented the United States at the 2006 World Hockey Championship. Anderson and Stafford also suited up for the United States in 2008.

Anderson played with Porter under current BUF AC Joe Sacco for two seasons in Colorado from 2009-2011.

BUF LW Marcus Foligno and OTT D Jared Cowen were both members of Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship in Buffalo. The Canadian squad was coached by current OTT AC Dave Cameron.

OTT LW Cory Conacher played for Canisius College in Buffalo from 2007-2011.

Ott (5), Weber (3), Kaleta/McCormick/Porter/Pysyk (2)
Blocked Shots: Weber (2), 7 others (1)
Shots: Ehrhoff/Hodgson/Pysyk/Ristolainen (3), Grigorenko/Vanek (2)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-1-0 (0), 1/2, 0/7, 3/3

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 94-93 all-time)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 50-41 all-time)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

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

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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