Game Preview: 10/8/13 vs. Tampa Bay


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Saturday, October 5
Buffalo 1 at Pittsburgh 4
Goals: Vanek
Goalie: Enroth (31 saves/34 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Pittsburgh 35 – Buffalo 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 16)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Joel Armia (hand, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 3 games
Marcus Foligno (upper body, Oct. 2; injured reserve) – 3 games
Corey Tropp (jaw, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 3 games
Nikita Zadorov (finger, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 3 games
Ville Leino (rib, Oct. 4) – 2 games
Ryan Miller (lower body, Oct. 5) – 1 game
Henrik Tallinder (upper body, Oct. 5) – 1 game

Recalled D Alexander Sulzer and G Matt Hackett (48-hour goaltender exemption) from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Ville Leino on IR
10/7: Returned G Matt Hackett to Rochester (AHL)

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.
Tuesday, Oct. 15: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 17: Vancouver at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


-This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay, 3-1, in Buffalo on April 14.
-The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 6-4-0 at home.
-This is the 78th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 49-23-5 series record.
-The Sabres are 23-13-2 at home against the Lightning all-time.


  • The Sabres are 4-5-2 all-time on October 8.
  • October 8, 1972: Tim Horton appears in his first Sabres game, a season-opening, 5-3 home win against the Atlanta Flames.
  • October 8, 1992: Dominik Hasek makes his Sabres debut, opening the 1992-93 season with a 5-4 loss at home to the Quebec Nordiques.
  • October 8, 2009: Tyler Myers records his first NHL point with an assist in a 2-1 win vs. Phoenix. Myers would go on to lead all rookies with 37 assists. His 48 points trailed only Matt Duchene (55) and John Tavares (54) for the rookie lead.


  • In the last eight seasons, the Sabres have scored seven or more goals in a single game against the Lightning six times. Buffalo has compiled a record of 22-9-0 (.710) against Tampa Bay in these seasons.
  • Buffalo’s franchise record of 49-23-5 (.669) against Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time record against any opponent with at least 30 games played in the series. The team’s record against San Jose (18-10-1, .707) is the only better all-time record with any number of games played.
  • October is the Sabres’ second best month since 2005-06; they have a 38-23-6 October record (.612) in that span, including a 0-3-0 record so far this season.


  • Three Sabres (Vanek – 31 GP, Hodgson – 5 GP, Flynn – 2 GP) average at least a point per game against the Lightning in their careers.
  • Thomas Vanek leads all Sabres with 35 points (23+12) in 30 games against the Lightning.
  • Vanek has recorded a point in 13 of his 15 home games against the Lightning, including each of the last six.
  • Ryan Miller is 19-8-0 all-time against TBL with a 2.66 GAA; Jhonas Enroth is 2-0-0 with a 1.50 GAA.

Through three games, Christian Ehrhoff has averaged 25:11 TOI per game, matching his career-high average set last season and the highest per-game average by a Sabres skater since Alexei Zhitnik averaged 26:32 per game in the 2002-03 season.

With Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko and Rasmus Ristolainen on Buffalo’s roster, 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 91 points (46+45) in 83 career games during this portion of the schedule. He has never finished the first 10 games of a season with fewer than seven points. He has one goal in three games so far this season.

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.

BUF C Steve Ott and TBL RW B.J Crombeen played together from 2007-2009 as members of the Dallas Stars.

BUF G Ryan Miller and TBL LW Ryan Malone played together as members of the 2010 United States Olympic team.

Four players in tonight’s game were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft: BUF C Cody Hodgson, BUF C Tyler Ennis, BUF D Tyler Myers and TBL C Steven Stamkos. Stamkos was the first overall selection, Hodgson was picked 10th overall, Myers was the 12th overall selection and Ennis was the 26th overall pick.

TBL D Matt Carle and BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played together for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2008. Carle also played with BUF LW Ville Leino for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2009-2011.

TBL D Sami Salo played with Ehrhoff (2009-2011) and Hodgson (2010-2012) for the Vancouver Canucks.

TBL C Valtteri Filppula and Leino were teammates for three seasons with the Detroit Red Wings (2008-2010).

BUF G Jhonas Enroth and TBL D Victor Hedman played together for Sweden in the 2008 World Junior Championship. Sweden won the silver medal in the tournament.

BUF AC Jerry Forton coached TBL C Alex Killorn at Harvard University during the 2011-12 season, when Forton served as an assistant coach for the Crimson.

Ott (15), Weber (11), Porter (7)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (8), Weber (7), McBain (5)
Shots: Vanek (15), Ehrhoff (9), Flynn/Ristolainen (6)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-3-0 (0), 2/7, 0/13, 8/8

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 … 3 games … 200 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 10 games … 200 career games played
Thomas Vanek … 1 goal … 252 career goals (ties Craig Ramsay for 5th in franchise history)
Steve Ott … 6 goals … 100 career goals
Thomas Vanek … 11 points … 500 career points (ties Danny Gare for 9th in franchise history)

Ryan Miller … 500 career games played … 4/26 vs. NYI

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