Game Preview: 10/10/13 vs. Columbus


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, October 8
Tampa Bay 3 at Buffalo 2 (OT)
Goals: Hodgson, McBain
Goalie: Enroth (31 saves/34 shots)
PP: 2/4; PK: 2/3; Shots: Tampa Bay 34 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 21)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

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

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)
10/8: Activated F Marcus Foligno from IR; Placed D Henrik Tallinder on IR.

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.
Saturday, Oct. 19: Colorado at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


-This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Blue Jackets this season.
-Last meeting: Columbus defeated Buffalo, 5-1, in Columbus on Nov. 25, 2011.
-The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Blue Jackets; 4-4-0 in eight home games.
-This is the 15th game all-time between Buffalo and Columbus; Buffalo has a 5-8-1 series record.
-The Sabres are 4-4-0 at home against the Blue Jackets all-time.


  • The Sabres are 10-7-1 all-time on October 10, including wins in their last five games on this date.
  • October 10, 1970: The Sabres play their first game in franchise history, a 2-1 win at Pittsburgh. Jim Watson scores the first goal in franchise history and Gilbert Perreault scores the game-winner on the power play.
  • October 10, 1974: Danny Gare scores 18 seconds into his first NHL game, kicking off a 9-5 Sabres win at Boston.


  • The Sabres haven’t lost to the Blue Jackets at home since Nov. 14, 2008.
  • Christian Ehrhoff leads all Sabres with 15 points (7+8) in 26 career games against Columbus. Steve Ott leads the team with eight goals in 28 games against the Blue Jackets.
  • Tyler Ennis has four points (2+2) in two career games against the Blue Jackets, both coming in the 2010-11 season.
  • Ryan Miller earned his first NHL victory against the Blue Jackets in a 5-4 win at home on Nov. 22, 2002.
  • Jhonas Enroth has started the Sabres’ last three games against the Blue Jackets, going 2-1-0.
  • Miller’s last start against Columbus was a 19-save shutout on Dec. 3, 2010.
  • October is the Sabres’ second best month since 2005-06; they have a 38-23-7 October record (.610) in that span, including a 0-3-1 record so far this season.

Through four games, Christian Ehrhoff has averaged 25:34 TOI per game, topping his career-high average of 25:11 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.

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 93 points (46+47) in 84 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 three points (1+2) in four 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.

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.


  • 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.

CBJ HC Todd Richards coached BUF D Christian Ehrhoff on the 2008-09 San Jose Sharks squad.

CBJ C Artem Anisimov, BUF G Jhonas Enroth, BUF D Mike Weber and BUF D Jamie McBain were all drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Enroth was selected 46th overall, Anisimov was chosen 54th, Weber were picked 57th and McBain was the 63rd pick.

CBJ LW RJ Umberger and Weber were both born in Pittsburgh, PA.

CBJ C Brandon Dubinsky and BUF RW Drew Stafford both represented the United States at the 2008 World Hockey Championship.

CBJ LW Nick Foligno was born in Buffalo and is the older brother of BUF LW Marcus Foligno.

Marcus Foligno and CBJ D David Savard were both chosen in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Savard went 94th overall, while Foligno was selected 10 picks later, at 104th overall.

CBJ RW Marian Gaborik and BUF LW John Scott were teammates with the Minnesota Wild during the 2008-09 season. The two were reunited as members of the New York Rangers  in 2011-12.

CBJ RW Nathan Horton and BUF RW Thomas Vanek were both drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Horton was selected third overall, while Vanek was chosen with the ninth selection.

CBJ C Ryan Johansen and Marcus Foligno played together for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Johansen and BUF D Mark Pysyk were both first round selections in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Johansen was chosen fourth overall and Pysyk was taken with the 23rd overall pick.

BUF G Ryan Miller (138th overall) and CBJ C Derek MacKenzie (128th overall) were both chosen in the fifth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

MacKenzie and BUF C Steve Ott both represented Canada at the 2001 World Junior Championship.

CBJ RW Jack Skille and BUF C Kevin Porter were teammates for the United States National Team Development Program U17 and U18 squads from 2002-04. Both players, along with CBJ D Jack Johnson, also played for Team USA at the 2006 World Junior Championship.

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

Johnson and Porter were teammates at the University of Michigan from 2005-2007.

Skille played under BUF HC Ron Rolston on two separate occasions, for the USNTDP U18 team during the 2004-05 season and during the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Johnson and McBain both represented the United States at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

Nick Foligno, Johnson and Stafford were teammates for the United States at the 2009 World Hockey Championship.

CBJ G Sergei Bobrovsky and BUF LW Ville Leino played together as members of the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2010-11 season.

BUF C Cody McCormick and CBJ G Curtis McElhinney were both born in London, Ontario.

Ott (17), Weber (15), Porter (11)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (10), Weber (9), Ennis/McBain (6)
Shots: Vanek (17), Hodgson (11), Ehrhoff (10)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-3-1 (1), 4/10, 2/17, 10/11

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 94-94 all-time)
October 10 vs. Tampa Bay: L, 3-2 (GWG-Killorn, 1:50)

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

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Kevin Porter … 2 games … 200 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 9 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 … 9 points … 500 career points (ties Danny Gare for 9th in franchise history)

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