Game Preview: 10/12/13 at Chicago


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, October 10
Columbus 4 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Vanek
Goalie: Miller (29 saves/33 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 4/4; Shots: Columbus 33 – Buffalo 27

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 26)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

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

Returned G Matt Hackett to Rochester (AHL)
10/8: Activated F Marcus Foligno from IR; Placed D Henrik Tallinder on IR.

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.
Wednesday, Oct. 23: Boston at Buffalo, 8 p.m.


-This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
-Next meeting: Blackhawks at Sabres on Sunday, March 9
-Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo, 6-2, in Chicago on Jan. 18, 2012.
-The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 4-6-0 on the road.
-This is the 112th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-45-13 series record.
-The Sabres are 19-30-6 on the road against the Blackhawks all-time.


  • The Sabres are 6-7-3 all-time on October 12.
  • October 12, 1971: Rick Martin scores his first NHL goal in a 4-1 loss at St. Louis.
  • October 12, 1989: Mike Foligno appears in his 500th Sabres game. Foligno would finish his Sabres career with 664games played, tying Ric Seiling for 10th-most in franchise history.


  • Tonight’s game will be Kevin Porter’s 200th NHL game and his 37th with the Sabres.
  • Steve Ott (24 GP, 10+4) and Christian Ehrhoff (25 GP, 5+9) tie to lead all Sabres with 15 career points against Chicago.
  • Cody Hodgson has four points (1+3) in four career games against the Blackhawks.
  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Blackhawks since Dec. 11, 2009 and their first win in Chicago since Jan. 10, 2007.

With his goal on Thursday vs. CBJ, Thomas Vanek tied Craig Ramsay for fifth-most goals in Sabres franchise history (252). He is now 15 goals shy of Danny Gare for fourth and 16 shy of Dave Andreychuk for third. Vanek is currently 15th on the Sabres’ games played list and his .427 goals per game rank him seventh in franchise history, behind Pat LaFontaine (.590), Rick Martin (.561), Alexander Mogilny (.554), Danny Gare (.531), Dave Andreychuk (.440) and Gilbert Perreault (.430) and just ahead of Rene Robert (.423).

Through four games, Christian Ehrhoff has averaged 25:39 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 94 points (47+47) in 85 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 four points (2+2) in five 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 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.

CHI RW Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

Kane and BUF G Ryan Miller were teammates for the United States at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Kane and BUF D Jamie McBain both represented the United States at the 2007 World Junior Championship, under the tutelage of current BUF HC Ron Rolston. Kane and McBain also skated together as members of the US National Team Development Program (USNTDP) from 2004-2006.

Rolston also coached CHI LW Jeremy Morin for the USNTDP from 2007-2009.

Kane was teammates with BUF RW Drew Stafford for Team USA at the 2008 World Hockey Championship.

Stafford and CHI C Jonathan Toews were both on the 2005-06 North Dakota Fighting Sioux squad that advanced to the 2006 Frozen Four.

CHI RW Jimmy Hayes was coached by Rolston in 2007-08 for the USNTDP’s Under-18 squad as well as Team USA at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

BUF LW John Scott spent two seasons (2010-2012) as member of the Blackhawks.

CHI C Michal Handzus was teammates with BUF AC Teppo Numminen for two seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes (2000-02). Handzus also played alongside BUF AC Joe Sacco for the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2002-03 season.

Numminen and CHI G Nikolai Khabibulin were teammates with the Phoenix Coyotes organization for five seasons from 1994-99

CHI C Marcus Kruger, CHI D Niklas Hjalmarsson, BUF G Jhonas Enroth and BUF C Johan Larsson all represented Sweden at the 2012 World Hockey Championship.

Kruger, Enroth, CHI D Johnny Oduya and BUF D Henrik Tallinder were all born in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tallinder and Oduya played together for Team Sweden at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

CHI C Brandon Pirri and BUF C Cody Hodgson are both natives of Toronto, Ontario.

BUF D Mike Weber and CHI LW Brandon Saad both hail from Pittsburgh, PA.

Saad also shares a birthday with BUF D Rasmus Ristolainen. Saad was born on October 27, 1992, while Ristolainen was born on the same date two years later in 1994.

CHI D Brent Seabrook and BUF LW Thomas Vanek were both selected in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Vanek was chosen with the fifth overall pick, while Seabrook was taken 14th overall.

Ott (21), Weber (15), Porter (14)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (12), Weber (10), Ennis (7)
Shots: Vanek (23), Stafford/Hodgson (13), Ehrhoff (11)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-4-1 (1), 5/14, 2/18, 14/15

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 … 1 game … 200 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 8 games … 200 career games played
Thomas Vanek … 1 goal … 253 career goals (passes Craig Ramsay for 5th in franchise history)
Steve Ott … 6 goals … 100 career goals
Thomas Vanek … 8 points … 500 career points (ties Danny Gare for 9th in franchise history)

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