Game Preview: 10/15/13 at NY Islanders


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Monday, October 14
Minnesota 2 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Flynn
Goalie: Enroth (18 saves/20 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/3; Shots: Buffalo 23 – Minnesota 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 35)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Joel Armia (hand, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 7 games
Corey Tropp (jaw, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 7 games
Nikita Zadorov (finger, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 7 games
Ville Leino (rib, Oct. 4; injured reserve) –6 games

Activated F Marcus Foligno from IR; Placed D Henrik Tallinder on IR.
10/14: Activated D Henrik Tallinder from IR; Assigned D Alexander Sulzer to Rochester (AHL).

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.
Friday, Oct. 25: Buffalo at Florida, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 26: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7 p.m.


-This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
-Next meeting: Saturday, March 15 on Long Island
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated NY Islanders, 2-1 (SO), in Buffalo on April 26.
-The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 5-4-1 on the road.
-This is the 154th game all-time between Buffalo and NY Islanders; Buffalo has a 75-56-22 series record.
-The Sabres are 33-32-11 on the road against the Islanders all-time.


  • The Sabres are 6-8-2 all-time on October 15.
  • October 15, 1970: The Sabres fall to Montreal, 3-0, in the first home game in franchise history.
  • October 15, 2011: Drew Stafford records his 200th NHL point, scoring the game-winning goal in a 3-2 victory at PIT.


  • The Sabres’ penalty kill ranks sixth in the league at 87.0 percent (20-for-23).
  • Thomas Vanek leads all Sabres skaters with 20 points (9+11) in 28 career games against the Islanders.
  • Cody Hodgson has four points (1+3) in four career games against the Islanders, including points in his last four.
  • Jamie McBain has an assist in each of his last two games against the Islanders.

With a win tonight, the Sabres would have three consecutive road wins against the Islanders for just the fifth time in franchise history and the first time since they won three straight at Nassau Coliseum from Oct. 29, 2005 to Oct. 26, 2006.

Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s second of 13 sets of back-to-back games this season after a 2-1 loss vs. MIN last night. The Sabres are 0-2-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets 0-1-0 in the second this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in last season’s back-to-back sets was: four points (2), three points (1), two points (2), one point (2) and zero points (2).

Ryan Miller
has a save percentage of .941 through four games this season, stopping 144 of the 153 shots he’s faced so far. Miller’s best start through the first five games of the season was his .950 mark in 2011-12.

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 .426 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 seven games, Christian Ehrhoff ranks fourth in the NHL with an average TOI of 25:45 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 87 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 seven 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.

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.

NYI LW Eric Boulton played for the Sabres for four seasons (2000-01 – 2003-04). Boulton appeared in172 games, scoring 17 points (5+12).

Boulton and BUF D Henrik Tallinder were teammates for the New Jersey Devils during the 2011-12 season.

NYI D Joe Finley, who was claimed off waivers by the Islanders prior to the start of the 2012-13 season, played five games with Buffalo in 2011-12, recording 12 penalty minutes.

Finley played with BUF RW Drew Stafford for one season (2005-06) at the University of North Dakota.

BUF D Tyler Myers, BUF C Cody Hodgson, BUF LW Tyler Ennis and NYI C Josh Bailey were all first-round draft selections in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Bailey was the ninth pick, Hodgson, selected by Vancouver, was the 10th pick, Myers was picked 12th and Ennis was the 26th selection.

Bailey and BUF D Mike Weber both played for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL in 2006-07.

BUF D Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and NYI C Brock Nelson (30th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF LW Marcus Foligno and NYI C Casey Cizikas were both drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Cizikas was the 92nd overall pick, while Foligno was picked 104th overall.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff and NYI RW Michael Grabner were both on the 2009-10 Vancouver Canucks. Ehrhoff also played with NYI G Evgeni Nabokov from 2003-2009 on the San Jose Sharks.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played with NYI D Matt Carkner from 2003-2005 with the Cleveland Barons (AHL).

Myers, Ennis, Hodgson, NYI C John Tavares and NYI D Thomas Hickey all played for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

NYI RW Kyle Okposo and BUF D Jamie McBain both played for Team USA at the 2007 World Junior Championship under the tutelage of BUF HC Ron Rolston.

BUF HC Ron Rolston coached NYI D Brian Strait in the US National Team Development Program from 2004-2006.

NYI C Pierre-Marc Bouchard, NYI RW Cal Clutterbuck and BUF LW John Scott were teammates with the Minnesota Wild for two seasons (2008-2010).

BUF LW Marcus Foligno played with NYI D Calvin de Haan for Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

BUF C Steve Ott and NYI LW Matt Martin were both born in Windsor, Ontario.

Cizikas and Hodgson were both born in Toronto.

Ott (28), Girgensons/Weber (16), Porter (15)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (16), Weber (11), Ennis/McBain (8)
Shots: Vanek (30), Hodgson (21), Stafford (18)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 0-6-1 (1), 7/18, 2/25, 20/23

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

Tyler Ennis … 6 games … 200 career games played
Mike Weber … 10 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)

Kevin Porter … 200 career games played … 10/14 vs. MIN

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