Game Preview: 10/17/13 vs. Vancouver


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Tuesday, October 15
Buffalo 4 at NY Islanders 3 (SO)
Goals: Ennis, Vanek, Foligno; GDG-Ennis
Goalie: Miller (41 saves/44 shots)
PP: 1/4; PK: 2/3; Shots: NY Islanders 44 – Buffalo 34

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 39)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Joel Armia (hand, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 8 games
Corey Tropp (jaw, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) –8 games
Nikita Zadorov (finger, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 8 games
Ville Leino (rib, Oct. 4; injured reserve) –7 games

Activated D Henrik Tallinder from IR; Assigned D Alexander Sulzer to Rochester (AHL).

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.
Monday, Oct. 28: Dallas at Buffalo, 7 p.m.


-This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
-Next meeting: Sunday, March 23 in Vancouver
-Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Vancouver, 5-3, in Vancouver on March 3, 2012.
-The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 6-4-0 at home.
-This is the 111th game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 46-45-19 series record.
-The Sabres are 29-18-8 at home against the Canucks all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-11-1 all-time on October 17.
  • October 17, 1974: Lee Fogolin and Don Luce score goals four seconds apart in the third period as the Sabres defeat California, 6-1.
  • October 17, 1990: Gilbert Perreault’s number 11 is raised to the rafters at Memorial Auditorium, making Perreault the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.
  • October 17, 2008: Thomas Vanek scored his league-leading sixth goal and added two assists and Ryan Miller stopped 23 of 25 Vancouver shots as the Sabres topped the Canucks, 5-2, in Buffalo.


  • Steve Ott has won his last 11 faceoffs after going 11-for-12 on Tuesday at NYI, including a 5-for-5 mark in the defensive zone. Ott won 13 in a row over the course of three games from Feb. 19-23, 2013.
  • Buffalo and Vancouver will face off twice this season for the first time since 2002-03.
  • A win tonight would give the Sabres three straight against the Canucks for just the third time in franchise history (last: 1/15/98 to 2/28/99).
  • Christian Ehrhoff leads all Sabres skaters with eight points (3+5) in 18 career games against the Canucks.
  • Thomas Vanek has seven points (2+5) in six career games against the Canucks.
  • Tyler Myers has a point in each of his three career games against Vancouver (1+2). Tyler Ennis has scored in each of his two (2+0).

The Sabres have won their last three home games against the Canucks, with Vancouver’s last win in Buffalo coming on Feb. 7, 2003. The Sabres last won four straight home games against the Canucks in a span that stretched from March 7, 1971 to Jan. 20, 1972. Beginning a few years later, the Canucks went winless in Buffalo for nearly a decade, as the Sabres boasted a 10-0-8 record at home against the Canucks from Jan. 12, 1975 to Dec. 16, 1984.

Ryan Miller
is off to the second-best start to a season of his career, with a save percentage of .939 through five games. Miller’s best start through the first five games of the season was his .950 mark in 2011-12.

With his goal on Tuesday at NYI, Thomas Vanek passed Craig Ramsay for fifth-most goals in Sabres franchise history (253). He is now 14 goals shy of Danny Gare for fourth. 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 eight games, Christian Ehrhoff ranks fourth in the NHL with an average TOI of 25:48 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 95 points (48+47) in 88 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 five points (3+2) in eight 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.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played in Vancouver for two seasons (2009-2011). He appeared in 159 games and recorded 94 points (28+66).

BUF C Cody Hodgson was also a member of the Canucks for two seasons (2010-2012). Hodgson, Vancouver’s first selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (10th overall), tallied 35 points (17+18) over 71 games with the club.

VAN RW Zack Kassian was Buffalo’s first selection (13th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and recorded seven points (3+4) in 27 games with the Sabres during the 2011-12 season. Kassian was dealt to Vancouver on Feb. 27, 2012 in exchange for Hodgson.

Booth, VAN C Ryan Kesler and BUF RW Drew Stafford played together for the United States at the 2004 World Junior Championship. Booth and Stafford also both suited up for the United States at the 2008 World Hockey Championship.

Stafford and Higgins were teammates at the 2009 World Hockey Championship for Team USA.

Kassian and BUF LW Marcus Foligno were teammates with the Rochester Americans (AHL) during the 2011-12 season. Kassian and Foligno also both represented Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

BUF LW Thomas Vanek and Kesler were both first-round selections in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Vanek was the fifth overall pick and Kesler was chosen 23rd overall.

Kesler also played alongside BUF G Ryan Miller for Team USA at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.

VAN RW Brad Richardson played for current BUF AC Joe Sacco as a member of the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) in 2007-08, when Sacco served as the club’s head coach.

VAN C Jordan Schroeder and BUF D Jamie McBain both represented the United States at the 2008 World Junior Championship.

Schroeder also played under BUF HC Ron Rolston for the United States National Team Development Program from 2006-2008.

Rolston also coached VAN D Andrew Alberts at Boston College from 2002-2004, when he served as an assistant coach for the Eagles.

Alberts played alongside Stafford and McBain for Team USA at the 2006 World Championship and the 2007 World Junior Championship, respectively.

VAN HC John Tortorella served as an assistant coach for the Sabres from 1989-1995.

BUF AC Teppo Numminen played under Tortorella as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes from 1997-1999, when the latter was serving as one of the team’s assistant coaches.

Tortorella also coached BUF LW John Scott during the 2011-12 season, when Scott skated for the New York Rangers.

VAN C Henrik Sedin, VAN LW Daniel Sedin and BUF D Henrik Tallinder all played together for Team Sweden at the 2010 Olympics.

Tallinder, BUF G Jhonas Enroth, VAN D Alexander Edler and the Sedins were teammates for Sweden at the 2013 World Hockey Championship.

Tallinder and Daniel Sedin represented Sweden at the 1998 World Junior Championship.

Scott and the Sedins share a birthday on September 26. The Sedins were born in 1980, while Scott was born two years later in 1982.

BUF C Zemgus Girgensons (1994) and VAN G Eddie Lack (1988) were both born on January 5.

Hodgson and VAN D Christopher Tanev were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

Booth and BUF C Kevin Porter are both natives of Detroit, Michigan.

Ott (29), Weber (22), Foligno (17)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (19), Weber (15), Pysyk (9)
Shots: Vanek (34), Stafford (23), Hodgson (21)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 1-6-1 (3), 11/21, 3/29, 22/26

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

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-0; 51-41 all-time)
October 17 at NY Islanders: W, 4-3 (GDG-Ennis)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Tyler Ennis … 5 games … 200 career games played
Thomas Vanek … 7 games … 600 career games played
Mike Weber … 9 games … 200 career games played
Steve Ott … 6 goals … 100 career goals
Thomas Vanek … 7 points … 500 career points (ties Danny Gare for 9th in franchise history)

Kevin Porter … 200 career games played … 10/14 vs. MIN
Thomas Vanek … 253 career goals (5th-most in franchise history) … 10/15 at NYI

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