Game Preview: 10/19/13 vs. Colorado

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, October 17
Vancouver 3 at Buffalo 0
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Miller (31 saves/34 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 3/3; Shots: Vancouver 34 – Buffalo 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 44)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Joel Armia (hand, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 9 games
Corey Tropp (jaw, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) –9 games
Nikita Zadorov (finger, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 9 games
Ville Leino (rib, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 8 games
Zemgus Girgensons (upper body, Oct. 17) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
10/14:
Activated D Henrik Tallinder from IR; Assigned D Alexander Sulzer to Rochester (AHL).

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Thursday, Oct. 31: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
AVALANCHE at SABRES

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Avalanche this season.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Feb. 1 in Colorado
  • Last meeting: Colorado defeated Buffalo, 5-4 (SO), in Buffalo on March 14, 2012.
  • The Sabres are 3-3-4 in their last 10 games vs. the Avalanche; 4-3-3 at home.
  • This is the 134th game all-time between Buffalo and Colorado/Quebec; Buffalo has a 59-50-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 36-19-11 at home against the Avalanche/Nordiques all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-7-3 all-time on October 19.
  • October 19, 1984: The Sabres got their last win on this date with a 5-4 victory vs. Quebec. Mike Foligno completed his third career hat trick with the game-winning goal at 12:33 of the third period to dispatch the Nordiques at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are 9-6-6 against the Avalanche since they moved to Colorado before the 1995-96 season.
  • Buffalo and Colorado will face off twice this season for the first time since 2001-02.
  • Christian Ehrhoff leads all Sabres skaters with 14 points (2+12) in 31 career games against the Avalanche.
  • Drew Stafford has logged multiple points in each of his last three meetings with the Avalanche, totaling seven points (2+5) in those three games.
  • Three Sabres average at least a point per game in their limited experience against the Avalanche: Drew Stafford (7 GP, 2+5), Tyler Ennis (2 GP, 0+3), Marcus Foligno (1 GP, 2+0).
  • Ryan Miller has a save percentage of .958 while shorthanded.

IT’S BEEN AWHILE
The Sabres are looking for their first win against the Avalanche since Dec. 4, 2005, a 6-4 win in Colorado. At nearly eight years, the Sabres’ drought against the Avalanche is their longest against any opponent. While the Avalanche have won the last five matchups with the Sabres, each of the last four has been decided in either overtime (once) or a shootout (three times).

  • Henrik Tallinder and Thomas Vanek, the only current Sabres who were in the lineup for the Buffalo’s last win against the Avalanche, each had an assist in the game.
  • Cody McCormick suited up for the Avalanche in the last Sabres win against Colorado.
  • Vanek and Milan Hejduk are the only players to play in each of those last six games.

VANEK IN ELITE COMPANY
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 .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).

LOGGING BIG MINUTES
Through nine games, Christian Ehrhoff ranks fourth in the NHL with an average TOI of 25:43 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.

FAST STARTER
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 89 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 nine games so far this season.

YOUTH MOVEMENT
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.

FEARLESS LEADERS

  • 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.

2013-14 ROSTER NOTES
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-COL CONNECTIONS
BUF C Kevin Porter was a member of the Avalanche for from 2010-2012. Over 125 with the club, he tallied 35 points (20+15).

BUF C Cody McCormick also played for the Avalanche for parts of five seasons (2003-2009). McCormick appeared in 190 games with Colorado, recording 30 points (9+21).

COL D Cory Sarich spent two seasons as a member of the Sabres (1998-2000), tallying four points (0+4) in 46 games. Sarich was Buffalo’s second selection (27th overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF AC Joe Sacco served as head coach of the Avalanche for four seasons (2009-2013), guiding the club to a record of 130-134-30 over that span.

COL D Jan Hejda was originally drafted by Buffalo in the fourth round (136th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Hejda was traded to Edmonton in July 2006 for a seventh-round draft pick.

Porter, BUF RW Drew Stafford and COL D Matt Hunwick all represented the United States at the 2004 and 2005 World Junior Championship.

Porter and Hunwick were also teammates for three seasons at the University of Michigan (2004-2007) as well as for the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) during the 2002-03 season.

BUF C Mikhail Grigorenko skated under current COL HC Patrick Roy as a member of the Quebec Remparts from 2011-2013.

BUF C Steve Ott, COL RW Steve Downie and COL C Matt Duchene were teammates for Canada at the 2010 World Hockey Championship.

Ott and G Jean-Sebastien Giguere both represented Canada at the 2001 World Junior Championship.

BUF G Jhonas Enroth, BUF D Henrik Tallinder and COL LW Gabriel Landeskog were all born in Stockholm, Sweden.

Enroth and Landeskog both represented Sweden at the 2013 World Hockey Championship.

Enroth, BUF D Mike Weber, BUF D Jamie McBain and COL LW Jamie McGinn were all selected in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. McGinn, selected by San Jose, was the 36th overall pick, Enroth was the 46th overall pick, Weber was selected 57th overall and McBain was selected 63rd.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played alongside McGinn on the San Jose Sharks in 2008-09.

BUF G Ryan Miller, COL D Erik Johnson and COL C Paul Stastny were all on Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

McBain and Johnson both skated as members of the USNTDP from 2004-2006. The two also played under BUF HC Ron Rolston for Team USA at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

BUF D Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and COL C Nathan MacKinnon (1st overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF LW John Scott and COL C John Mitchell were teammates with the New York Rangers during the 2011-12 season.

BUF D Tyler Myers and COL D Tyson Barrie played together for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL) for three seasons (2006-2009).

Grigorenko and COL Giguere were both born on May 16. Giguere was born in 1977, while Grigorenko was born in 1994.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Ott (31), Weber (24), Foligno (19)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (21), Weber (17), Pysyk (10)
Shots: Vanek (37), Stafford (25), Hodgson (23)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
1-7-1 (3), 11/24, 3/32, 25/29

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 … 4 games … 200 career games played
Thomas Vanek … 6 games … 600 career games played
Mike Weber … 8 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Steve Ott … 6 goals … 100 career goals
Points
Thomas Vanek … 7 points … 500 career points (ties Danny Gare for 9th in franchise history)

RECENT MILESTONES
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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