Game Preview: 10/25/13 at Florida

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, October 23
Boston 5 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Hodgson, Zadorov
Goalie: Miller (29 saves/34 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 3/4; Shots: Boston 34 – Buffalo 16

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 52)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Joel Armia (hand, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 11 games
Corey Tropp (jaw, Oct. 2; injured non-roster) – 11 games
Ville Leino (rib, Oct. 4; injured reserve) – 10 games
Cody McCormick (leg, Oct. 19; injured reserve) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
10/19:
Activated D Nikita Zadorov to roster; Assigned D Rasmus Ristolainen to Rochester (AHL)
10/21: Recalled D Rasmus Ristolainen from Rochester (AHL)
10/22: Placed F Cody McCormick on IR
10/25: Activated F Cody McCormick from IR; Assigned F Kevin Porter to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Saturday, Nov. 2: Anaheim at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 5: Buffalo at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PANTHERS

  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Jan. 9 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo, 5-4 (SO), in Florida on March 28
  • The Sabres are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 6-3-1 on the road.
  • This is the 76th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 43-26-6 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-15-3 on the road against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-10-2 all-time on October 25.
  • October 25, 1991: The Sabres acquire Pat LaFontaine, Randy Wood and Randy Hillier from the Islanders in exchange for Pierre Turgeon, Uwe Krupp, Dave McLlwain and Benoit Hogue.
  • October 25, 1991: Clint Malarchuk stops 31 of 32 San Jose shots to lead the Sabres to a 3-1 victory over the Sharks, recording the 800th win in franchise history.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres and Panthers meet tonight for the first time as Atlantic Division rivals.
  • Buffalo will look to avoid losing consecutive road games to the Panthers for the first time since they dropped three straight at FLA from Oct. 15, 2005 to Dec. 7, 2006.
  • Thomas Vanek leads all Sabres skaters with 25 points (17+8) in 29 career games against the Panthers.
  • Vanek’s team-leading 17 goals in 29 games against the Panthers is his third-best per-game output against an Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only his 23 goals in 32 games against Tampa Bay and his 29 in 49 games against Boston.
  • Four Sabres recorded three points last season against the Panthers: Tyler Ennis (1+2), Cody Hodgson (1+2), Steve Ott (0+3), Thomas Vanek (1+2)
  • Marcus Foligno tied his career high with his eighth two-point game (0+2) on Wednesday vs. BOS.

SUNSHINE SUCCESS
The Sabres have swept nine of their 30 Florida/Tampa Bay road trips in franchise history. In the other 21 sets, the Sabres earned: three points (3), two points (12), one point (2) and zero points (4). This gives them record of 33-22-5 (.592) in previous trips.

A FRESH FACE
Nikita Zadorov
scored his first NHL goal on his first career shot on Wednesday vs. BOS, becoming the second-youngest player (18 years, 191 days) in Sabres history to score a goal; Pierre Turgeon was the youngest (18 years, 54 days) on Oct. 21, 1987 vs. Hartford. Zadorov edged out Phil Housley (18 years, 221 days on 10/16/82 at Washington) by 30 days to become the youngest Sabres defenseman to score a goal.

HODGSON’S HOT STREAK
Cody Hodgson
enters tonight’s game with points (3+5) in seven of his last nine games. With a point tonight, he would top his career-best stretch of points in seven of 10 games, set from 12/19/11 vs. MIN to 1/7/12 at BOS (4+5). Hodgson would need three points tonight to match his career-best mark of 11 points in 10 games, set from 1/31/13 vs. BOS to 2/17/13 vs. PIT (4+7).

YOUTH MOVEMENT
With teenage rookies Zemgus Girgensons, Mikhail Grigorenko and Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov on the roster, the Sabres have become the first NHL team since 1995-96 to dress four teenagers during the course of a season. That year, the Sabres (Jay McKee, Martin Biron, Wayne Primeau, Vaclav Varada, Curtis Brown) joined Florida (4) and Winnipeg (6) as the last teams to dress at least four teenagers in a season.

According to Elias Sports Bureau, if all four teenagers dress in a single game, the Sabres will be the first team to dress four teenagers in a single game since March 30, 1996, when Winnipeg dressed four 19-year-olds (Shane Doan, Chad Kilger, Deron Quint and Oleg Tverdovsky) in a 5-2 loss to Detroit.

The only time the Sabres have ever dressed four teenagers simultaneously was in the 1982-83 season, when forwards Dave Andreychuk and Paul Cyr and defensemen Phil Housley and Hannu Virta all played in 21 games together.

VANEK IN ELITE COMPANY
With his goal on 10/15 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 .424 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).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s third of 13 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Sabres are 0-2-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-1-0 in the second game this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in back-to-back sets this season is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (1).

LOGGING BIG MINUTES
Through 11 games, Christian Ehrhoff ranks 11th in the NHL with an average TOI of 25:11 per game, matching his career-high average 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.

BUF-FLA CONNECTIONS
FLA AC Craig Ramsay began his coaching career with Buffalo when he served as an assistant coach during the 1986-87 season and took over as interim head coach later in the year. Prior to leaving the Sabres in 1993, Ramsay also served as the team’s director of player personnel and assistant general manager. Ramsay also played for the Sabres for 14 seasons and is second in franchise history with 1,070 games played for the club. He appeared in 776 consecutive games from 1973-1983, which ranks as the fourth longest consecutive games streak in NHL history.

Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, FLA D Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a Sabre, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games. Campbell was selected as an NHL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.

FLA RW Brad Boyes skated as a member of the Sabres from 2010-2012. During his two seasons in Buffalo, Boyes played in 86 games, recording 37 points (13+24).

FLA HC Kevin Dineen was the head coach of the Portland Pirates for the three seasons the Sabres were affiliated with the Pirates.

BUF G Ryan Miller and FLA D Mike Weaver played together for one season at Michigan State University.

Miller and FLA C Scott Gomez both represented the United States at the 2006 Olympics. Miller was also teammates with FLA G Tim Thomas at the 2010 Olympic Games.

Thomas, FLA D Tom Gilbert and BUF RW Drew Stafford all represented the United States at the 2008 World Hockey Championship.

FLA C Bjugstad (19th overall), FLA D Erik Gudbranson (3rd overall) and BUF D Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

Gudbranson played with BUF LW Marcus Foligno for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

BUF G Jhonas Enroth, BUF D Mike Weber, BUF D Jamie McBain and FLA C Shawn Matthias were all drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Enroth was the 46th overall selection, Matthias was selected by Detroit with the 47th overall selection, Weber was the 57th overall selection and McBain was chosen by Carolina 63rd overall.

Enroth, BUF LW Johan Larsson, BUF D Henrik Tallinder and FLA G Jacob Markstrom all represented Sweden at the 2013 World Hockey Championship, winning the gold medal.

Campbell and BUF LW John Scott were teammates with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2010-11 season.

FLA LW Tomas Fleischmann played for current BUF AC Joe Sacco as a member of the Colorado Avalanche during the 2010-11 season, when Sacco served as the team’s HC.

BUF C Steve Ott and FLA LW Krystofer Barch played together for the Dallas Stars from 2006-2012.

FLA C Aleksander Barkov, BUF D Rasmus Ristolainen and BUF RW Joel Armia all represented Finland at the 2012 and 2013 World Junior Championships. Barkov and Ristolainen also played together at the 2012 World U18 Championship.

Barkov (2nd overall) and Ristolainen (8th overall) were also both chosen in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

FLA C Jonathan Huberdeau (3rd overall) and BUF RW Joel Armia (16th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF C Ville Leino played alongside FLA RW Tomas Kopecky during the 2008-09 season on the Detroit Red Wings.

Leino was also teammates with FLA RW Kris Versteeg with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2010-11 season.

Leino (Oct. 6, 1983) was born just one day before FLA LW Scottie Upshall.

Ott and Boyes were both first-round draft selections in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Boyes, selected by Toronto with the 24th overall pick, was selected just one pick ahead of Ott, who was picked 25th overall by Dallas. The pair also played together for Team Canada at the 2001 and 2002 World Junior Championships, while Upshall was a member of the 2002 squad as well.

Upshall, FLA D Ed Jovanovski and BUF C Kevin Porter were all members of the Phoenix Coyotes from 2008-2010.

Boyes and BUF D Christian Ehrhoff were teammates briefly with the San Jose Sharks during the 2003-04 season.

Ehrhoff and FLA C Marcel Goc played together for four seasons on the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2009.

Goc also played with Ehrhoff on the German Olympic Team for the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games.

FLA C Drew Shore played for BUF HC Ron Rolston for the United States National Team Development Program (USNTDP) during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

Miller (1980) and Nick Bjugstad (1992) were both born on July 17.

BUF C Mikhail Grigorenko shares a birthday with Fleischmann. Grigorenko, born on May 16, 1994, is exactly 10 years younger than Fleischmann, who was born in 1984.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Ott (36), Girgensons/Weber (26), Foligno (23)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (24), Weber (21), Pysyk (15)
Shots: Vanek (39), Stafford (31), Hodgson (27)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
1-8-1 (3), 13/28, 3/35, 27/32
11-20: 0-1-0 (0), 2/5, 1/3, 3/4

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 … 2 games … 200 career games played
Thomas Vanek … 4 games … 600 career games played
Mike Weber … 6 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Steve Ott … 6 goals … 100 career goals
Points
Thomas Vanek … 5 points … 500 career points (ties Danny Gare for 9th in franchise history)

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