Game Preview: 11/27/13 vs. Montreal

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, November 24
Detroit 3 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Hodgson
Goalie: Miller (31 saves/33 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/3; Shots: Detroit 34 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 78)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (upper body, Nov. 24; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/23: Recalled D Alexander Sulzer from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Cody McCormick on IR
11/27: Claimed F Matt D’Agostini off waivers from Pittsburgh; Placed F Corey Tropp on waivers

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Nov. 29:
Toronto at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 30: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 5: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 7: Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 10: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CANADIENS at SABRES

  • This is the first of four meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Montreal defeated Buffalo, 5-1, in Buffalo on April 11
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Dec. 7 in Montreal
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 6-3-1 at home
  • This is the 259th game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 119-102-37 series record.
  • The Sabres are 69-35-24 at home against the Canadiens all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-5-5 all-time on November 27.
  • November 27, 1971: Craig Ramsay appears in his first NHL game, a 5-2 loss at Vancouver. Ramsay would go on to play 1,070 games during the course of his NHL career, all with the Sabres, trailing only Gilbert Perreault (1,191) for most in franchise history.
  • November 27, 2010: The Canadiens topped the Sabres, 3-1, in Montreal, for the Habs’ fourth-straight win against the Sabres. Montreal has not beaten Buffalo in consecutive matchups since then, with the Sabres going 11-2-1 in the 14 games since that loss.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Canadiens will look to win their second straight game against the Sabres for the first time since winning four in a row from April 3 to Nov. 27, 2010.
  • The Sabres have gone 11-2-1 in their last 14 games against the Canadiens.
  • Four of the Sabres’ last six home games against the Canadiens have been decided in overtime or a shootout. The Sabres are 4-1-1 in those six games.
  • The Sabres have more wins against the Canadiens (119) than any other franchise; they have 117 against the Bruins.
  • Drew Stafford leads all Sabres with 14 points (4+10) in 37 career games against the Canadiens; Tyler Ennis (17 GP) and Matt Moulson (15 GP) tie to lead all Sabres with six goals in against Montreal.
  • At the time of his recall on Nov. 20, Luke Adam was tied for the AHL lead with 13 goals in 15 games. His TOI of 12:58 on Sunday vs. DET was his highest ice time since he logged 13:50 on Jan. 19, 2012 at WPG.
  • Adam has won each of his last six faceoffs, with his last loss coming on Jan. 24, 2012 at NJD.

STOPPING THE HABS
Both of Buffalo’s goaltenders have had success against the Canadiens in their careers. Ryan Miller is 25-10-6 against Montreal, with a .923 save percentage and a 2.33 goals against average. The 25 wins are topped only by his 30 wins against Toronto. Jhonas Enroth is 3-0-0 in five appearances against the Canadiens, with almost identical numbers: a .922 save percentage and a 2.34goals against average.

MORE TIME FOR LEINO
Ville Leino
has ranked sixth among Sabres forwards with an average TOI of 15:57 in the five games since Ted Nolan took over as interim head coach, tallying two assists and six shots on goal. In his eight games played prior to Nolan’s arrival, Leino averaged 12:02 TOI per game with one assist and one shot. Leino’s Corsi for percentage* (CF%) has also improved from 38.8% in his first eight games of the season to 43.6% in his last five.

*Corsi for percentage: The percentage of all shot attempts (shots on goal/missed shots/blocked shots) which are taken by the player’s team with that player on the ice in 5-on-5 situations. (Data via ExtraSkater.com)

TRENDING UPWARD
The Sabres have improved their team CF% from 35.6% before Ted Nolan took over to 45.4% under his guidance. The 9.8% improvement in CF% is larger than the difference between the fourth and 28th ranked teams in the NHL entering play Monday (9.4%).

CENTERS OF ATTENTION
In five games under interim head coach Ted Nolan, Ville Leino has gone 27-for -53 on faceoffs after taking only one faceoff in his first eight games played. His faceoff percentage of 50.0% on the season trails only Mikhail Grigorenko (51.1%) among Sabres with at least 50 faceoffs taken.

Cody Hodgson has also thrived at the faceoff dot under Nolan, going 56-for-108 (51.9%) and taking 34.5% of the team’s draws in those five games. Hodgson had taken only 27.0% of the team’s faceoffs in the 20 games prior to Nolan’s arrival, with a faceoff percentage of 42.3%.

GOLD AND BLUE
Tonight’s game marks the second of 10 home games in which the Sabres will wear their new alternate jersey. The jersey was designed by the Sabres’ creative team in collaboration with Reebok. Challenged by Sabres ownership to use gold as the primary jersey color for the first time in team history, the design team looked at jerseys and uniforms from across the full spectrum of professional sports for inspiration. The result was a two-tone jersey with gold as the primary color on the front and navy blue on the back. This design concept is believed to be a first for the NHL.

A newly designed Buffalo Sabres wordmark appears on the players’ pant leg as well as just below the neckline on the main jersey, right above the Sabres’ traditional crest on the front of the jersey. Additionally, a unique font and number art were designed by Reebok and were inspired by the tips of actual sabers. The all-new font is used for the jersey numbers as well as players’ names. Captain and alternate captain insignia incorporate crossed sabers as design elements and the patches have been moved from the traditional spot on the chest to the shoulder of the jersey.

MEET THE NEW BOSS
After being named interim head coach of the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 13, Ted Nolan began the 20th head coaching tenure in Sabres history. He joins Scotty Bowman as the second head coach to reprise his role with the Sabres in the franchise’s 43-year history after logging a 73-72-19 record in 1995-96 and 1997-98 with the Sabres. For a complete Ted Nolan bio, visit http://www.sabresdigitalpressbox.com/tednolan.

CHANGING OF THE GUARD
Pat LaFontaine
was appointed president of hockey operations for the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 13. In this role, he will work with Sabres assistant general manager Kevin Devine on day-to-day hockey operations while also conducting the search for the Sabres’ next general manager.

As a player, LaFontaine enjoyed an illustrious 15-year NHL career, including six seasons with the Sabres, before retiring from the league in 1998 as the second highest-scoring American-born player in NHL history with 468 goals and 1,013 points in 865 games. Today, he ranks sixth among all Americans in goals and ninth in points, and his 1.17 points-per-game average ranks 11th among the 79 1,000-point scorers in NHL history. For a complete Pat LaFontaine bio, visit http://www.sabresdigitalpressbox.com/patlafontaine.

STAYING CLEAN
Brian Flynn
has played 50 regular-season NHL games without taking a penalty, giving him the most games played of any Sabres player in franchise history with zero penalty minutes (next highest: Ron Schock, 40 GP). Only two other players in Sabres history have played at least 50 games with the team and recorded fewer than 10 penalty minutes: Larry Keenan (65 GP, 8 PIM) and Donnie Marshall (62 GP, 8 PIM).

BUF-MTL CONNECTIONS
MTL RW Daniel Briere played with the Sabres for four seasons (2002-03 – 2006-07). Briere was the team’s top point scorer in 2003-04 (65) and 2006-07 (95). He tied Jochen Hecht for most assists (37) in 2003-04 and led the team in assists (63) in 2006-07. During his four seasons with Buffalo, Briere played in 225 games, amassing 230 points (92+138).

BUF AC Teppo Numminen was teammates with Briere for six seasons on the Phoenix Coyotes from 1997-2003 before being dealt to the Sabres during the 2002-03 season.

BUF LW Ville Leino played with Briere for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2009-2011.

BUF G Ryan Miller and MTL RW Brian Gionta were both members of Team USA at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino.

Gionta is a native of Rochester, NY.

BUF C Cody Hodgson, BUF D Tyler Myers, BUF C Tyler Ennis and MTL D P.K. Subban all represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Hodgson and Subban were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

Ennis, BUF LW John Scott and MTL RW Brendan Gallagher were all born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Scott and Prust both played for the New York Rangers in 2011-12.

BUF AC Joe Sacco coached MTL G Peter Budaj for the Colorado Avalanche for two seasons from 2009-2011.

BUF C Cody McCormick was also teammates with Budaj for the Avalanche from 2005-2009.

McCormick and MTL RW George Parros also played together briefly with Colorado during the 2006-07 season.

McCormick and MTL LW Brandon Prust were both born in London, Ontario.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff was teammates with three current Montreal players as a member of the San Jose Sharks: Douglas Murray (2005-2009), LW Travis Moen (2008-09) and D Josh Gorges (2005-2007).

BUF D Henrik Tallinder and Murray both represented Sweden at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

BUF D Jamie McBain and MTL D Davis Drewiske played together at the University of Wisconsin from 2006-2008.

BUF LW Matt Moulson played with Drewiske for the Los Angeles Kings and Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2007-2009.

BUF C Mikhail Grigorenko (12th overall), BUF C Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and MTL C Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall) were all first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF RW Drew Stafford and Galchenyuk were both born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

BUF C Steve Ott and MTL C Tomas Plekanec were teammates with the Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) during the 2004-05 season.

BUF D Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) was selected one pick after MTL D Jared Tinordi (22nd overall) in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft

BUF D Alexander Sulzer played with MTL D Francis Bouillon for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2011.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Ott (86), Foligno (65), Myers (48)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (41), Pysyk (33), Myers (30)
Shots: Stafford (65), Hodgson (58), Moulson (51)

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: 3-7-0 (6), 23/35, 5/24, 29/37
21-30: 1-4-0 (2), 8/16, 3/15, 13/18

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

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (3-0; 53-41 all-time)
October 17 at NY Islanders: W, 4-3 (GDG-Ennis)
November 5 at San Jose: W, 5-4 (GDG-Hodgson)
November 12 vs. Los Angeles: W, 3-2 (GDG-Moulson)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

John Scott … 8 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Steve Ott … 3 goals … 100 career goals
Points
Cody Hodgson … 6 points … 100 career points

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