Game Preview: 12/5/13 vs. New York Rangers

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, November 30
Buffalo 0 at New Jersey 1 (OT)
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Enroth (23 saves/24 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: New Jersey 24 – Buffalo 15

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 81)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (upper body, Nov. 24; injured reserve) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/4:
Assigned D Brayden McNabb to Rochester (AHL)
12/5: Recalled D Brayden McNabb from Rochester (AHL); Activated F Cody McCormick from IR; Placed D Alexander Sulzer on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec. 7:
Buffalo at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 10: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 12: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 14: Calgary at Buffalo, 2 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 17: Winnipeg at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
RANGERS at SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Rangers this season.
  • Last meeting: New York defeated Buffalo, 2-0, in New York on Oct. 31
  • Next meeting: Thursday, April 10 in New York
  • The Sabres are 4-3-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Rangers; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 167th game all-time between Buffalo and New York; Buffalo has a 78-55-33 series record.
  • The Sabres are 47-24-13 at home against the Rangers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-5-2 all-time on December 5.
  • December 5, 1971: Craig Ramsay records the first natural hat trick in Sabres history, leading the team to a 3-1 win at home against the Minnesota North Stars.
  • December 5, 2009: In their last game on this date, the Sabres fell, 2-1, at home to the Rangers in a goaltending duel that saw Ryan Miller (30 saves) and Henrik Lundqvist (36 saves) each record at least 30 saves.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres are coming off their longest break of the season, excluding the Olympic break.
  • The Sabres have gained points in consecutive games entering tonight’s matchup; the team will look to extend the streak to three games for the first time this season.

WHO’S HOT AGAINST THE RANGERS?

  • Drew Stafford has seven points (6+1) in his last six games against the Rangers.
  • Ryan Miller is 8-3-4 in his last 16 games against the Rangers with a .938 save percentage and a goals against average of 1.96. He allowed two or fewer goals in 13 of those 16 games.
  • Marcus Foligno has five points (2+3) in five career games against the Rangers.
  • Tyler Ennis has 11 points (3+8) in 12 career games against the Rangers, including two of his five career three-point games (4/6/10 and 3/23/12).
  • Matt Moulson leads all Sabres with 21 points (10+11) in 24 games against the Rangers.

LEINO THRIVING UNDER NOLAN
Ville Leino
has averaged 17:19 of ice time in the eight games since Ted Nolan took over as interim head coach, tallying four assists and nine 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 46.4% in his last eight.

*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 5-on-5 Corsi for Percentage from 35.6% before Ted Nolan’s hiring to 46.2% in the eight games under his guidance. The 10.6% improvement is larger than the amount (10.2%) that currently separates the third and 28th ranked teams in the NHL.

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.

BUF-NYR CONNECTIONS
BUF LW John Scott played a brief stint with the Rangers during the 2011-12 season, appearing in six games.

NYR LW Taylor Pyatt played 230 games with the Buffalo Sabres from 2001-2006, totaling 80 points (38+42). Buffalo acquired Pyatt via trade from the New York Islanders along with Tim Connolly in exchange for Michael Peca on June 24, 2001.

NYR C Dominic Moore was a member of the Sabres for part of the 2008-09 season, contributing four points (1+3) in 18 games.

BUF RW Matt D’Agostini and Moore were teammates for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

BUF LW Matt Moulson was teammates with NYR C Brian Boyle for the Los Angeles Kings for parts of the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons.

Three current Sabres have played under NYR HC Alain Vigneault: Christian Ehrhoff (2009-2011), Cody Hodgson (2010-2012) and Alexander Sulzer (2011-12).

McDonagh was teammates with BUF D Jamie McBain at the University of Wisconsin from 2007-2009. NYR C Derek Stepan was also a member of the team during the 2008-09 season.

BUF C Luke Adam (44th overall) and Stepan (51st overall) were both chosen in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.  The two were also both born on June 18, 1990.

NYR RW Ryan Callahan played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.

BUF RW Drew Stafford and Callahan both represented the United States in the 2005 World Junior Championships.

BUF G Ryan Miller and Callahan were teammates for Team USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

D’Agostini and Callahan played together for the Guelph Storm (OHL) for two seasons (2004-2006).

BUF G Jhonas Enroth and Hagelin both represented Team Sweden at the 2008 World Junior Championships.

Scott and NYR LW Benoit Pouliot were teammates on the Minnesota Wild from 2008-2010.

D’Agostini also played with Pouliot for the Montreal Canadiens and Hamilton Bulldogs (AHL) during the 2009-10 season.

BUF C Steve Ott has played alongside three current Rangers players: C Brad Richards (Dallas Stars 2007-2011), LW Rick Nash (Team Canada, 2002 World Junior Championship) and D Michael Del Zotto (Team Canada, 2010 World Hockey Championship).

BUF D Henrik Tallinder and NYR G Henrik Lundqvist both represented Sweden at the 2010 Olympics.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Ott (98), Foligno (71), Girgensons (51)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (47), Pysyk (35), Myers/Weber (33)
Shots: Stafford (68), Hodgson (65), Moulson (59)

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: 2-5-1 (5), 12/22, 4/24, 18/25

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-2; 95-95 all-time)
October 10 vs. Tampa Bay: L, 3-2 (GWG-Killorn, 1:50)
November 29 vs. Toronto: W, 3-2 (GWG-Ehrhoff, 0:38)
November 30 at New Jersey: L, 1-0 (GWG-Bernier, 4:19)

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 … 6 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Steve Ott … 3 goals … 100 career goals
Points
Matt D’Agostini … 4 points … 100 career points
Cody Hodgson … 6 points … 100 career points

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