Game Preview: 12/29/13 vs. Washington Capitals

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, December 27
Buffalo 3 at Toronto 4 (SO)
Goals: Moulson, Scott, Ott
Goalie: Miller (39 saves/42 shots)
PP: 1/1; PK: 2/3; Shots: Toronto 42 – Buffalo 35

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 102)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (upper body, Dec. 17; injured reserve) – 5 games
Cody Hodgson (upper body, Dec. 21) – 3 games
Kevin Porter (lower body, Dec. 23; injured reserve) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/23:
Recalled D Mark Pysyk and F Johan Larsson from Rochester (AHL); Assigned D Chad Ruhwedel to Rochester; Placed F Kevin Porter on IR
12/24: Assigned F Johan Larsson to Rochester

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Dec. 31:
Buffalo at Winnipeg, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 2: Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 4: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 7: Carolina at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 9: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo, 4-3 (SO), in Buffalo on March 30
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 144th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo leads the series with a 83-43-17 record.
  • The Sabres are 44-20-7 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-9-4 all-time on December 29.
  • December 29, 1984: Real Cloutier scores three times in a span of 5:21 in the second period to kick-start the Sabres’ offense in an 8-5 win vs. Quebec.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres will attempt to snap a three-game losing streak against the Capitals. They’ve never lost four in a row to Washington.
  • Washington is looking for their second consecutive win in Buffalo tonight, a feat they haven’t accomplished since March 26 and April 12, 2002.
  • Drew Stafford leads all Sabres with 13 points (9+4) in 21 career games against the Capitals.
  • Tyler Ennis has at least a point in each of his last four games against Washington (1+6).
  • Marcus Foligno has a point in each of his last three games against the Capitals (1+2).

HOME SWEET HOME

  • Entering tonight, the Sabres have won three consecutive home games for the first time since they won five in a row from Feb. 19 to March 12, 2012.
  • The Sabres are 4-0-1 in their last five home games, getting points in five straight for the first time since they went 3-0-2 in five straight home games from March 2 to March 30, 2013.
  • Buffalo last earned points in six or more consecutive home games when they went 7-0-2 from Feb. 17 to March 24, 2012.

TRENDING UPWARD

  • In the 18 games since Ted Nolan was hired, the team has taken 47.7% of all shots in their games (a minus-2.8 differential per game), up from 40.2% (a minus-12 differential per game) in the 20 games before his hiring.
  • Four Sabres have a positive on-ice shot differential with the team this season: Ennis (54.2%), Moulson (52.7%), D’Agostini (52.5%), Leino (51.5%)
  • The team has improved its team 5-on-5 Corsi for Percentage* from 35.6% before Ted Nolan’s hiring to 47.1% in the 18 games under his guidance. The 11.5% improvement is a significant mark, larger than the amount (11.2%) that currently separates the third- and 30th-ranked teams in the NHL.

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

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-WSH CONNECTIONS
BUF G Jhonas Enroth played with WSH C Nicklas Backstrom on the 2006-07 Swedish World Junior Championship team.

Enroth, Backstrom and BUF LW Johan Larsson played together for Sweden at the 2012 World Hockey Championship.

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

Tallinder and WSH D John Carlson share the same birthday. Tallinder was born January 10, 1979, while Carlson was born on January 10, 1990.

Tallinder played with WSH D Alexander Urbom for the New Jersey Devils for parts of three seasons from 2010-2013. Both players, along with Enroth, were born in Stockholm, Sweden.

BUF LW John Scott was a teammate of WSH RW Troy Brouwer when the two played for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010-11.

Scott and WSH RW Joel Ward played together for the Houston Aeros (AHL) from 2006-2008.

BUF LW Matt Moulson and Ward were both born in North York, Ontario.

Moulson and WSH D Jack Hillen were teammates with the New York Islanders for two seasons (2009-2011).

BUF D Tyler Myers, BUF LW Tyler Ennis, BUF C Cody Hodgson and WSH D John Carlson were all first-round draft picks in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Myers was picked 12th overall, Ennis was the 26th overall selection, Hodgson was the 10th overall selection and Carlson was picked with the 27th overall selection.

Ennis, Scott and WSH LW Jason Chimera were all born in Edmonton.

Hodgson and WSH LW Aaron Volpatti played together for the Vancouver Canucks from 2010-2012. BUF D Christian Ehrhoff was also a member of the club during the 2010-11 season.

Hodgson and WSH RW Tom Wilson were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

BUF C Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Wilson (16th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF C Steve Ott and WSH D John Erskine were teammates for four seasons (2002-03–2005-06) when they both played for the Dallas Stars. BUF AC Teppo Numminen was also on the Stars for the 2003-04 season.

Ennis, BUF LW Ville Leino and C Marcus Johansson were all born on Oct. 6. Leino, born in 1983, is six years older than Ennis, who was born in 1989. Johansson, born in 1990, is the youngest of the three.

BUF G Jhonas Enroth, BUF D Mike Weber, BUF D Jamie McBain and WSH G Michal Neuvirth were all drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Neuvirth was selected 34th overall, Enroth was drafted with the 46th overall pick, Weber was picked 57th overall and McBain went 63rd overall.

Weber and Neuvirth both played for the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) during the 2006-07 season.

BUF RW Drew Stafford (13th overall), WSH LW Alexander Ovechkin (1st overall) and WSH D Mike Green (29th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF RW Matt D’Agostini played with WSH C Mikhail Grabovski for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2007-08 season and also for the Hamilton Bulldogs from 2006-2008.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Stafford/Moulson (89), Ennis (81), Hodgson (80)
Hits: Ott (122), Foligno (91), Girgensons (76)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (59), Myers (55), Weber (50)

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: 2-7-1 (5), 15/28, 4/26, 20/28
31-40: 4-2-2 (10), 18/18, 3/32, 22/24

OVERTIME RESULTS (2-3; 96-96 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)
December 14 vs. Calgary: L, 2-1 (GWG-Stajan, 0:42)
December 23 vs. Phoenix: W, 2-1 (GWG-Pysyk, 3:47)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (4-1; 54-42 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)
December 10 vs. Ottawa: W, 2-1 (GDG-Girgensons)

December 27 at Toronto: L, 4-3 (GDG-Lupul)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Mike Weber … 2 games … 200 career games played
Marcus Foligno … 5 games … 100 career games played
Tyler Myers … 6 games … 300 career games played
Goals
Steve Ott … 1 goal … 100 career goals
Assists
Tyler Myers … 8 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Matt D’Agostini … 3 points … 100 career points
Cody Hodgson … 4 points … 100 career points
Christian Ehrhoff … 7 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Games Played

John Scott … 200th career game … Dec. 27 at TOR

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