Game Preview: 1/2/14 at Minnesota Wild

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 31
Buffalo 0 at Winnipeg 3
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Enroth (23 saves/25 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/4; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 27 – Winnipeg 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 109)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (upper body, Dec. 17; injured reserve) – 7 games
Cody Hodgson (upper body, Dec. 21; injured reserve) – 5 games
Kevin Porter (lower body, Dec. 23; injured reserve) – 5 games
Henrik Tallinder (upper body, Dec. 31) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/1:
Recalled D Brayden McNabb and F Johan Larsson from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Cody Hodgson on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Sunday, Jan. 12: Buffalo at Washington, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan, 14: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at WILD

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Wild this season.
  • Last meeting: Minnesota defeated Buffalo, 2-1, in Buffalo on Oct. 14
  • The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Wild; 5-1-0 in six road games against the Wild all-time.
  • This is the 14th game all-time between Buffalo and Minnesota; Buffalo has a 7-6-0 series record.
  • The Sabres are 5-1-0 at home against the Wild all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-3-5 all-time on January 2.
  • January 2, 1999: Miroslav Satan extends his goal streak to eight games with a game-winning tally in a 7-1 win at home against Calgary.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Ville Leino left Tuesday’s game in the first period with a lower-body injury and is not expected to play tonight.
  • Buffalo’s 13 games against Minnesota is their fewest total against any NHL franchise.
  • Steve Ott leads all Sabres skaters with 15 points (7+8) in 29 career games against the Wild.
  • The Sabres have won their last three road games against the Wild and are looking to avoid their first loss at Minnesota since Dec. 13, 2003.
  • The Wild are looking to win consecutive games against the Sabres for just the second time in franchise history after sweeping the 2003-04 season series.
  • Ryan Miller is 3-1-0 in four career games against the Wild, with a .922 save percentage and a 2.10 goals against average.

MILLER’S TIME

  • Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller has been named to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team, earning his second-straight selection after backstopping the US to a silver medal at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
  • Miller has been hot lately, earning NHL second-star honors for the week ending Dec. 29, and enters tonight’s game with a 4-0-1 record in his last five starts. He last earned points in six straight when he went on an 8-0-2 run from March 7 to March 27, 2012.
  • In his last seven games, Miller is 5-1-1 with a .954 save percentage and a 1.66 goals against average.

TRENDING UPWARD

  • In the 20 games since Ted Nolan was hired, the Sabres have taken 46.6% of all shots in their games (a minus-4.1 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 (53.6%), Moulson (52.3%), D’Agostini (51.3%), Leino (51.1%)
  • The team has improved its team 5-on-5 Corsi for Percentage* from 35.6% before Ted Nolan’s hiring to 47.0% in the 20 games under his guidance. The 11.4% improvement is a significant mark, equal to the amount that currently separates them from Los Angeles, the top-ranked NHL team in 5-on5 CF%.

*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-MIN CONNECTIONS
MIN RW Jason Pominville spent the better part of nine seasons as a member of the Sabres (2003-2013), also serving as captain from 2011-2013. Over this time, he suited up for a total of 578 games with Buffalo and recorded 456 points (185+271).

BUF LW Tyler Ennis, BUF LW John Scott and MIN D Jared Spurgeon were all born in Edmonton.

Scott played with MIN LW Mike Rupp for the New York Rangers during the 2011-12 season.

MIN RW Nino Niederreiter (5th overall), MIN C Mikael Granlund (9th overall), BUF D Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and MIN C Charlie Coyle (28th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF LW Matt Moulson played with Niederreiter for the New York Islanders for parts of two seasons from 2010-12. MIN C Zenon Kenopka was also a member of the club during the 2010-11 season.

BUF AC Teppo Numminen and MIN C Mikko Koivu played together on the 2006 Finnish Olympic Team.

Pominville, MIN LW Zach Parise, MIN D Keith Ballard and BUF RW Drew Stafford all represented the United States at the 2008 World Hockey Championship. Ballard and Stafford played together in the 2009 Championship as well.

Parise and Stafford were teammates at Shattuck-St. Mary’s from 2000-2002 as well as at the University of North Dakota during the 2003-04 season. The two played alongside MIN D Ryan Suter for the United States during the 2004 World Junior Championship, while Suter and Stafford both donned the red, white and blue during the 2005 World Juniors as well as the 2006 and 2009 World Hockey Championship.

Suter, Parise and BUF G Ryan Miller were all members of the silver-medal winning United States squad at the 2010 Olympics.

BUF D Henrik Tallinder was teammates with Parise for the New Jersey Devils from 2010-2012.

Ballard was the Sabres’ first selection in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft (11th overall), but did not appear in any games as a member of the team.

Ballard played with BUF C Cody Hodgson (2010-2012) and BUF D Christian Ehrhoff (2010-11) for the Vancouver Canucks.

MIN C Torrey Mitchell and Ehrhoff were teammates with the San Jose Sharks during the 2007-08 season.

MIN AC Rick Wilson coached Numminen in 2003-04, when Numminen played for the Dallas Stars and Wilson was an assistant coach for the team.

BUF C Kevin Porter (119th overall) and Mitchell (126th overall) were both selected in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF C Zemgus Girgensons, BUF C Mikhail Grigorenko and MIN D Mathew Dumba were all first round selections in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Dumba was chosen 7th overall, Grigorenko was selected 12th overall, while Girgensons was taken 14th.

BUF D Jamie McBain was born in Edina, Minnesota.

BUF LW Linus Omark and MIN D Tom Gilbert played together for the Edmonton Oilers from 2010-2012.

BUF D Alexander Sulzer was teammates with Ballard for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011-12 season.

Sulzer played with Suter for the Nashville Predators from 2008-2011.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Stafford/Moulson (95), Ennis (86), Ehrhoff/Hodgson (80)
Hits: Ott (130), Foligno (93), Weber (80)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (60), Myers (55), Weber (54)

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: 5-3-2 (12), 20/22, 3/36, 27/29

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 (5-1; 55-42 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)
December 29 vs. Washington: W, 2-1 (GDG-Ott)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Marcus Foligno … 3 games … 100 career games played
Tyler Myers … 4 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 … 6 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Games Played

John Scott … 200th career game … Dec. 27 at TOR
Mike Weber … 200th career game … Dec. 31 at WPG

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