Game Preview: 1/4/14 vs. New Jersey Devils

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, January 2
Buffalo 1 at Minnesota 4
Goals: Myers
Goalie: Miller (28 saves/31 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/4; PK: 4/4; Shots: Minnesota 31 – Buffalo 20

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 114)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (upper body, Dec. 17; injured reserve) – 8 games
Cody Hodgson (upper body, Dec. 21; injured reserve) – 6 games
Kevin Porter (lower body, Dec. 23; injured reserve) – 6 games
Henrik Tallinder (upper body, Dec. 31) – 2 games
Ville Leino (lower body, Jan. 2) – 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
1/3: Claimed F Zenon Konopka off waivers from the Minnesota Wild; Placed D Henrik Tallinder 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
DEVILS at SABRES

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Devils this season.
  • Last meeting: New Jersey defeated Buffalo, 1-0 (OT), in New Jersey on Nov. 30
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 1 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Devils; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 141st game all-time between Buffalo and New Jersey; Buffalo has a 71-45-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 38-22-10 at home against the Devils all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 5-7-3 all-time on January 4.
  • January 4, 1976: The Sabres defeat the Soviet Wings, 12-6, in an international exhibition game at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, handing the Soviets the worst loss ever by a USSR squad in international play. The Sabres were one of only two teams from the NHL to defeat the Wings on their tour.
  • January 4, 1984: Real Cloutier scores his second hat trick in six days and Gilbert Perreault registers five assists as the Sabres roll to a 9-4 win at Winnipeg.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Drew Stafford left Thursday’s game in the first period with an upper-body injury and will not play tonight.
  • Zenon Konopka (pronounced ZEH-nohn kuh-NOHP-kah), claimed off waivers by the Sabres yesterday, has a career faceoff win percentage of 59.6%. According to Elias Sports Bureau, he leads all active NHL players with at least 2,000 career faceoffs, with the next closest (Jonathan Toews) trailing by 2.7%.
  • The Sabres are looking for a third consecutive home win against the Devils for the first time since they won four straight home games against New Jersey from Feb. 21, 2000 to Jan. 12, 2002.
  • The last four games between these teams have been settled after regulation, with the teams splitting three shootouts and one overtime decision.
  • Matt Moulson leads all Sabres with 11 points (6+5) in 26 career games against the Devils.
  • Ryan Miller is 11-11-5 all-time against New Jersey with a 2.20 goals against average and a .926 save percentage.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • Entering tonight, the Sabres have won four consecutive home games for the first time since they won five in a row from Feb. 19 to March 12, 2012.
  • The Sabres are 5-0-1 in their last five home games, getting points in six straight for the first time since they went 7-0-2 at home from Feb. 17 to March 24, 2012.

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 4-1-1 record in his last five starts.
  • In his last 10 games, Miller is 6-3-1 with a .942 save percentage and a 1.95 goals against average.

TRENDING UPWARD

  • In the 21 games since Ted Nolan was hired, the Sabres have taken 46.3% of all shots in their games (a minus-4.4 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 (52.2%), Leino (51.1%), D’Agostini (50.7%)
  • The team has improved its team 5-on-5 Corsi for Percentage* from 35.6% before Ted Nolan’s hiring to 46.8% in the 21 games under his guidance. The 11.2% improvement is a significant mark, larger than the amount (11.1%) 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-NJD CONNECTIONS
NJD RW Steve Bernier played 17 games for the Sabres during the 2007-08 season. The Sabres acquired Bernier and a 2008 first-round draft pick from the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Brian Campbell and a 2008 seventh-round draft pick on November 26, 2008. He totaled nine points (3+6) during his time in Buffalo.

NJD RW Dainius Zubrus played with the Sabres in 2006-07. He appeared in 19 games and notched eight points (4+4).

BUF D Henrik Tallinder spent three seasons with the Devils from 2010-2013. In 146 total games, he recorded 26 points (6+20).

BUF LW Marcus Foligno is the son of NJD AC Mike Foligno. The elder Foligno was also a member of the Sabres for the better part of 10 seasons from 1981-1991. During his career in Buffalo, he appeared in 664 games and registered 511 points (247+264). Foligno enjoyed the best season of his NHL career in 1985-86, when he set career-best marks in goals (41), assists (39) and points (80) as a member of the Sabres.

BUF RW Matt D’Agostini played 13 games for the Devils during the 2012-13 season, tallying four points (2+2).

D’Agostini also played for NJD AC Dave Barr for Guelph (OHL) from 2004-2006 when Barr served as HC of the Storm.

D’Agostini was teammates with NJD RW Michael Ryder for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2007-08 season.

D’Agostini and NJD RW Cam Janssen played together for the St. Louis Blues for two seasons (2009-2011).

NJD C Stephen Gionta was born in Rochester, NY.

BUF C Steve Ott played with Ryder for the Dallas Stars during the 2011-12 season.

Ott (25th overall) and NJD D Anton Volchenkov (21st overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF D Jamie McBain and Volchenkov share the same birthday. McBain was born on February 21, 1988, while Volchenkov was born six years earlier on February 21, 1982.

BUF LW Matt Moulson and NJD D Peter Harrold were teammates with the Los Angeles Kings and Manchester Monarchs (AHL) from 2007-2009.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff and Bernier played together from 2005-2008 as members of the San Jose Sharks and then once again for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2009-10 season. NJD G Cory Schneider also spent time with the Canucks in 2009-10.

Ehrhoff and BUF D Alexander Sulzer were teammates with Schneider in Vancouver during the 2010-11 season.

Sulzer also played with Bernier and NJD LW Ryan Carter under current NJD HC Peter DeBoer for the Florida Panthers during the 2010-11 season.

Ehrhoff and NJD LW Ryane Clowe played together for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2009.

BUF AC Joe Sacco and Zubrus both played for the Washington Capitals from 2000-2002. NJD RW Jaromir Jagr was also a member of the Capitals during the 2001-02 season.

Tallinder, BUF G Jhonas Enroth and NJD C Jacob Josefson were all born in Stockholm, Sweden.

BUF RW Drew Stafford and Harrold both represented the United States at the 2009 World Hockey Championship.

Stafford (13th overall), Schneider (26th overall) and NJD C Travis Zajac (20th overall) were all chosen in the first round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

Stafford and Schneider also both represented the United States at the 2005 World Junior Championship.

Stafford and Zajac played together at the University of North Dakota for two seasons from 2004-2006.

 McBain and Carter were teammates with the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2010-11 season.

Scott and NJD D Marek Zidlicky both played for the Minnesota Wild from 2008-2010.

BUF LW Linus Omark played with NJD RW Damien Brunner for Zug (Swiss-A) briefly during the 2012-13 season.

BUF C Kevin Porter was teammates with Schneider for the United States National Team Development Program during the 2003-04 season.

BUF LW Johan Larsson and NJD D Adam Larsson were teammates for Team Sweden at the 2011 World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Stafford/Moulson (97), Ennis (88), Ehrhoff (83)
Hits: Ott (130), Foligno (95), Weber (84)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (60), Myers (57), Weber (55)

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
41-50: 0-1-0 (0), 1/4, 0/4, 4/4

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 … 2 games … 100 career games played
Tyler Myers … 3 games … 300 career games played
Matt D’Agostini … 10 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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