Game Preview: 1/7/14 vs. Carolina Hurricanes

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, January 4
New Jersey 1 at Buffalo 2
Goals: Moulson, D’Agostini
Goalie: Miller (21 saves/22 shots)
PP: 2/5; PK: 3/4; Shots: Buffalo 22 – New Jersey 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 120)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Cody McCormick (upper body, Dec. 17; injured reserve) – 9 games
Cody Hodgson (upper body, Dec. 21; injured reserve) – 7 games
Kevin Porter (lower body, Dec. 23; injured reserve) – 7 games
Henrik Tallinder (upper body, Dec. 31; injured reserve) – 3 games
Ville Leino (lower body, Jan. 2) – 2 games
Drew Stafford (upper body, Jan. 4) – 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
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.
Wednesday, Jan. 15: Buffalo at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
HURRICANES at SABRES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Hurricanes this season.
  • Last meeting: Carolina defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Carolina on March 5
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Jan. 23 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Hurricanes; 5-5-0 at home.
  • This is the 187th game all-time between Buffalo and Carolina/Hartford; Buffalo has a 96-66-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 54-30-8 at home against the Hurricanes/Whalers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-5-6 all-time on January 7.
  • January 7, 1971: Phil Goyette notches five points (1+4) in a 7-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • January 7, 1989: The Sabres top the Maple Leafs, 6-1, on the road to earn the 700th win in franchise history on the strength of a three-point night by Rick Vaive (2+1) and a 21-save performance by Jacques Cloutier.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • If he is in the lineup, tonight will be Marcus Foligno’s 100th NHL game.
  • The Sabres are looking to snap a three-game losing streak against the Hurricanes. The Sabres haven’t lost four straight games to the Hurricanes/Whalers since Oct. 26, 1988 to Jan. 4, 1989.

SABRES AT THE WJC

  • Sabres 2013 first-round picks Rasmus Ristolainen and Nikita Zadorov were both named to the media All-Star Team at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship in Malmö, Sweden, joining Mike Moller (1982), Brian Campbell (1999) and Jake McCabe (2013) as the only players ever to earn this honor while property of the Sabres.
  • Ristolainen, who scored the golden goal in the gold-medal game, also received the Directorate Award as the tournament’s best defenseman, joining Maxim Afinogenov (1999) as the only other Sabres player to earn a Directorate Award.
  • Mikhail Grigorenko also found success at the tournament, leading bronze-medal winners Russia in scoring with eight points (5+3) in seven games.

FAMILIAR FACES
Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain and Hurricanes defenseman Andrej Sekera will each face the team that drafted them for the first time since the pair were exchanged in a draft-day trade that also netted the Sabres a second-round draft pick (J.T. Compher). Hurricanes forward Nathan Gerbe will also suit up against the Sabres for the first time in his career after spending his first five NHL seasons in Buffalo.

CANE KILLER
Forward Matt Moulson leads all Sabres with eight goals and 20 points in 17 career games against the Hurricanes. Entering tonight’s game, Moulson has points (6+10) in eight of his last nine games against the Hurricanes, including 14 points (5+9) in the last six.

HOME SWEET HOME

  • Entering tonight, the Sabres have won five consecutive home games for the first time since they did it from Feb. 19 to March 12, 2012.
  • The Sabres haven’t won six straight in Buffalo since Jan. 17 to Feb. 15, 2007.
  • Buffalo technically won six consecutive “home” games when they won the last five home games of the 2010-11 season and the first one in 2011-12 (held in Helsinki, Finland), but the streak officially ended at the end of the 2010-11 season.
  • The Sabres are 6-0-1 in their last seven home games, getting points in seven 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 5-1-1 record in his last seven starts.
  • In his last 11 games, Miller is 7-3-1 with a .943 save percentage and a 1.87 goals against average.

TRENDING UPWARD

  • In the 22 games since Ted Nolan was hired, the Sabres have taken 46.4% of all shots in their games (a minus-4.2 differential per game), up from 40.2% (a minus-12 differential per game) in the 20 games before his hiring.
  • Five Sabres have a positive on-ice shot differential with the team this season: Ennis (53.6%), Moulson (52.2%), Omark (51.9%), D’Agostini (51.8%), Leino (51.1%)
  • The team has improved its team 5-on-5 Corsi for Percentage* from 35.6% before Ted Nolan’s hiring to 46.5% in the 22 games under his guidance.

*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-CAR CONNECTIONS
CAR D Andrej Sekera spent seven seasons as a member of the Sabres from 2006-2013. Initially drafted by Buffalo in the third round (71st overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft, Sekera appeared in 339 career games, over which he compiled 92 points (17+75). He was dealt to the Hurricanes on June 30, 2013 in exchange for current BUF D Jamie McBain and a second-round pick (J.T. Compher) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

CAR LW Nathan Gerbe was a member of the Sabres for five seasons from 2008-2013. He was selected by Buffalo in the fifth round (142nd overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and tallied 72 points (29+43) in 188 games with the club.

McBain was drafted by the Hurricanes in the second round (63rd overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and suited up for a total of 228 games with the club from 2009-2013. During this time, he recorded 104 points (40+64).

Gerbe and McBain were teammates for the United States at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

BUF C Kevin Porter and Gerbe played together for the United States National Team Development Program during the 2003-04 season.

BUF RW Matt D’Agostini played under CAR HC Kirk Muller for the Montreal Canadiens from 2007-2010, when Muller served as an assistant coach for the club.

BUF C Steve Ott and CAR D Ron Hainsey were both taken in the first round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. Hainsey was selected 13th overall by Montreal and Ott was taken 25th overall by Dallas. The two also played together for the Hamilton Bulldogs during the 2004-05 season.

Ott and CAR D Jay Harrison were both members of Team Canada at the 2001 and 2002 World Junior Championships.

Stafford played with CAR D Mike Komisarek for the United States at the 2006 World Hockey Championship.

D’Agostini and Komisarek both played for the Montreal Canadiens from 2007-2009.

BUF AC Teppo Numminen played alongside CAR C Tuomo Ruutu and CAR D Joni Pitkanen for Team Finland in the 2006 Olympics.

BUF C Cody Hodgson and CAR C Jeff Skinner were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

BUF D Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Skinner (7th overall) were both chosen in the first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF C Mikhail Grigorenko and Skinner were both born on May 16. Skinner, born in 1992, is two years older than Grigorenko, who was born in 1994.

BUF G Jhonas Enroth and CAR D Brett Bellemore were both born on June 25, 1988.

BUF C Steve Ott, Komisarek and CAR RW Radek Dvorak both played for the Dallas Stars during the 2011-12 season.

BUF LW John Scott and CAR G Anton Khudobin were teammates for the Minnesota Wild during the 2009-10 season. The two also played together with the Houston Aeros (AHL) from 2007-2009.

BUF AC Joe Sacco coached CAR G Justin Peters for the Albany River Rats (AHL) during the 2006-07 season.

Sacco coached CAR G Cam Ward for the Lowell Lock Monsters (AHL) during the 2005-06 season.

BUF D Alexander Sulzer and Hodgson were teammates with CAR C Manny Malhotra for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011-12 season.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff also played alongside Malhotra for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2010-11 season.

Sulzer played with Dvorak for the Florida Panthers during the 2010-11 season.

BUF C Kevin Porter and CAR D John Michael Liles both played for the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2011.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Moulson (100), Stafford (97), Ennis (91)
Hits: Ott (137), Foligno (97), Weber (87)
Blocked Shots: Ehrhoff (61), Myers (59), Weber (58)

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: 1-1-0 (2), 3/5, 2/9, 7/8

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 … 1 game … 100 career games played
Tyler Myers … 2 games … 300 career games played
Matt D’Agostini … 9 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 … 2 points … 100 career points
Cody Hodgson … 4 points … 100 career points
Christian Ehrhoff … 5 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Games Played

Mike Weber … 200th career game … Dec. 31 at WPG

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