Game Preview: 3/9/14 vs. Chicago Blackhawks


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Friday, March 7
Buffalo 0 at Florida 2
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Neuvirth (42 saves/44 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 6/8; Shots: Florida 44 – Buffalo 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 176)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed, March 7) – 1 game
Chris Stewart (lower body, March 7) – 1 game
Torrey Mitchell (lower body, March 7) – 1 game

Claimed F Cory Conacher off waivers from Ottawa
3/5: Acquired F Nicolas Deslauriers and F Hudson Fasching from Los Angeles in exchange for D Brayden McNabb, F Jonathan Parker, a second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
3/5: Acquired G Michal Neuvirth and D Rostislav Klesla from Washington in exchange for G Jaroslav Halak and a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
3/5: Acquired F Torrey Mitchell, a second-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and a second-round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft from Minnesota in exchange for F Matt Moulson and F Cody McCormick.
3/7: Recalled F Luke Adam and F Nicolas Deslauriers from Rochester (AHL)
3/8: Assigned F Luke Adam to Rochester (AHL); Recalled D Chad Ruhwedel from Rochester

Tuesday, March 11:
Nashville at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, March 13: Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 15: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 16: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 18: Buffalo at Calgary, 9 p.m.


  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Last meeting: Chicago defeated Buffalo, 2-1, in Chicago on Oct. 12
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 6-3-1 at home.
  • This is the 113th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-46-13 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-15-7 at home against the Blackhawks all-time.


  • The Sabres are 8-5-2 all-time on March 9.
  • March 9, 1973: Tim Horton scores his first goal as a member of the Sabres in a 5-2 loss at Vancouver.
  • March 9, 1980: Mike Ramsey makes his NHL debut, Rick Martin scores four goals and Gilbert Perreault notches five assists in a 9-4 win over St. Louis.
  • March 9, 1986: Gilbert Perreault scores a franchise-record five goals and adds one assist in an 8-6 win at Boston.
  • March 9, 2006: Derek Roy scores his second career hat trick six days after scoring his first in an 8-5 win vs. Tampa Bay.


  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Blackhawks since Dec. 11, 2009. They are looking to avoid their first five-game losing streak against Chicago since the first five meetings between the clubs from Oct. 25, 1970 to Feb. 17, 1971.
  • Cody Hodgson has recorded five points (1+4) in five career games against Chicago.
  • Drew Stafford has four points (3+1) in his last four games against the Blackhawks.
  • Tyler Ennis has nine points (4+5) in his last 10 games and 17 points (8+9) in his last 20 games.
  • Cory Conacher, claimed off waivers by the Sabres on March 5, is expected to make his Sabres debut tonight. Conacher played college hockey in Buffalo at Canisius College, where he set program records with 62 career goals and 147 points.


  • Alexander Sulzer left Friday night’s game with a lower-body injury and is expected to miss one to two weeks.
  • Goaltender Michal Neuvirth made his Sabres debut, stopping 42 shots, one shy of his career high of 43 saves in a game, set on Feb. 5, 2010 vs. ATL as a member of the Washington Capitals.
  • Nicolas Deslauriers, acquired from Los Angeles at the trade deadline, made his NHL debut on Friday, registering four shots and four hits in 15:08 of ice time.

A list of players and picks traded to and from the Sabres yesterday, sorted by position:

Acquired:F Torrey Mitchell

F Nicolas Deslauriers

F Hudson Fasching

D Rostislav Klesla

G Michal Neuvirth

WPG 2nd Rd. Pick, 2014

MIN 2nd Rd. Pick, 2016

Dealt:F Matt Moulson

F Cody McCormick

F Jonathan Parker

D Brayden McNabb

G Jaroslav Halak

LAK 2nd Rd. Pick, 2014

LAK 2nd Rd. Pick, 2015

BUF 3rd Rd. Pick, 2015

Drew Stafford’s
career point rate from October through December is .486 (105 points in 216 games), putting him on a 40-point pace for an 82-game season. His rate from January through April is .652 (184 points in 282 games), putting him on a 54-point pace. He has 12 points (6+6) in 15 games so far in 2014 (.800 PTS/GP).

On Jan. 9, the Sabres hired Tim Murray to serve as the seventh general manager in franchise history. Murray, a 20-year veteran of NHL front offices, comes to the Sabres after most recently serving as the assistant general manager for the Ottawa Senators, a post he held for seven years. Part of his duties as assistant general manager included serving as general manager of Ottawa’s American Hockey League affiliate, the 2011 Calder-Cup champion Binghamton Senators.

The Sabres also hired Craig Patrick as a special assistant and advisor to the hockey department. Patrick, whose career as a hockey executive spans more than three decades, comes to the Sabres after having served as a senior advisor in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ front office since December 2011.

CHI RW Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

CHI RW Marian Hossa played with BUF LW Ville Leino for the 2008-09 season on the Detroit Red Wings.

Leino was also teammates with FLA RW Kris Versteeg with the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2010-11 season.

Kane and BUF D Jamie McBain both represented the United States at the 2007 World Junior Championship, while also skating together as members of the US National Team Development Program (USNTDP) from 2004-2006.

Kane was teammates with BUF RW Drew Stafford for Team USA at the 2008 World Hockey Championship.

Stafford and CHI C Jonathan Toews were both on the 2005-06 North Dakota Fighting Sioux squad that advanced to the 2006 Frozen Four.

McBain and Toews both played for Shattuck-St. Mary’s during the 2003-04 season.

BUF LW John Scott spent two seasons (2010-2012) as member of the Blackhawks.

CHI C Michal Handzus was teammates with BUF AC Teppo Numminen for two seasons with the Phoenix Coyotes (2000-2002). Handzus also played alongside BUF AC Joe Sacco for the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2002-03 season.

BUF C Torrey Mitchell and Handzus both played for the San Jose Sharks during the 2011-12 season.

Numminen and CHI G Nikolai Khabibulin were teammates with the Phoenix Coyotes organization for five seasons from 1994-1999

CHI C Marcus Kruger, CHI D Niklas Hjalmarsson and BUF G Jhonas Enroth all represented Sweden at the 2012 World Hockey Championship.

Kruger, Enroth, CHI D Johnny Oduya and BUF D Henrik Tallinder were all born in Stockholm, Sweden.

Tallinder, Enroth, Oduya, Hjalmarsson and Kruger all played together for Team Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Oduya and Tallinder also both played for Sweden at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

BUF D Mike Weber and CHI LW Brandon Saad both hail from Pittsburgh, Penn.

BUF C Zenon Konopka was teammates with CHI C Peter Regin for the Ottawa Senators during the 2011-12 season.

BUF LW Cory Conacher played alongside Regin for the Ottawa Senators for part of the 2012-13 season.

Ennis (151), Stafford (141), Ehrhoff (130)
Hits: Foligno (164), Weber (161), Girgensons (135)
Blocked Shots: Weber (107), Ehrhoff (89), Myers (77)

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: 3-4-3 (9), 26/31, 7/36, 28/32
51-60: 4-5-1 (9), 25/36, 7/36, 28/36
61-70: 1-2-0 (2), 5/7, 0/5, 14/17

OVERTIME RESULTS (3-4; 97-97 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)
January 28 vs. Washington: L, 5-4 (GWG-Green, 1:00)
February 26 vs. Boston: W, 5-4 (GWG-D’Agostini, 0:22)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (6-4; 56-45 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)
January 9 vs. Florida: L, 2-1 (GDG-Boyes)
January 12 at Washington: W, 2-1 (GDG-Hodgson)
January 15 at Toronto: L, 4-3 (GDG-Lupul)
January 18 vs. Columbus: L, 4-3 (GDG-Johansen)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Drew Stafford … 2 games … 500 career games played
Matt Ellis … 2 games … 300 career games played
Tyler Myers … 4 assists … 100 career assists
Tyler Ennis … 9 assists … 100 career assists
Torrey Mitchell … 10 points … 100 career points


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