Game Preview: 3/15/14 at NY Islanders

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 13
Buffalo 2 at Carolina 4
Goals: Ennis, Stafford
Goalie: Neuvirth (51 saves/54 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/2; PK: 4/5; Shots: Carolina 55 – Buffalo 23

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 187)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed, March 7) – 4 games
Chris Stewart (lower body, March 7) – 4 games
Torrey Mitchell (lower body, March 7) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/13:
Assigned D Chad Ruhwedel to Rochester (AHL); Recalled D Chad Ruhwedel from Rochester
3/15: Recalled D Rasmus Ristolainen from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, March 16:
Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 18: Buffalo at Calgary, 9 p.m.
Thursday, March 20: Buffalo at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 23: Buffalo at Vancouver, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, March 25: Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at ISLANDERS

  • This is the second of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Next meeting: Sunday, April 13 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated New York, 4-3 (SO), in New York on Oct. 15
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 5-4-1 on the road.
  • This is the 155th game all-time between Buffalo and NY Islanders; Buffalo has a 76-56-22 series record.
  • The Sabres are 34-32-11 on the road against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-8-4 all-time on March 15.
  • March 15, 1997: The Sabres get goals from six different players (including two from Brian Holzinger) to pick up the 1,000th victory in franchise history, a 7-5 win at Philadelphia.
  • March 15, 1999: Miroslav Satan scores twice and Dwayne Roloson turns aside 23 shots as the Sabres defeat the Islanders, 2-1, at home.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Alexander Sulzer returned from injury Thursday at Carolina, only to sustain another injury on his second shift. As a result, Chad Ruhwedel, who was assigned to Rochester before Thursday’s game, was recalled after the game.
  • Cody Hodgson has five points (1+4) in five career games against the Islanders.
  • Jamie McBain has an assist in each of his last two games against the Islanders.
  • Tyler Ennis has 12 points (5+7) in his last 13 games and 20 points (9+11) in his last 23 games.
  • With 51 saves on Thursday at Carolina, Michal Neuvirth became the first Sabres goaltender to stop at least 50 shots since Dominik Hasek stopped 55 on March 1, 1996 at NYR.

INVADING THE COLISEUM
With a win tonight, the Sabres would have four consecutive road wins against the Islanders for just the second time in franchise history. The first was a four-game span from Dec. 30, 2000 to March 7, 2002, during which the Sabres outscored the Islanders, 13-3.

HE’S ON FIRE

  • Drew Stafford enters tonight’s game on his second three-game goal scoring streak of the season (last: Feb. 3 to Feb. 6) and the sixth of his career. Stafford has never scored in four consecutive games.
  • Stafford has 15 points (9+6) in his last 16 games; he hasn’t played three games without recording a point since Dec. 31 to Jan. 15.

A NEW LOOK

  • Only 10 Sabres players dressed for both the first game of the season and Thursday’s game at Carolina:
    • Ehrhoff, Ennis, Enroth, Flynn, Hodgson, Leino, Myers, Stafford, Tallinder, Weber
  • 41 different players have played at least one game for the Sabres this year.
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, this is the highest total since they tied the franchise record with 43 players in the 1991-92 season:
    • 1991-92: 43 players, 1986-87: 43 players, 1988-89: 42 players, 2013-14: 41 players

HAPPY DREW YEAR
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 .656 (187 points in 285 games), putting him on a 54-point pace. He has 15 points (9+6) in 18 games so far in 2014 (.833 PTS/GP).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s 11th of 13 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Sabres are 4-6-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-6-3 in the second game this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets this season is: four points (0), three points (1), two points (4), one point (2) and zero points (3).

TRADE DEADLINE RECAP
A list of players and picks traded to and from the Sabres on March 5, sorted by position:

Acquired:F Torrey MitchellF Nicolas Deslauriers

F Hudson Fasching

D Rostislav Klesla

G Michal Neuvirth

WPG 2nd Rd. Pick, 2014

MIN 2nd Rd. Pick, 2016

Dealt:F Matt MoulsonF 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

CHANGING OF THE GUARD
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.

BUF-NYI CONNECTIONS
BUF interim HC Ted Nolan coached the Islanders for two seasons from 2006-08.  He compiled an overall record of 75-68-21, also leading the club to a postseason berth in 2006-07.

BUF C Zenon Konopka appeared in all 82 games for the Islanders during the 2010-11 season, tallying nine points (2+7).

NYI LW Eric Boulton played for the Sabres for four seasons (2000-01 – 2003-04). Boulton appeared in172 games, scoring 17 points (5+12).

Boulton and BUF D Henrik Tallinder were teammates for the New Jersey Devils during the 2011-12 season.

BUF D Tyler Myers, BUF C Cody Hodgson, BUF LW Tyler Ennis and NYI C Josh Bailey were all first-round draft selections in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. Bailey was the ninth pick, Hodgson, selected by Vancouver, was the 10th pick, Myers was picked 12th and Ennis was the 26th selection.

Bailey and BUF D Mike Weber both played for the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) in 2006-07.

BUF G Michal Neuvirth and Bailey both played for the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) during the 2007-08 season.

BUF LW Marcus Foligno and NYI C Casey Cizikas were both drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. Cizikas was the 92nd overall pick, while Foligno was picked 104th overall.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff and NYI RW Michael Grabner were both on the 2009-10 Vancouver Canucks.

Ehrhoff also played with NYI G Evgeni Nabokov from 2003-2009 on the San Jose Sharks.

BUF C Torrey Mitchell and Nabokov both played for the San Jose Sharks from 2007-2010.

Ehrhoff played with NYI D Matt Carkner from 2003-2005 with the Cleveland Barons (AHL).

Myers, Ennis, Hodgson, NYI C John Tavares and NYI D Thomas Hickey all played for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Neuvirth was teammates with Tavares for the Oshawa Generals (OHL) during the 2007-08 season.

NYI RW Cal Clutterbuck and BUF LW John Scott were teammates with the Minnesota Wild for two seasons (2008-2010).

Mitchell, Konopka and Clutterbuck all played for the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season.

BUF LW Marcus Foligno played with NYI D Calvin de Haan for Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cizikas and Hodgson were both born in Toronto.

Konopka was teammates with NYI D Matt Carkner for the Ottawa Senators during the 2011-12 season.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Ennis (160), Stafford (148), Ehrhoff (139)
Hits: Foligno (177), Weber (165), Girgensons (135)
Blocked Shots: Weber (117), Ehrhoff (91), Myers (81)

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: 1-5-0 (2), 9/17, 1/16, 23/28

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

Cody Hodgson … 5 games … 200 career games played
Brian Flynn … 10 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Tyler Myers … 4 assists … 100 career assists
Tyler Ennis … 7 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Drew Stafford … 8 points … 300 career points
Torrey Mitchell … 10 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Drew Stafford … 500th NHL game … March 11 vs. NSH
Matt Ellis … 300th NHL game … March 11 vs. NSH

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