Game Preview: 3/23/14 at Vancouver

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 20
Buffalo 3 at Edmonton 1
Goals: Conacher (2), Stafford
Goalie: Hackett (35 saves/36 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 5/6; Shots: Edmonton 36 – Buffalo 36

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 210)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed, March 7) – 8 games
Chris Stewart (lower body, March 7) – 8 games
Alexander Sulzer (upper body, March 15) – 4 games
Tyler Myers (arm, March 15) – 4 games
Michal Neuvirth (lower body, March 16) – 3 games
Jhonas Enroth (lower body, March 18) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/17:
Recalled G Matt Hackett from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, March 25:
Buffalo at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 27: Buffalo at Nashville, 8 p.m.
Saturday, March 29: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 1: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 3: Buffalo at St. Louis, 8 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at CANUCKS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Canucks this season.
  • Last meeting: Vancouver defeated Buffalo, 3-0, in Buffalo on Oct. 17
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canucks; 4-5-1 on the road.
  • This is the 112th game all-time between Buffalo and Vancouver; Buffalo has a 46-46-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 17-27-11 on the road against the Canucks all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-4-4 all-time on March 23.
  • March 23, 1975: Rene Robert has a four-point night (2+2) as the Sabres defeat the California Golden Seals, 9-4, at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • March 23, 1983: The Sabres get two goals and two assists from Gilles Hamel in an 8-3 home win over the Hartford Whalers.
  • March 23, 1999: The Sabres acquired Rhett Warrener and a 1999 fifth-round draft choice (Ryan Miller) from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Mike Wilson.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres won their last game in Vancouver on March 3, 2012. With a win tonight, the Sabres would have consecutive wins in Vancouver for the first time since they won three in a row from Oct. 9, 1996 to March 16, 2000.
  • Tonight will be Cody Hodgson’s 200th NHL game. Hodgson will become the fifth Sabres player to reach this milestone this season, joining Kevin Porter, Tyler Ennis, John Scott and Mike Weber.
  • Brian Flynn is 30-for-49 (61.2%) on faceoffs in the last four games; Cody Hodgson is 23-for-36 (63.9%).
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (21:54) and Torrey Mitchell (18:32) each logged the highest TOI of their careers on Thursday at Edmonton.
  • Cory Conacher logged the second three-point game of his career on Thursday at Edmonton, tallying two goals for the first time since his other three-point game on Feb. 1, 2013 vs. Winnipeg.

STEPPING IN AND STEPPING UP
The Sabres have iced five different goaltenders this year (Enroth, Hackett, Lieuwen, Miller, Neuvirth), the most since 1995-96 (Biron, Blue, Hasek, Shields, Trefilov). This year’s goaltenders have combined for a .921 team save percentage. The Sabres’ team save percentage last topped the .920 mark in 2009-10, when Ryan Miller logged a .929 save percentage through 69 games.

SECOND-HALF MVPs

  • Drew Stafford has 18 points (11+7) in his last 20 games; he hasn’t played three games without recording a point since Dec. 31 to Jan. 15. In the 21 games since he returned from an upper-body injury, Stafford has averaged a TOI of 19:54 per game.
  • Tyler Ennis has 14 points (6+8) in his last 17 games and 22 points (10+12) in his last 27 games; he hasn’t played three games without recording a point since Dec. 29 to Jan. 2. In those last 27 games, Ennis has an average TOI of 19:35.

A NEW LOOK

  • Only eight Sabres players dressed for both the first game of the season and Thursday’s game at Edmonton:
    • Ehrhoff, Ennis, Flynn, Hodgson, Ristolainen, Stafford, Tallinder, Weber
  • With Matt Hackett’s Sabres debut on Thursday at Edmonton, 43 different players have played at least one game for the Sabres this season.
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, this ties the franchise record, set in the 1986-87 season and matched in 1991-92.

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 .657 (190 points in 289 games), putting him on a 54-point pace. He has 18 points (11+7) in 22 games so far in 2014 (.818 PTS/GP).

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

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-VAN CONNECTIONS
BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played in Vancouver for two seasons (2009-2011). He appeared in 159 games and recorded 94 points (28+66).

BUF C Cody Hodgson was also a member of the Canucks for two seasons (2010-2012). Hodgson, Vancouver’s first selection in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft (10th overall), tallied 35 points (17+18) over 71 games with the club.

VAN RW Zack Kassian was Buffalo’s first selection (13th overall) in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and recorded seven points (3+4) in 27 games with the Sabres during the 2011-12 season. Kassian was dealt to Vancouver on Feb. 27, 2012 in exchange for Hodgson.

BUF D Alexander Sulzer played part of the 2011-12 season for the Canucks. Appearing in a total of 12 games, Sulzer contributed one assist.

VAN HC John Tortorella served as an assistant coach for the Sabres from 1989-1995.

BUF AC Teppo Numminen played under Tortorella as a member of the Phoenix Coyotes from 1997-1999, when the latter was serving as one of the team’s assistant coaches.

Tortorella also coached BUF LW John Scott during the 2011-12 season, when Scott skated for the New York Rangers.

VAN LW David Booth, VAN C Ryan Kesler and BUF RW Drew Stafford played together for the United States at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Booth and Stafford also both suited up for the United States at the 2008 World Hockey Championship.

Stafford and Higgins were teammates at the 2009 World Hockey Championship for Team USA.

Kassian and BUF LW Marcus Foligno were teammates with the Rochester Americans (AHL) during the 2011-12 season. The two also both represented Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

BUF G Jhonas Enroth, BUF D Mike Weber, BUF D Jamie McBain, BUF G Michal Neuvirth and VAN C Shawn Matthias were all drafted in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. Neuvirth was taken by Washington with the 34th overall pick, Enroth was the 46th overall selection, Matthias was selected by Detroit with the 47th overall selection, Weber was the 57th overall selection and McBain was chosen by Carolina 63rd overall.

VAN RW Brad Richardson played for current BUF AC Joe Sacco as a member of the Lake Erie Monsters (AHL) in 2007-08, when Sacco served as the club’s head coach.

VAN C Jordan Schroeder and BUF D Jamie McBain both represented the United States at the 2008 World Junior Championship.

VAN D Andrew Alberts played alongside Stafford and McBain for Team USA at the 2006 World Championship and the 2007 World Junior Championship, respectively.

VAN C Henrik Sedin, VAN LW Daniel Sedin and BUF D Henrik Tallinder all played together for Team Sweden at the 2010 Olympics.

Tallinder, BUF G Jhonas Enroth, VAN D Alexander Edler and D. Sedin all represented Sweden at the 2014 Olympics.

Tallinder, Enroth, VAN D Alexander Edler, VAN G Jacob Markstrom and the Sedins were teammates for Sweden at the 2013 World Hockey Championship.

Tallinder and Daniel Sedin represented Sweden at the 1998 World Junior Championship.

Scott and the Sedins share a birthday on September 26. The Sedins were born in 1980, while Scott was born two years later in 1982.

BUF C Zemgus Girgensons (1994) and VAN G Eddie Lack (1988) were both born on January 5.

Hodgson and VAN D Christopher Tanev were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

BUF RW Matt D’Agostini and VAN LW Chris Higgins played together for the Montreal Canadiens from 2007-2009.

BUF G Michal Neuvirth was teammates with VAN LW Tom Sestito for the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) during the 2006-07 season.

Sulzer played with VAN LW David Booth for the Florida Panthers during the 2010-11 season.

Sulzer was teammates with VAN C Mike Santorelli for the Florida Panthers during the 2010-11 season as well as the Nashville Predators from 2008-2010.

Sulzer played alongside VAN LW Chris Higgins for the Florida Panthers during the 2010-11 season.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Ennis (172), Stafford (163), Ehrhoff/Hodgson (145)
Hits: Foligno (189), Weber (175), Girgensons (135)
Blocked Shots: Weber (120), Ehrhoff (96), McBain (88)

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: 2-8-0 (4), 14/27, 3/29, 34/41

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 … 1 game … 200 career games played
Brian Flynn … 6 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Tyler Myers … 4 assists … 100 career assists
Tyler Ennis … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Drew Stafford … 5 points … 300 career points
Torrey Mitchell … 10 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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