Game Preview: 3/25/14 at Montreal

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, March 23
Buffalo 2 at Vancouver 4
Goals: Ennis, McBain
Goalie: Lieuwen (32 saves/36 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 1/1; Shots: Vancouver 36 – Buffalo 18

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 216)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed, March 7) – 9 games
Chris Stewart (lower body, March 7) – 9 games
Alexander Sulzer (upper body, March 15) – 5 games
Tyler Myers (arm, March 15) – 5 games
Michal Neuvirth (lower body, March 16) – 4 games
Jhonas Enroth (lower body, March 18) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/24: Assigned D Rasmus Ristolainen to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Friday, April 4: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at CANADIENS

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Montreal defeated Buffalo, 2-0, in Buffalo on March 16
  • The Sabres are 5-5-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 7-3-0 on the road
  • This is the 262nd game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 119-105-37 series record.
  • The Sabres are 50-68-13 on the road against the Canadiens all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-7-3 all-time on March 25.
  • March 25, 2006: Henrik Tallinder scores his career-best sixth goal of the season in a 5-4 loss at Boston.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres have gone 11-5-1 in their last 17 games against the Canadiens, but need a win tonight to avoid losing five straight games to the Habs for just the second time in franchise history. The first took place from Dec. 2, 1978 to Dec. 29, 1979.
  • Despite this streak, the Canadiens are looking for consecutive home wins against the Sabres for the first time since Apr. 3 and Nov. 27, 2010.
  • The Sabres have 119 wins in 261 games against the Canadiens, tying their franchise-record win total against the Bruins, who they have played 272 times.
  • Brian Flynn is 38-for-63 (60.3%) on faceoffs in the last five games.

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 .920 team save percentage. The Sabres’ team save percentage last reached 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 21 games; he hasn’t played three games without recording a point since Dec. 31 to Jan. 15. In the 22 games since he returned from an upper-body injury, Stafford has averaged a TOI of 19:52 per game.
  • Tyler Ennis has 15 points (7+8) in his last 18 games and 23 points (11+12) in his last 28 games; he hasn’t played three games without recording a point since Dec. 29 to Jan. 2. In those last 28 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 Sunday’s game at Vancouver: 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 .655 (190 points in 290 games), putting him on a 54-point pace. He has 18 points (11+7) in 23 games so far in 2014 (.783 PTS/GP).

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-MTL CONNECTIONS
BUF RW Matt D’Agostini spent four seasons as a member of the Canadiens organization between Montreal and Hamilton (AHL). Drafted by the Canadiens in the sixth round (190th overall) of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, D’Agostini contributed 25 points (14+11) over 94 games with the club.

MTL LW Thomas Vanek was a member of the Sabres for just over eight seasons from 2005-2013. Initially drafted by Buffalo in the first-round (5th overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Vanek finished his career with the Sabres ranked 10th in franchise history in points (497), fifth in goals (254), 13th in assists (243), fourth in power play goals (106) and fourth in game winning goals (41).

MTL RW Daniel Briere played with the Sabres for four seasons (2002-03 – 2006-07). Briere was the team’s top point scorer in 2003-04 (65) and 2006-07 (95). He tied Jochen Hecht for most assists (37) in 2003-04 and led the team in assists (63) in 2006-07. During his four seasons with Buffalo, Briere played in 225 games, amassing 230 points (92+138).

BUF AC Teppo Numminen was teammates with Briere for six seasons on the Phoenix Coyotes from 1997-2003 before being dealt to the Sabres during the 2002-03 season.

BUF LW Ville Leino played with Briere for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2009-2011.

MTL RW Brian Gionta is a native of Rochester, NY.

BUF C Torrey Mitchell was born in Montreal.

D’Agostini and MTL D Mike Weaver both played for the St. Louis Blues during the 2009-10 season.
BUF C Cody Hodgson, BUF D Tyler Myers, BUF C Tyler Ennis and MTL D P.K. Subban all represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Hodgson and Subban were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

Ennis, BUF LW John Scott and MTL RW Brendan Gallagher were all born in Edmonton, Alberta.

Scott and Prust both played for the New York Rangers in 2011-12.

BUF AC Joe Sacco coached MTL G Peter Budaj for the Colorado Avalanche for two seasons from 2009-2011.

BUF D Christian Ehrhoff was teammates with three current Montreal players as a member of the San Jose Sharks: Douglas Murray (2005-2009), LW Travis Moen (2008-09) and D Josh Gorges (2005-2007).

BUF D Henrik Tallinder and Murray both represented Sweden at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.

Mitchell also played alongside Murray for the San Jose Sharks from 2007-12. Moen was also a member of the Sharks during the 2008-09 season.

BUF D Jamie McBain and MTL D Davis Drewiske played together at the University of Wisconsin from 2006-2008.

BUF C Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and MTL C Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF RW Drew Stafford and Galchenyuk were both born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

BUF D Alexander Sulzer played with MTL D Francis Bouillon for the Nashville Predators from 2009-2011.

BUF C Zenon Konopka played alongside Moen for the Anaheim Ducks during the 2005-06 season.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots: Ennis (173), Stafford (166), Hodgson (148)
Hits: Foligno (190), Weber (177), Girgensons (135)
Blocked Shots: Weber (121), Ehrhoff (98), McBain (92)

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
71-80: 0-1-0 (0), 2/4, 0/1, 1/1

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
Brian Flynn … 5 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
Cody Hodgson … 200th NHL game … March 23 at VAN

 

 

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