Game Preview: 3/27/14 at Nashville

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, March 25
Buffalo 0 at Montreal 2
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hackett (33 saves/35 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 5/6; Shots: Montreal 35 – Buffalo 24

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 222)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed, March 7) – 10 games
Chris Stewart (lower body, March 7) – 10 games
Alexander Sulzer (upper body, March 15) – 6 games
Michal Neuvirth (lower body, March 16) – 5 games
Jhonas Enroth (lower body, March 18) – 4 games
Zenon Konopka (back, March 25) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
3/24: Assigned D Rasmus Ristolainen to Rochester (AHL)
3/27: Recalled F Johan Larsson and D Rasmus Ristolainen from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Sunday, April 6: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PREDATORS

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Predators this season.
  • Last meeting: Nashville defeated Buffalo, 4-1, in Buffalo on March 11
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Predators; 6-2-0 in eight road games.
  • This is the 17th game all-time between Buffalo and Nashville; Buffalo has a 7-7-2 series record.
  • The Sabres are 6-2-0 on the road against the Predators all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 14-5-4 all-time on March 27.
  • March 27, 1990: Mike Foligno records his 500th point as a member of the Sabres in a 6-5 win at Detroit. Foligno finished his Sabres career with 511 points in 664 games and still ranks eighth in franchise history.
  • March 27, 2010: Jason Pominville scores to record his 300th NHL point in a 7-1 win at home against Tampa Bay.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres haven’t lost a road game to the Predators since Nov. 29, 2003, winning their last three games in Nashville.
  • Tyler Ennis has a point (2+1) in each of his three career games against the Predators.
  • Michal Neuvirth is 2-0-0 in his career against Nashville with a .950 save percentage and a 1.48 goals against average

ROAD SWEET ROAD
The road team has won the last five games between the Sabres and the Predators; the home team hasn’t won since the Sabres won, 8-4, on Feb. 27, 2008. The home team has only won three of the 16 games in the all-time series.

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 reached the .920 mark in 2009-10, when Ryan Miller logged a .929 save percentage through 69 games.
  • Since trading Ryan Miller to the Blues, the Sabres’ goaltenders have combined to post a save percentage of .935, including a .944 save percentage at even strength.

SECOND-HALF MVPs

  • Drew Stafford has 18 points (11+7) in his last 22 games; he hasn’t played three games without recording a point since Dec. 31 to Jan. 15. In the 23 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 19 games and 23 points (11+12) in his last 29 games; he hasn’t played three games without recording a point since Dec. 29 to Jan. 2. In those last 29 games, Ennis has an average TOI of 19:30.

A NEW LOOK

  • Only nine Sabres players dressed for both the first game of the season and Sunday’s game at Vancouver: Ehrhoff, Ennis, Flynn, Hodgson, Leino, Myers, Stafford, Tallinder, Weber
  • With Matt Hackett’s Sabres debut on March 20 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 .653(190 points in 291 games), putting him on a 54-point pace. He has 18 points (11+7) in 24 games so far in 2014 (.750 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-NSH CONNECTIONS
BUF D Alexander Sulzer played three seasons for the Predators from 2008-2011. He appeared in a total of 53 games and tallied six points (1+5).

NSH C Paul Gaustad spent the better part of eight seasons as a member of the Sabres from 2002-2012. Buffalo’s seventh-round choice (220th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, Gaustad recorded 181 points (71+110) over a span of 479 games in a Sabres uniform. He was dealt to Nashville on Feb. 27, 2012, along with a fourth-round draft pick in 2013 in exchange for a first-round draft pick in 2012 (Zemgus Girgensons).

BUF C Cody Hodgson and NSH LW Rich Clune were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

BUF D Mike Weber and Clune both played for the Barrie Colts during the 2006-07 season.

BUF AC Joe Sacco and NSH C Matt Cullen played together for the Anaheim Ducks during the 1997-98 season.

BUF AC Jerry Forton was an assistant coach for the University of Massachusetts-Lowell when NSH G Carter Hutton played for the River Hawks during the 2009-10 season.

BUF LW Marcus Foligno (104th overall) was chosen two picks after NSH D Mattias Ekholm (102nd overall) and six picks after NSH C Craig Smith (98th overall) in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.

Foligno and NSH D Ryan Ellis both represented Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Hodgson, BUF D Tyler Myers, BUF C Tyler Ennis and Ryan Ellis were all teammates for Team Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

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

Myers (12th overall), Hodgson (10th overall), Ennis (26th overall) and NSH C Colin Wilson (7th overall) were all chosen in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

BUF G Jhonas Enroth played with NSH RW Patric Hornqvist for Team Sweden at the 2007 World Junior Championship.

BUF D Henrik Tallinder and Hornqvist both represented Sweden at the 2010 Olympics.

BUF LW John Scott was teammates with NSH LW Viktor Stalberg for the Chicago Blackhawks from 2010-2012.

BUF C Zenon Konopka and BUF C Torrey Mitchell played alongside Cullen for the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots: Ennis (175), Stafford (166), Ehrhoff/Hodgson (150)
Hits: Foligno (191), Weber (180), Girgensons (135)
Blocked Shots: Weber (123), Ehrhoff (102), 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: 0-2-0 (0), 2/6, 0/4, 6/7

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 … 4 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Tyler Myers … 3 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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