Game Preview: 3/29/14 vs. Tampa Bay

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, March 27
Buffalo 1 at Nashville 6
Goals: Ristolainen
Goalie: Hackett (11 saves/15 shots); Lieuwen (17 saves/19 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/3; Shots: Nashville 34 – Buffalo 33

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 230)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Zemgus Girgensons (undisclosed, March 7) – 11 games
Chris Stewart (lower body, March 7) – 11 games
Alexander Sulzer (upper body, March 15) – 7 games
Michal Neuvirth (lower body, March 16) – 6 games
Jhonas Enroth (lower body, March 18) – 5 games
Zenon Konopka (back, March 25) – 2 games
Tyler Myers (undisclosed, March 27) – 1 game
Torrey Mitchell (undisclosed, March 27) – 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
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.
Tuesday, April 8: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
LIGHTNING at SABRES

  • This is the fourth and final meeting between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay, 3-1, in Tampa Bay on March 6
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 5-4-1 at home.
  • This is the 81st game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 50-24-6 series record.
  • The Sabres are 23-13-3 at home against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-6-1 all-time on March 29.
  • March 29, 2004: Martin Biron stops 23 shots to record his 17th career shutout and 100th NHL victory, a 6-0 win vs. Columbus.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Cody Hodgson has nine points (3+6) in eight career games against the Lightning.
  • Ville Leino left Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury.
  • The Sabres will induct Dominik Hasek into the Buffalo Sabres Hall of Fame in a pregame ceremony. The team announced yesterday that Hasek’s number 39 jersey will be retired next season.

TOPPING TAMPA

  • In the last eight seasons, the Sabres have scored seven or more goals in a single game against the Lightning six times. Including this season, Buffalo has compiled a record of 23-10-1 (.691) against Tampa Bay in that stretch.
  • Buffalo’s franchise record of 50-24-6 (.663) against Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time record against any Eastern Conference opponent. The team’s record against San Jose (20-10-1, .661) is the only better all-time series record.

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 .919 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 the team traded Ryan Miller to the Blues, the Sabres’ goaltenders have combined to post a save percentage of .927, including a .936 save percentage at even strength.

A NEW LOOK

  • Only nine Sabres players dressed for both the first game of the season and Thursday’s game at Nashville: Ehrhoff, Ennis, Flynn, Hodgson, Leino, Ristolainen, 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 .651 (190 points in 292 games), putting him on a 53-point pace. He has 18 points (11+7) in 25 games so far in 2014 (.720 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-TBL CONNECTIONS
BUF C Zenon Konopka played for the Lightning for parts of two seasons from 2008-10. He contributed six points (2+4) over a total of 81 games while skating for the club.

BUF LW Cory Conacher played for the Lightning during the 2012-13 season, contributing 24 points (9+15) over a total of 35 games.

BUF RW Matt D’Agostini and TBL RW BJ Crombeen were teammates for the St. Louis Blues from 2009-11. TBL G Ben Bishop was also a member of the club during the 2010-11 season.

D’Agostini and TBL C Tom Pyatt both played for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2009-10 season.

D’Agostini and TBL D Eric Brewer were teammates for the St. Louis Blues during the 2009-10 season. The two, along with BUF RW Chris Stewart and TBL G Ben Bishop were all members of the Blues during the 2010-11 season.

TBL RW Ryan Callahan played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.

BUF RW Drew Stafford and Callahan both represented the United States in the 2005 World Junior Championship.

D’Agostini and Callahan played together for the Guelph Storm (OHL) for two seasons (2004-2006).

BUF C Torrey Mitchell (126th overall) and Callahan (127th overall) were both chosen in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

The Sabres and Lightning combine to feature a total of four players who were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft: BUF C Cody Hodgson, BUF C Tyler Ennis, BUF D Tyler Myers and TBL C Steven Stamkos. Stamkos was the first overall selection, Hodgson was picked 10th overall, Myers was the 12th overall selection and Ennis was the 26th overall pick.

TBL D Matt Carle and BUF D Christian Ehrhoff played together for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2008. Mitchell was also a member of the Sharks during the 2007-08 season.

BUF LW Ville Leino played alongside Carle for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2009-2011.

TBL D Sami Salo played with Ehrhoff (2009-2011) and Hodgson (2010-2012) for the Vancouver Canucks.

TBL C Valtteri Filppula and Leino were teammates for parts of three seasons with the Detroit Red Wings (2008-2010).

BUF G Jhonas Enroth and TBL D Victor Hedman played together for Sweden in the 2008 World Junior Championship. Sweden won the silver medal in the tournament.

BUF AC Jerry Forton coached TBL C Alex Killornat Harvard University during the 2011-12 season, when Forton served as an AC for the Crimson.

Konopka played alongside Bishop for the Ottawa Senators during the 2011-12 season.

BUF D Alexander Sulzer played with TBL D Sami Salo for the Vancouver Canucks during the 2011-12 season.

Sulzer played with TBL G Anders Lindback for the Nashville Predators during the 2010-11 season.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Ennis (178), Stafford (169), Hodgson (153)
Hits: Foligno (191), Weber (183), Girgensons (135)
Blocked Shots: Weber (125), Ehrhoff (104), 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: 0-3-0 (0), 3/12, 0/7, 8/10

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 … 3 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
Jamie McBain … 10 points … 100 career points
Torrey Mitchell … 10 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Cody Hodgson … 200th NHL game … March 23 at VAN

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