Game Preview: 4/4/14 at Detroit

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, April 3
Buffalo 1 at St. Louis 2
Goals: Hodgson
Goalie: Lieuwen (26 saves/28 shots)
PP: 1/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: St. Louis 28 – Buffalo 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 254)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Chris Stewart (lower body, March 7) – 14 games
Alexander Sulzer (upper body, March 15) – 10 games
Michal Neuvirth (lower body, March 16) – 9 games
Jhonas Enroth (lower body, March 18) – 8 games
Zenon Konopka (back, March 25) – 5 games
Tyler Myers (undisclosed, March 27) – 4 games
Torrey Mitchell (undisclosed, March 27) – 4 games
Drew Stafford (undisclosed, April 3) – 1 game
Henrik Tallinder (lower body, April 3) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
4/1:
Signed F Justin Kea to a three-year, entry-level contract
4/2: Signed D Jake McCabe to a three-year, entry-level contract
4/4: Recalled F Luke Adam from Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, April 6:
Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 8: Detroit at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 10: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 12: Buffalo at Boston, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 13: NY Islanders at Buffalo, 5 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RED WINGS

  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Last meeting: Detroit defeated Buffalo, 3-1, in Buffalo on Nov. 24
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, April 8 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 1-7-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 1-7-2 on the road
  • This is the 119th game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 53-49-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-34-7 on the road against the Red Wings all-time

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-8-2 all-time on April 4.
  • April 4, 1973: The Sabres appear in the first playoff game in franchise history, a 2-1 loss at Montreal.
  • April 4, 1981: The Sabres chase Red Wings goaltender Larry Lozinski with three goals on eight shots in the first period on the way to a 5-4 win in Detroit that featured two-goal performances by Tony McKegney and Andre Savard.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Ted Nolan has been named the head coach of the Sabres and signed to a three-year extension, after serving as the club’s interim head coach since Nov. 13.
  • The Sabres have lost their last six games against the Red Wings, marking the longest drought against Detroit in franchise history. The last win was a 6-2 victory in Buffalo on Oct. 13, 2009.
  • April is the Sabres’ best month since 2005-06; they have a 32-16-3 (.657) April record in that span.
  • Ville Leino led all Sabres with 22:47 of ice time last night at St. Louis, including 20:46 at even strength.
  • Cody Hodgson enters tonight’s game on a three-game point streak (2+1).
  • Marcus Foligno left last night’s game with a lower-body injury. He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

SECOND-HALF SURGE
Tyler Ennis
has made the most of an increased role during the second half of the season, logging 19:42 per game and notching 26 points (13+13) in his 33 games following the season’s halfway mark. Ennis averaged 18:07 of ice time and recorded 15 points (8+7) through the first 41 games of the season. He now has a career-high 21 goals this season.

Drew Stafford has also seen the most ice time of his career in the second half of this season after leaving with an injury just four shifts into the team’s 41st game. Stafford has averaged 20:04 of ice time and posted 20 points (11+9) in 26 games since the season’s halfway mark. In the 41 games prior to the midway point, Stafford had 13 points (4+9) in and averaged 17:36 per game.

For a graphical look at the career ice time progression for each player, visit www.SabresDigitalPressBox.com/2014/04/02/timeonice

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 12th of 13 sets of back-to-back games this season after a 2-1 loss last night at STL. The Sabres are 4-8-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-7-3 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 (4).

B1G ADDITION
On April 2, the Sabres signed defenseman Jake McCabe to an entry-level deal. Selected by the Sabres in the second round (44th overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, McCabe recently completed his junior season with the University of Wisconsin (Big Ten), earning first-team All-Big Ten honors by registering a career-high 25 points (8+17) through 33 games and serving as the team’s assistant captain in 2013-14.

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).
  • Since the team traded Ryan Miller to the Blues, the Sabres’ goaltenders have combined to post a save percentage of .926, including a .936 save percentage at even strength.

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 (192 points in 294 games), putting him on a 54-point pace. He has 20 points (11+9) in 28 games so far in 2014 (.714 PTS/GP).

A NEW LOOK

  • Only eight Sabres players dressed for both the first game of the season and Thursday’s game at St. Louis: Ehrhoff, Ennis, Flynn, Girgensons, Hodgson, Leino, Ristolainen, Weber
  • With Jake McCabe’s NHL debut last night at St. Louis, 44 different players have played at least one game for the Sabres this season.
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, this tops the previous franchise record of 43, set in the 1986-87 season and matched in 1991-92.

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-DET CONNECTIONS
BUF LW Ville Leino played for Detroit during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. He appeared in 55 games, and tallied 16 points (9+7).

BUF HC Ted Nolan played parts of two seasons for the Red Wings (1981-82 and 1983-84), appearing in a total of 60 games. Initially selected by Detroit in the fifth round of the 1978 NHL Amateur Draft, Nolan tallied 20 points (5+15) during his time with the club.

Leino was also teammates with DET D Jakub Kindl, DET C Darren Helm, DET G Jimmy Howard, DET D Jonathan Ericsson, DET C Tomas Tatar and DET D Brian Lashoff for Grand Rapids during the 2008-09 AHL season.

DET LW Justin Abdelkader has played with two current Sabres: Jamie McBain (2007 United States World U20 Championship team) and Leino (Grand Rapids – AHL, 2008-09)

McBain and Abdelkader also share the same birthday. The former was born on February 25, 1987, while the latter was born one year later, on February 25, 1988.

McBain and DET D Brendan Smith were teammates at the University of Wisconsin for two seasons (2007-2009).

BUF G Jhonas Enroth as well as DET RW Daniel Alfredsson, D Niklas Kronwall, LW Henrik Zetterberg, RW Johan Franzen and Ericsson all suited up for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

Enroth also played with DET C Joakim Andersson for Sweden at the 2008 World Junior Championship.

DET G Jonas Gustavsson, Alfredsson, Franzen, Kronwall, Zetterberg and BUF D Henrik Tallinder all represented Sweden at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Tallinder, Enroth, Alfredsson, Gustavsson, Kronwall, Ericsson, Zetterberg and DET RW Gustav Nyquist were all teammates for Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Franzen and Tallinder were also teammates with Linkopings HC (SEL) during the 2004-05 season.

Kronwall, Tallinder and Enroth are all natives of Stockholm, Sweden.

BUF C Cody Hodgson, DET C Stephen Weiss and Smith were all born in Toronto, Ontario.

BUF C Tyler Ennis and Helm were teammates for two seasons (2005-2007) with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL).

BUF AC Joe Sacco coached DET D Kyle Quincey for three seasons with the Colorado Avalanche (2009-2012).

DET D Lashoff played with BUF D Mike Weber for the Barrie Colts (OHL) during the 2006-07 season.

BUF C Brian Flynn and Nyquist were teammates at the University of Maine for three seasons from 2008-2011.

BUF C Zenon Konopka played alongside Alfredsson for the Ottawa Senators during the 2011-12 season.

BUF LW Cory Conacher played alongside Alfredsson for the Ottawa Senators for part of the 2012-13 season.

BUF D Alexander Sulzer played with DET C Stephen Weiss for the Florida Panthers during the 2010-11 season.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Shots:
Ennis (193), Stafford (175), Hodgson (161)
Hits: Foligno (199), Weber (188), Girgensons (149)
Blocked Shots: Weber (133), Ehrhoff (111), McBain (98)

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: 1-4-1 (3), 10/20, 2/16, 13/18

OVERTIME RESULTS (3-5; 97-98 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)
March 29 vs. Tampa Bay: L, 4-3 (GWG-Stamkos, 1:53)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (7-4; 57-45 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)
April 1 vs. New Jersey: W, 3-2 (GDG-Leino)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Assists

Tyler Myers … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Tyler Ennis … 5 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Drew Stafford … 3 points … 300 career points
Jamie McBain … 10 points … 100 career points
Torrey Mitchell … 10 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Nathan Lieuwen … 1st NHL win … April 1 vs. NJD
Brian Flynn … 100th NHL game … April 3 at STL
Jake McCabe … 1st NHL game … April 3 at STL

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