Game Preview: 10/11/14 at CHI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, October 9
Columbus 3 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Girgensons
Goalie: Enroth (37 saves/40 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 3/4; Shots: Columbus 40 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 5)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 1 game
Patrick Kaleta (upper body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 1 game
Jake McCabe (middle body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 1 game
Mark Pysyk (upper body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
10/6:
Assigned F Zac Dalpe and F Mikhail Grigorenko to Rochester (AHL)
10/10: Assigned F Johan Larsson to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Oct. 13:
Anaheim at Buffalo, 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 14: Buffalo at Carolina, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 17: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 18: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 22: Buffalo at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at BLACKHAWKS

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Blackhawks this season.
  • Next meeting: Friday, April 3 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 4-6-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Blackhawks; 4-6-0 on the road
  • This is the 114th game all-time between Buffalo and Chicago; Buffalo has a 53-47-13 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-31-6 on the road against the Blackhawks all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-3-3 all-time on October 11.
  • October 11, 1979: Lindy Ruff scores in his first NHL game, becoming the first Sabres defenseman ever to score in his NHL debut
  • October 11, 2010: The Blackhawks edge the Sabres, 4-3, in Jochen Hecht’s 700th NHL game.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Chris Stewart leads all Sabres with nine points (6+3) in 24 career games against the Blackhawks.
  • Drew Stafford has five points (4+1) in his last five games against the Blackhawks.
  • Cody Hodgson has recorded five points (1+4) in six career games against Chicago.
  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Blackhawks since Dec. 11, 2009 and are in the midst of their first five-game losing streak against Chicago since the first five meetings between the clubs from Oct. 25, 1970 to Feb. 17, 1971.
  • Buffalo is looking for its first win in Chicago since Jan. 10, 2007; the four-game losing streak in Chicago matches the longest such streak in franchise history.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s first road game of the 2014-15 season. The Sabres are 18-24-1 all-time in road openers. The team hasn’t opened its road schedule in Chicago since the Sabres dropped a 4-3 decision to the Blackhawks in their 1980-81 season opener on Oct. 9, 1980.

OPENING THE ACCOUNT EARLY
Zemgus Girgensons
scored the Sabres’ lone goal on Thursday vs. CBJ, becoming the first player in franchise history to score the team’s first goal in consecutive seasons. The goal made Girgensons the15th player to score in back-to-back Sabres season-openers at least once in his career and the fifth to do it in his first two NHL seasons, joining Danny Gare, Dave Andreychuk, Paul Cyr and Alexander Mogilny.

A NEW LOOK
Only 10 of the 20 Sabres players who dressed for the first game of the 2013-14 season appeared on the team’s 2014-15 opening day roster. Only six players on this year’s opening day roster suited up for the team in the season-opener two years ago: Tyler Ennis, Jhonas Enroth, Marcus Foligno, Cody Hodgson, Tyler Myers and Drew Stafford

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
The Sabres hit the ice with significantly more NHL experience in 2014-15 than they did a year ago. The 23 players on the opening day roster entered the season with a combined 5,858 NHL games of NHL experience; 342 more than the 5,516 played by last season’s opening day roster. The average Sabres skater entering the 2014-15 season had played 32 more NHL games than his counterpart from last season.

A FRESH FACE
With his debut on Thursday vs. CBJ, Sam Reinhart became the seventh 18-year-old ever to dress for the Sabres and the fourth to do so on opening day. The Sabres have now had an 18-year-old in the opening day lineup each of the last three years (2013-14: Rasmus Ristolainen; 2012-13: Mikhail Grigorenko).

YOUNGEST SABRES DEBUTS

Player Season Age First Game
Pierre Turgeon 1987-88 18 years, 41 days 10/8/87 vs. Minnesota
Nikita Zadorov 2013-14 18 years, 187 days 10/19/13 vs. Colorado
Jay McKee 1995-96 18 years, 215 days 4/10/96 vs. Ottawa
Mikhail Grigorenko 2012-13 18 years, 249 days 1/20/13 vs. Philadelphia
Wayne Primeau 1994-95 18 years, 333 days 5/3/95 vs. New Jersey
Sam Reinhart 2014-15 18 years, 338 days 10/9/14 vs. Columbus
Rasmus Ristolainen 2013-14 18 years, 340 days 10/2/13 at Detroit

FEARLESS LEADERS

  • Brian Gionta has been selected to wear the captain’s “C” for the Sabres in 2014-15, becoming the 19th full-season captain in franchise history (excludes rotating captaincies in 2003-04 and 2007-08).
  • Gionta, who spent the last four seasons as captain of the Montreal Canadiens, will be the 27th player to wear the captain’s “C” for at least a one-month period.
  • Josh Gorges and Matt Moulson were named the team’s alternate captains.

2014 PRESEASON

  • Buffalo finished the preseason with a 2-3-1 record; 2-1-0 at home, 0-2-1 on the road
  • Tyler Ennis (3 GP) and Chris Stewart (4 GP) tied for the team point lead with two goals and three assists each.
  • Jhonas Enroth was 2-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA and .983 SV%, tying to lead all goaltenders with at least two full games played in both categories.
  • The Sabres were 2-for-17 (11.8%) on the power play and 21-for-24 (87.5%) on the penalty kill.

2014-15 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 23 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • 10 were originally drafted by the Sabres — seven were first-round Buffalo selections (Stafford, 2004; Myers and Ennis, 2008; Girgensons, 2012; Ristolainen and Zadorov, 2013; Reinhart, 2014), two were second-round picks (Enroth and Weber, 2006) and one was a fourth-round pick (Foligno, 2009)
  • Six were acquired in trades: Deslauriers, Gorges, Hodgson, Mitchell, Neuvirth, Stewart
  • Seven were signed as free agents: Benoit, Flynn, Gionta, Meszaros, McCormick, Moulson, Strachan
  • 17 played in Buffalo at some point last season
  • Six are new to the Sabres this season: Benoit, Gionta, Gorges, Meszaros, Reinhart, Strachan
  • Three are opening the season on an NHL roster for the first time in their careers: Deslauriers, Reinhart, Zadorov

BUF-CHI CONNECTIONS
Andre Benoit:

  • Played with Peter Regin for the Ottawa Senators during the 2010-11 and 2012-13 seasons.

Jhonas Enroth:

  • Represented Sweden alongside Marcus Kruger and Niklas Hjalmarsson at the 2012 World Hockey Championship.
  • Enroth, Marcus Kruger and Johnny Oduya were all born in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • Played with Johnny Oduya, Niklas Hjalmarsson and Marcus Kruger for Team Sweden, who won the silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Johnny Oduya for the New Jersey Devils from 2006-2009.
  • He and Brad Richards (64th overall) were both chosen in the third round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.

Cody McCormick:

  • Played under Joel Quenneville for Colorado from 2005-2008, when Quenneville served as head coach of the Avalanche.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Represented Slovakia alongside Marian Hossa at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Olympics, as well as the 2004 and 2006 World Hockey Championships.
  • Played with Kris Versteeg and Dan Carcillo for the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2010-11 season.

Torrey Mitchell:

  • Played with Brad Mashinter for the Worcester Sharks during the 2009-10 season and for the San Jose Sharks during the 2010-11 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Peter Regin for the New York Islanders during the 2013-14 season.

Tyler Myers:

  • Played with Kyle Cumiskey for Team Canada at the 2010 World Hockey Championship.

Drew Stafford:

  • Played with Patrick Kane for Team USA at the 2008 World Hockey Championship.
  • Played with Jonathan Toews for the 2005-06 North Dakota Fighting Sioux squad that advanced to the 2006 Frozen Four.

Chris Stewart:

  • Jonathan Toews (3rd overall) and Chris Stewart (18th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Played with Kyle Cumiskey from 2008-2011 for the Colorado Avalanche.

Mike Weber:   

  • Played with Brian Bickell for the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) during the 2005-06 season.
  • He and Brandon Saad both hail from Pittsburgh, Pa.

Kelowna Connection:

  • Josh Gorges played with Duncan Keith during the 2002-03 season and Kyle Cumiskey during the 2003-04 season for the Kelowna Rockets (WHL). Two years later, Cumiskey was joined in Kelowna by Tyler Myers for the 2005-06 season. Over this time period, Kelowna won the Memorial Cup in 2004 and the WHL Championship in 2003 and 2005.

Local Players:  

  • Patrick Kane was born and raised in Buffalo.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (6), Gorges (2), Myers (2), Weber (2)
Blocked Shots: Benoit (4), Gorges (3), Meszaros (3), Myers (3)
Shots: Stewart (5), Gionta (4), Moulson (3)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
0-1-0 (0), 1/3, 0/1, 3/4

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 97-98 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 57-46 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Matt Moulson … 2 games … 400 career games played
Torrey Mitchell … 7 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Tyler Ennis … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Tyler Myers … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Drew Stafford … 2 points … 300 career points
Josh Gorges … 2 points … 100 career points
Torrey Mitchell … 9 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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