Game Preview: 10/17/14 vs. FLA

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, October 14
Buffalo 4 at Carolina 3 (SO)
Goals: Foligno (2), Mitchell; GDG- Girgensons
Goalie: Enroth (22 saves/25 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 3/3; Shots: Buffalo 26 – Carolina 25

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 18)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 4 games
Patrick Kaleta (upper body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
10/16:
Assigned D Jake McCabe and D Mark Pysyk to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Oct. 18:
Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 22: Buffalo at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 23: Buffalo at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 25: Buffalo at San Jose, 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 28: Buffalo at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PANTHERS at SABRES

  • This is the first of five meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Dec. 6 at Florida
  • The Sabres are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 4-5-1 at home.
  • This is the 80th game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 44-28-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-12-4 at home against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-12-1 all-time on October 17.
  • October 17, 1974: Lee Fogolin and Don Luce score goals four seconds apart in the third period as the Sabres defeat the California Golden Seals, 6-1.
  • October 17, 1990: Gilbert Perreault’s number 11 is raised to the rafters at Memorial Auditorium, making Perreault the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Panthers are in the midst of their first ever winning streak in Buffalo, having won the last three matchups at First Niagara Center.
  • Buffalo will look to avoid losing four consecutive games to the Panthers for the first time in franchise history.
  • Jhonas Enroth faced the Panthers twice last season, stopping 78 of 80 shots to go 1-0-1 with a 0.96 goals-against average and a .975 save percentage.
  • Drew Stafford has recorded three assists in the last three games.
  • Marcus Foligno recorded his fourth career two-goal game on Tuesday at CAR and enters tonight’s game with three points (2+1) in three games.
  • Brian Gionta leads all Sabres with 28 points (18+10) in 39 career games against the Panthers.

YOUNG GUNS ON DISPLAY
According to Elias Sports Bureau, tonight will be the earliest date in the season for the first game featuring the top two picks in the most recent NHL draft since Oct. 11, 1997, when the Boston Bruins and Joe Thornton played the Sharks and Patrick Marleau in San Jose.

Draft No. 1 Overall No. 2 Overall Date of Game Combined GPBefore Game
1997 Joe Thornton (BOS) Patrick Marleau (SJS) 10/11/1997 4
2003 Marc-Andre Fleury (PIT) Eric Staal (CAR) 10/22/2003 6
2014 Aaron Ekblad (FLA) Sam Reinhart (BUF) 10/17/2014 7

EXPANDED ROLE FOR MYERS
Tyler Myers
has led all Sabres skaters in ice time in each of the team’s four games and ranked eighth in the league through Wednesday’s games with an average of 26:24 per game. His 29:25 on Tuesday at CAR was his highest total since his career-high 31:05 on Jan. 14, 2012 at NYI. Myers last led the Sabres in ice time in a season in his rookie season of 2009-10, when he averaged 23:44 per game.

PUTTING IN TOUGH MINUTES
Through Wednesday’s games, Josh Gorges (18.2%) and Tyler Myers (28.6%) rank first and 12th, respectively, in lowest offensive-zone start percentage among NHL defensemen. Despite this – and despite facing the toughest competition among Sabres defensemen by any metric – the pair lead all Sabres defensemen in both plus/minus and possession stats (corsi and fenwick) through four games. – Stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s second of 18 sets of back-to-back games this season, which will conclude when the Sabres host the Bruins tomorrow night. The Sabres are 0-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 1-0-0 in the second game. Buffalo’s point breakdown in back-to- back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (1), one point (0) and zero points (0).

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

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.

2014-15 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-FLA CONNECTIONS
Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Erik Gudbranson and Dylan Olsen for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Cody Hodgson:

  • Played with Roberto Luongo for the Vancouver Canucks from 2010-2012.
  • Represented Team Canada alongside Jonathan Huberdeau and Erik Gudbranson at the 2014 World Championship.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played with Jussi Jokinen for the Tampa Bay Lightning from 2008-2010.
  • Teammates with Shawn Thornton for the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.

Torrey Mitchell:

  • Played with Brian Campbell for the San Jose Sharks during the 2007-08 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Al Montoya for the New York Islanders from 2010-2013. Brad Boyes was also a member of the club during the 2012-13 season.
  • Played with Sean Bergenheim for the New York Islanders during the 2009-10 season.

Michal Neuvirth:            

  • Played with Tomas Fleischmann for the Washington Capitals from 2008-2012.

Drew Stafford:                                                                   

  • Played with Al Montoya for Team USA at the 2004 World Junior Championship as well as the 2009 World Hockey Championship.

Tyson Strachan:                                    

  • Played for Florida from 2011-2013, tallying seven points (1+6) in 53 games for the Panthers.
  • Teammates with Brad Boyes from 2008-2011 as members of the St. Louis Blues.

Former Sabres:

  • Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a member of the Sabres, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games. Campbell was selected as an NHL All-Star in 2007 and 2008.
  • Brad Boyes skated as a member of the Sabres from 2010-2012. During his two seasons in Buffalo, Boyes played in 86 games, recording 37 points (13+24).

2004 Entry Draft:

  • Drew Stafford (13th overall), Andrej Meszaros (24th overall) and Al Montoya (4th overall) were all taken in the first round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

2010 Entry Draft:

  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall), Erik Gudbranson (3rd overall) and Nick Bjugstad (19th overall) were all first-round draft picks in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.

2013 Entry Draft:

  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall), Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) and Alexander Barkov (2nd overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

2014 Entry Draft:

  • Sam Reinhart (2nd overall) and Aaron Ekblad (1st overall) were the top two picks in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. They also played together for Team Canada at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Weber (16), Deslauriers (15), Foligno/Girgensons (9)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (19), Benoit (12), Weber (9)
Shots: Stewart (10), Gionta/Girgensons (9), Stafford (7)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
1-3-0 (2), 8/17, 0/10, 14/17

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

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-0; 58-46 all-time)
October 14 at Carolina: W, 4-3 (GDG-Girgensons)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Torrey Mitchell … 4 games … 100 career games played
Assists
Tyler Ennis … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Tyler Myers … 3 assists … 100 career assists
Points
Josh Gorges … 2 points … 100 career points
Torrey Mitchell … 8 points … 100 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Drew Stafford … 300 career points … Oct. 11 at CHI
Matt Moulson … 400 career games played … Oct. 13 vs. ANA

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