Game Preview: 10/25/14 at SJS

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, October 23
Buffalo 0 at Los Angeles 2
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Enroth (37 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 1/3; Shots: Los Angeles 39 – Buffalo 29

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 26)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 8 games
Patrick Kaleta (upper body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 8 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Oct. 28:
Buffalo at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 30: Boston at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 1: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 2: Detroit at Buffalo, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 5: Montreal at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

TODAY’S GAME
SABRES at SHARKS

  • This is the first of two meetings between the Sabres and Sharks this season.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 18 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 8-2-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Sharks; 4-4-2 on the road
  • This is the 32nd game all-time between Buffalo and San Jose; Buffalo has a 20-6-5 series record.
  • The Sabres are 5-5-5 on the road against the Sharks all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 7-10-2 all-time on October 25.
  • October 25, 1991: The Sabres get 31 saves from Clint Malarchuk as they top the Sharks, 3-1, in the first-ever game between the teams, earning the 800th win in franchise history.
  • October 25, 1991: The Sabres acquire Pat LaFontaine, Randy Wood and Randy Hillier from the N.Y. Islanders in exchange for Pierre Turgeon, Uwe Krupp, Dave McLlwain and Benoit Hogue.
  • October 25, 2013: Rasmus Ristolainen scores a goal, recording his first NHL point in a 3-1 victory at Florida.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Today’s game is the final game in a three-game west coast road trip for the Sabres.
  • The Sabres will look to earn their first win against a Western Conference opponent (0-4-0); the Sharks are 2-3-1 against the Eastern Conference.
  • Tyler Ennis led the Sabres with 21:45 of ice time on Thursday at LAK. It was his first time leading the team since he logged 24:17 on March 11 vs. NSH.
  • Chris Stewart’s 21:10 on Thursday at LAK was his highest TOI since he skated 21:47 on March 16, 2011 at Anaheim as a member of the Blues.

SABRES-SHARKS NOTES

  • Tonight’s game is the 23rd anniversary of the first time these teams met, a 3-1 Sabres win in Buffalo on Oct. 25, 1991.
  • The Sabres are currently on a franchise-best six-game winning streak against the Sharks. The previous record was four straight wins, set the first four times the teams faced off (Oct. 25, 1991 to Oct. 23, 1992).
  • Buffalo has won three consecutive road games in San Jose for the first time in franchise history and will look to extend that streak to four tonight. Their last road loss to the Sharks came on Jan. 23, 2010.
  • Matt Moulson has five points (2+3) in his last five games against San Jose, including the game-winning goal the last time these teams met (Feb. 28 in Buffalo).
  • Tyler Ennis has four points (1+3) in four career games against the Sharks; Zemgus Girgensons has three points (0+3) in two games.
  • Chris Stewart leads all Sabres with 10 points (3+7) in 19 career games against the Sharks.

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • Josh Gorges has blocked an NHL-best 38 shots, 11 more than the next highest total (Kris Russell, CGY – 27 BS in 9 GP). Gorges has blocked 16.2 percent of all opponent shot attempts taken with him on the ice this season, owning the fifth-highest percentage among NHL defensemen who have faced at least 50 shot attempts (see chart below).
  • His best full-season on-ice shot blocking percentage was 13.0 percent in 2011-12 with Montreal. No NHL-regular defenseman has topped 14 percent in a full season since the league started counting blocked shots in 2005-06.

Top NHL Defensemen, On-Ice Shot Blocking Percentage
(min. 50 shot attempts against)

Rank Player Team GP BS On-Ice
BS%
1 Jared Spurgeon MIN 5 19 19.0%
2 Radko Gudas TBL 4 69 17.4%
3 Simon Despres PIT 6 9 17.3%
4 Nathan Beaulieu MTL 4 11 16.9%
5 Josh Gorges BUF 8 38 16.2%

EXPANDED ROLE FOR MYERS
Through eight games, Tyler Myers ranks 14th in the league with an average time on ice of 24:44 per game. His 29:25 last 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.

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-SJS CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • John Scott played in 90 games for the Sabres from 2012-2014, totaling one goal and 194 penalty minutes.
  • Raffi Torres spent part of the 2009-10 season with the Sabres, appearing in 14 games and registering five points (0+5).

Former Sharks:

  • Torrey Mitchell was San Jose’s fourth-round selection in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft (126th overall) and spent five seasons with the club from 2007-2012. Mitchell played a total of 280 games for the Sharks, contributing 73 points (30+43).
  • Josh Gorges played for the Sharks from 2005-2007, tallying 10 points over 96 GP (1+9).

Ted Nolan:

  • Coached Jason Demers for the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) during the 2005-06 season.

Andre Benoit:

  • Benoit (1984) and Adam Burish (1983) were both born on January 6.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played for Larry Robinson for the New Jersey Devils during the 2001-02 season and again during the 2005-06 and 2007-08 seasons, when Robinson had stints as HC and AC of the Devils.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Nicolas Deslauriers:

  • Played with Tye McGinn for the Gatineau Olympiques during the 2010-11 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and John Scott are natives of Edmonton, Alberta.

Cody Hodgson:

  • Hodgson, Raffi Torres and Barclay Goodrow are all natives of Toronto, Ontario.
  • Played with Barclay Goodrow for the Brampton Battalion during the 2009-10 season.

Cody McCormick:           

  • Played with Scott Hannan for the Colorado Avalanche from 2007-2009.
  • McCormick and Joe Thornton are both natives of London, Ontario.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played with Tye McGinn for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2012-2014.

Tyler Myers:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2010 World Championship.

Michal Neuvirth:

  • Played with Scott Hannan for the Washington Capitals during the 2010-11 season.

Chris Stewart:

  • Played with Brent Burns for Team Canada at the 2011 World Championship.
  • Played with Scott Hannan for the Colorado Avalanche from 2008-2011.

Nikita Zadorov:

  • Played with Chris Tierney for the London Knights from 2012-2014.

NHL Entry Draft:

  • Torrey Mitchell (126th overall) and Tyler Kennedy (99th overall) were both chosen in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Chris Stewart (18th overall) and James Sheppard (9th overall) were both selected in the first round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tomas Hertl (17th overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall), Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) and Mirco Mueller (18th overall) were all selected in the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Weber (28), Deslauriers (23), Foligno (21)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (38), Benoit (14), Weber (13)
Shots: Stewart (26), Moulson/Myers (18), Girgensons (17)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
1-7-0 (2), 9/28, 0/27, 27/32

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

Andrej Meszaros … 8 games … 600 career games played
Chris Stewart … 10 games … 400 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
Torrey Mitchell … 400th career game played … Oct. 23 at LAK

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