Game Preview: 12/4/14 at TBL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 2
Tampa Bay 1 at Buffalo 2 (SO)
Goals: Girgensons; GDG-Hodgson
Goalie: Enroth (26 saves/27 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 2/2; Shots: Tampa Bay 27 – Buffalo 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 73)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 25 games
Andrej Meszaros (upper body, Nov, 29) – 2 games
Drew Stafford (lower body, Nov. 29) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
11/28:
Signed F Jean Dupuy to a three-year, entry-level contract
11/29: Recalled F Tim Schaller from Rochester (AHL)
11/30: Assigned F Tim Schaller to Rochester (AHL)
12/2: Recalled F Tim Schaller from Rochester (AHL); Activated D Josh Gorges from IR; Placed F Cody McCormick on IR
12/3: Assigned F Tim Schaller to Rochester (AHL)
12/4: Activated F Cody McCormick from IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec. 6:
Buffalo at Florida, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 9: Los Angeles at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 11: Calgary at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 13: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 15: Ottawa at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at LIGHTNING

  • This is the second of five meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Next meeting: Wednesday, Dec. 31 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Tampa Bay, 2-1 (SO), in Buffalo on Dec. 2
  • The Sabres are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 6-4-0 on the road
  • This is the 83rd game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 51-24-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 27-11-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-7-3 all-time on December 4.
  • December 4, 1975: Jerry Korab scores six seconds into the third period in a 6-6 tie against the New York Rangers at the Aud.
  • December 4, 1977: Andre Savard scores the 2,000th goal in franchise history as part of a 6-1 win vs. Detroit.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game having gained at least a point in seven straight divisional matchups (5-0-2) for the first time since they had points in nine straight Northeast Division games from Dec. 4, 2010 to Feb. 15, 2011 (8-0-1).
  • Tonight’s game wraps up the second-ever home-and-home series between the Sabres and the Lightning. The other such series took place on Oct. 22 and 25, 2011, with the Lightning winning both games.
  • Cody Hodgson has 10 points (4+6) in 10 career games against the Lightning.
  • Jhonas Enroth is 4-1-0 in five career games against the Lightning, with a .951 save percentage and a 1.56 goals-against average.
  • Tyler Ennis has 13 points (4+9) in his last 15 games and scored in the shootout Tuesday vs. TBL.

TOPPING TAMPA

  • In the last nine seasons, Buffalo has compiled a record of 24-10-2 (.694) against Tampa Bay. The Sabres have scored seven or more goals in a single game against the Lightning six times during that stretch.
  • Buffalo’s franchise record of 51-24-7 (.665) against Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time record against any Eastern Conference opponent. The team’s record against San Jose (22-6-5, .742) is the only better all-time series record.
  • The Sabres’ 27-11-3 (.695) record at Tampa Bay is the team’s best road record against any opponent, edging their 6-3-0 (.667) record at Nashville. Their next best road record against an Eastern Conference opponent is their 41-23-10 (.622) mark at Washington.

SUNSHINE SUCCESS
The Sabres have swept nine of the 32 Florida/Tampa Bay road trips in franchise history. In the other 22 sets, the Sabres have earned: three points (3), two points (14), one point (2) and zero points (4). This gives them record of 35-24-5 (.586) in previous trips. They continue the current trip Saturday night at FLA.

“BALSOT PAR ZEMGUS”

  • Second-year Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons ended week two of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Fan Vote with 399,356 votes. This total makes him a distant leader, ahead of second-place P.K. Subban (240,362) and third-place Sidney Crosby (218,672).
  • Girgensons hasn’t gone two games without a point since Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. He has logged 11 points (6+5) in 13 games since then, including eight (5+3) in his last eight.
  • His eight goals through the first 25 games this season match his total from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has topped 20 minutes of ice time in four of the last five games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:28 per game.

MY NAME IS JHONAS

  • Jhonas Enroth has appeared in six straight games for the first time since he played in 11 in a row from Nov. 11 to Dec. 2, 2011.
  • In those six games, Enroth has gone 5-1-0, posting a 1.55 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.
  • With a win in his next appearance, Enroth would have the first four-game winning streak of his career.

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • When he sustained the knee injury that caused him to miss seven games on Nov. 11 at STL, Josh Gorges had blocked an NHL-best 60 shots. Gorges returned to action Tuesday vs. TBL and picked up right where he left off, blocking a game-high five shots.
  • Gorges has blocked 13.5 percent of all opponent shot attempts taken with him on the ice this season, the second-highest percentage among NHL defensemen who have played at least five games (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. five games played)

Rank Player Team GP BS On-IceBS%
1 Jared Spurgeon MIN 18 55 13.9%
2 Josh Gorges BUF   18 65 13.5%
3 Michael Stone ARI 26 74 13.5%
4 Christopher Tanev VAN 25 59 13.4%
5 Kris Russell CGY 24 70 13.0%

HEATING UP BEFORE WINTER

  • The Sabres are 6-1-0 in their last seven games, marking the team’s first such stretch since an identical 6-1-0 run in February 2012.
  • With a .500 record (6-6-1) in November, the Sabres had their best month since they went 5-5-2 in December 2013. The 13 points earned by the team last month was Buffalo’s highest total in a month since the team went 8-4-0 in April 2013.

BUF-TBL CONNECTIONS
Former Lightning:

  • Andrej Meszaros played for Tampa Bay from 2008-2010, registering 33 points (8+25) in 133 games.

Local Players:

  • Ryan Callahan was born in Rochester, N.Y. and played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.

Danny Flynn:

  • Coached Mark Barberio from 2007-2010 when he was a member of the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL).

Jhonas Enroth:

  • Played with Victor Hedman for Sweden in the 2008 World Junior Championship. Sweden won the silver medal in the tournament. They also played together for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Brett Connolly for Team Canada in the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Matthew Carle and Evgeni Nabokov for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2007.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played with Matthew Carle for the Lightning during the 2008-09 season and again for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2010-2012.

Torrey Mitchell:

  • Mitchell, Matthew Carle and Evgeni Nabokov were all members of the San Jose Sharks during the 2007-08 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Evgeni Nabokov for the New York Islanders from 2011-2013.
  • He and Brian Boyle were both members of the Los Angeles Kings from 2007-2009.

Michal Neuvirth:

  • Neuvirth (1988) and Mark Barberio (1990) were both born on March 23.

Drew Stafford:

  • Played with Matthew Carle for the United States in the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Ryan Callahan for the United States in the 2005 World Junior Championship.

Chris Stewart:              

  • Played with Ben Bishop for the St. Louis Blues during the 2010-11 season.
  • Played with Branden Morrow for the St. Louis Blues for part of the 2013-14 season.

Tyson Strachan:

  • Played with Ben Bishop for the St. Louis Blues during the 2008-09 and 2010-11 seasons. They also played together from 2007-2011 for the Peoria Rivermen.
  • Played with Jason Garrison for the Florida Panthers during the 2011-12 season.

Nikita Zadorov:

  • He and Nikita Kucherov were both born in Moscow, Russia.

NHL Draft:

  • Torrey Mitchell (126th overall) and Ryan Callahan (127th overall) were chosen with consecutive picks in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Draft.
  • The Sabres and Lightning combine to feature a total of four players who were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft: Cody Hodgson (10th overall), Tyler Myers (12th overall), Tyler Ennis (26th overall), and Steven Stamkos (1st overall).
  • Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) and Jonathan Drouin (3rd overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (83), Foligno (67), Weber (64)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (65), Myers (50), Weber (48)
Shots: Ennis (58), Stewart (55), Moulson (51)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
2-8-0 (2), 11/33, 0/32, 33/39
11-20: 3-5-2 (8), 23/36, 4/27, 28/39
21-30: 4-1-0 (8), 12/7, 1/12, 8/11

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-1; 97-99 all-time)
October 30 vs. Boston: L, 3-2 (GDG-Marchand, 1:20)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (4-1; 61-47 all-time)
October 14 at Carolina: W, 4-3 (GDG-Girgensons)
November 2 vs. Detroit: W, 3-2 (GDG-Girgensons)

November 5 vs. Montreal: L, 2-1 (GDG-Parenteau)
November 29 at Montreal: W, 4-3 (GDG-Flynn)
December 2 vs. Tampa Bay: W, 2-1 (GDG-Hodgson)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Jhonas Enroth … 3 games … 100 career games played
Zemgus Girgensons … 5 games … 100 career games played
Cody McCormick … 7 games … 400 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 8 games … 300 career games played
Points
Torrey Mitchell … 4 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 7 points … 500 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Tim Schaller … 1st NHL game … Nov. 29 at MTL
Brian Gionta … 800th NHL game … Nov. 29 at MTL
Josh Gorges … 100th NHL point … Dec. 2 vs. TBL

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