Game Preview: 12/6/14 at FLA

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, December 4
Buffalo 0 at Tampa Bay 5
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Enroth (30 saves/35 shots)
PP: 0/3; PK: 5/6; Shots: Tampa Bay 35 – Buffalo 13

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 76)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 26 games
Andrej Meszaros (upper body, Nov, 29) – 3 games
Drew Stafford (lower body, Nov. 29) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
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
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.
Tuesday, Dec. 16: Buffalo at Winnipeg, 8 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at PANTHERS

  • This is the second of five meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Next meeting: Saturday, Dec. 13 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo, 1-0, in Buffalo on Oct. 17
  • The Sabres are 3-4-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 6-2-2 on the road.
  • This is the 81st game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 44-29-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 20-16-3 on the road against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-9-3 all-time on December 6.
  • December 6, 1970: Roger Crozier stops 24 shots to record the first shutout in franchise history, a 1-0 Sabres victory over the Minnesota North Stars at the Aud.
  • December 6, 1973: Jim Lorentz records two goals and four assists to lead the Sabres to an 8-4 victory over the Rangers at the Aud.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Michal Neuvirth is expected to get his first start since he left the team’s game on Nov. 18 vs. SJS with a lower-body injury. He had a .928 save percentage in the six and one-third games leading up to his injury.
  • The Sabres are looking to avoid losing consecutive road games to the Panthers for the first time since the lost three in a row from Oct. 15, 2005 to Dec. 7, 2006.
  • Buffalo will also look to avoid losing five consecutive games to the Panthers for the first time in franchise history.
  • Brian Gionta leads all Sabres with 28 points (18+10) in 40 career games against the Panthers.

SUNSHINE SUCCESS
The Sabres have swept nine of the 32 previous Florida/Tampa Bay road trips in franchise history. In the other 23 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 began this trip with a 5-0 loss at TBL on Thursday and will look to avoid being swept (no points) for the first time since Dec. 17 and 18, 2010.

“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 14 games since then, including eight (5+3) in his last nine. He needs a point tonight to continue the trend.
  • His eight goals through the first 26 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 six games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:27 per game.

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • Josh Gorges ranks fifth in the NHL with 67 blocked shots entering play Friday despite missing seven games with a knee injury.
  • Gorges has blocked 13.5 percent of all opponent shot attempts taken with him on the ice this season, the third-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 Christopher Tanev VAN 26 62 13.7%
2 Jared Spurgeon MIN 19 56 13.5%
3 Josh Gorges BUF   19 67 13.5%
4 Kris Russell CGY 25 74 13.3%
5 Michael Stone ARI 27 76 13.2%

HEATING UP BEFORE WINTER
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-FLA CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Draft, Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 – 2007-08). As a Sabre, 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).

Former Panthers:                             

  • Tyson Strachan Played for Florida from 2011-2013, tallying seven points (1+6) in 53 games for the Panthers.

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:                                                 

  • Teammates with Brad Boyes from 2008-2011 as members of the St. Louis Blues.

NHL Draft:

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

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (85), Foligno (68), Weber (66)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (67), Myers (53), Weber (49)
Shots: Ennis (59), Stewart (55), Moulson (52)

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: 4-2-0 (8), 12/12, 1/15, 13/17

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 … 2 games … 100 career games played
Zemgus Girgensons … 4 games … 100 career games played
Cody McCormick … 6 games … 400 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 7 games … 300 career games played
Points
Torrey Mitchell … 4 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 7 points … 500 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Josh Gorges … 100th NHL point … Dec. 2 vs. TBL

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