Game Preview: 12/6/14 at FLA


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

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

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

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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%

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.

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.

Deslauriers (85), Foligno (68), Weber (66)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (67), Myers (53), Weber (49)
Shots: Ennis (59), Stewart (55), Moulson (52)

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
Torrey Mitchell … 4 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 7 points … 500 career points

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

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