Game Preview: 12/9/14 vs. LAK

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Saturday, December 6
Buffalo 2 at Florida 3
Goals: Stafford, Gionta
Goalie: Neuvirth (34 saves/37 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 1/1; Shots: Florida 37 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 78)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 27 games
Andrej Meszaros (upper body, Nov, 29) – 4 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/3:
Assigned F Tim Schaller to Rochester (AHL)
12/4: Activated F Cody McCormick from IR

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Saturday. Dec. 20: Colorado at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
KINGS at SABRES

  • This is the second of two meetings between the Sabres and Kings this season.
  • Last meeting: Los Angeles defeated Buffalo, 2-0, in Los Angeles on Oct. 23
  • The Sabres are 6-3-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Kings; 9-1-0 at home
  • This is the 117th game all-time between Buffalo and Los Angeles; Buffalo has a 56-41-19 series record.
  • The Sabres are 32-16-9 at home against the Kings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 8-4-4 all-time on December 9.
  • December 9, 1981: Tony McKegney scores his second NHL hat trick as the Sabres top the Colorado Rockies, 7-1, at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • December 9, 1992: Alexander Mogilny scores his second of seven hat tricks in the 1992-93 season, leading Buffalo to a 5-2 win against Boston and keeping the Sabres unbeaten in eight straight home games against the Bruins.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game begins a four-game homestand for the Sabres, tying the team’s four-game stretch from Nov. 2 to 8 as the second-longest homestand of the season.
  • The last time one of these teams won in the other’s arena was a 5-1 Sabres victory on Oct. 23, 2003, when the Sabres snapped a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) in road games against the Kings that dated back to March 13, 1996 (6-2 Sabres win).
  • Matt Moulson has six points (3+3) in his last six games against the Kings.
  • Chris Stewart leads all Sabres with eight points (4+4) in 18 career games against the Kings.

KINGS IN BUFFALO

  • The Sabres are 11-1-1 (one tie) in their last 13 home games against the Kings, dating back to a 2-0 Sabres win on Dec. 17, 1993. During this stretch, the Sabres have outscored the Kings 58-21 on home ice.
  • The Kings have not won a game in Buffalo since their 4-1 win at HSBC Arena on Feb. 21, 2003. No players from either team’s roster that day remain on the rosters today.
  • The Sabres are 5-0-0 at home against Los Angeles since the last Kings win in Buffalo, outscoring the visitors by a combined 30-8 margin in those contests. With a win tonight, the Sabres would extend their streak to six games, achieving the longest home-winning streak against the Kings in franchise history.

EXPANDED ROLE FOR MYERS
Entering Monday night’s games, Tyler Myers ranks ninth in the league with an average time on ice of 25:10 per game. He skated a career-high 31:34 on Nov. 29 at MTL and has averaged 26:04 in his last 10 games (the highest 10-game average of his career) despite only playing two overtime games during that stretch. 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.

“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 has logged 11 points (6+5) in his last 15 games, including eight (5+3) in his last 10.
  • His eight goals through the first 27 games this season match his total from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has topped 19 minutes of ice time in six of his last seven games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:30 per game.

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • Josh Gorges ranks fifth in the NHL with 70 blocked shots entering play Monday despite missing seven games with a knee injury in November.
  • Gorges has blocked 13.4 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) entering Monday’s games.
  • 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 28 69 13.9%
2 Josh Gorges BUF   20 70 13.4%
3 Michael Stone ARI 28 79 13.2%
4 Jared Spurgeon MIN 20 56 13.0%
5 Kris Russell CGY 26 76 12.9%

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-LAK CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Robyn Regehr played for the Sabres from 2011-2013, tallying seven points (1+6) in 105 games.
  • Brayden McNabb was a part of the Sabres’ organization for parts of five seasons before being traded last season. Selected by Buffalo in the third round (66th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, McNabb played 37 games for the Sabres, totaling eight points (1+7). He also tallied 95 points (17+78) in 145 games for the Rochester Americans.
  • Jamie McBain played 69 games for the Buffalo Sabres during the 2013-14 season, totaling 17 points (6+11) and 14 penalty minutes.

Ted Nolan:

  • Ted’s son Jordan Nolan plays center for the Kings and was born in St. Catharine’s, Ontario, less than an hour from Buffalo.

Arturs Irbe:

  • Played with Justin Williams for the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2003-04 season.

Brian Flynn:

  • Shares a birthday with Alec Martinez. Martinez was born on July 26, 1987, while Flynn was born one year later on July 26, 1988.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Jeff Carter for Team Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championship.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter for the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2010-11 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played for the Kings from 2007-09, tallying 10 points in 29 games (6+4).
  • He is the brother-in-law of Jonathan Quick.

Michal Neuvirth:

  • Played with Jordan Nolan for the Windsor Spitfires during the 2007-08 season.

Drew Stafford:

  • Teammates with Dustin Brown for the United States at the 2006, 2008 and 2009 World Hockey Championships.
  • He and Matt Greene played together at the University of North Dakota for two seasons (2003-2005) and also for Team USA during the 2008 World Hockey Championship.

Mike Weber:

  • Played with Jordan Nolan for the Windsor Spitfires during the 2006-07 season.

London Trio:

  • Cody McCormick, Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty were all born in London, Ontario.

NHL Draft:

  • Tonight’s game will feature four second-round picks from the 2006 NHL Draft. Michal Neuvirth was taken 34th overall by Washington, the Sabres took Jhonas Enroth 46th overall, Mike Weber went 57th overall to Buffalo, and Jamie McBain was selected 63rd overall by Carolina.
  • Cody Hodgson, Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis and Drew Doughty were all selected in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Hodgson, selected by Vancouver, was the 10th overall selection, Myers was the 12th overall pick, Doughty was the 2nd overall pick and Ennis was chosen 26th
  • Nicolas Deslauriers and Braden McNabb, who were involved in the same trade last season, were both third-round selections in the 2009 NHL Draft. McNabb went 66th overall to the Sabres, and Deslauriers was taken 84th overall by the Kings.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Tanner Pearson (30th overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (90), Foligno (71), Weber (69)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (70), Myers (56), Weber (49)
Shots: Ennis (62), Moulson (59), Stewart (57)

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: 4-3-0 (8), 14/15, 1/17, 14/18

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 … 3 games … 100 career games played
Cody McCormick … 5 games … 400 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 6 games … 300 career games played
Points
Torrey Mitchell … 3 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 6 points … 500 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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