Game Preview: 12/13/14 vs. FLA

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, December 11
Calgary 3 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Moulson (2), Foligno, Girgensons
Goalie: Enroth (42 saves/45 shots)
PP: 0/2; PK: 3/4; Shots: Calgary 45 – Buffalo 19

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 85)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 29 games
Andrej Meszaros (upper body, Nov. 29) – 6 games
Tyson Strachan (lower body, Dec. 6) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
N/A

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Sunday, Dec. 21: Buffalo at Boston, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 23: Buffalo at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
PANTHERS at SABRES

  • This is the third of five meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Next meeting: Friday, Jan. 2 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo, 3-2, in Florida on Dec. 6
  • The Sabres are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 3-6-1 at home.
  • This is the 82nd game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo has a 44-30-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-13-4 at home against the Panthers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 6-10-3 all-time on December 13.
  • December 13, 1972: The Sabres defeat the Boston Bruins, 7-3, in a game which featured 154 penalty minutes, including 76 by the Sabres alone. Among the penalties was the infamous fight that featured Sabres defenseman Jim Schoenfeld crashing through the zamboni doors with Bruins forward Wayne Cashman.
  • December 13, 2008: Thomas Vanek scores the 10,000th goal in franchise history in a 4-2 win at New Jersey.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game is the third in 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 Sabres are 8-3-0 in their last 11 games, winning eight games in an 11-game span for the first time since March 7 to 27, 2012 (8-1-2). With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in nine of 12 games for the first time since Feb. 19 to March 12, 2012 (9-2-1).
  • Buffalo enters tonight with wins in four straight home games. A win tonight would give the team their first five-game winning streak at home since Dec. 17, 2013 to Jan. 4, 2014.
  • Tyler Ennis has 13 points (4+9) in his last 13 games.
  • Drew Stafford has a point in each of his three games (1+2) since returning from a lower-body injury.
  • Zemgus Girgensons will appear in his 100th NHL game tonight.

SABRES-PANTHERS

  • The Panthers are in the midst of their first ever winning streak in Buffalo, having won the last four matchups at First Niagara Center.
  • Buffalo will look to avoid losing six consecutive games to the Panthers for the first time in franchise history.
  • Brian Gionta leads all Sabres with 29 points (19+10) in 41 career games against the Panthers.
  • Jhonas Enroth is 1-1-1 in his career against the Panthers, with a 0.97 goals-against average and a .974 save percentage.

EXPANDED ROLE FOR MYERS
Entering Friday night’s games, Tyler Myers ranks ninth in the league with an average time on ice of 25:18 per game. He skated a career-high 31:34 on Nov. 29 at MTL and has averaged 26:17 in his last 10 games despite playing only two overtime games during that stretch; it is the highest 10-game average ice time of his career. 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.

MY NAME IS JHONAS

  • In his last nine games, Jhonas Enroth has compiled a 7-2-0 record, with a .944 save percentage and a 1.93 goals-against average.
  • Before Friday’s games, Enroth ranks fifth among NHL goaltenders with at least 10 games played with a .936 save percentage at even strength.
  • According to Elias Sports Bureau, Enroth’s fourth career shutout on Tuesday vs. LAK made him the first goaltender in NHL history to record his first four shutouts in 1-0 wins.

“BALSO PAR ZEMGU”

  • Second-year Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons ended week three of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Fan Vote with 803,805 votes. This total makes him a distant leader, ahead of second-place Patrick Kane (375,758) and third-place Jonathan Toews (367,962). Nearly 82 percent of his total votes were cast by Latvians and 80 percent were from Sabres fans.
  • His nine goals through the first 29 games this season have already bested his total of eight from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has topped 19 minutes of ice time in eight of his last nine games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:38 per game.

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • Josh Gorges ranks fourth in the NHL with 77 blocked shots entering play Friday 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 third-highest percentage among NHL defensemen who have played at least 10 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. 10 games played)

Rank Player Team GP BS On-IceBS%
1 Christopher Tanev VAN 29 75 14.3%
2 Kris Russell CGY 28 86 13.6%
3 Josh Gorges BUF 22 77 13.2%
4 Michael Stone ARI 29 81 13.2%
5 Radko Gudas TBL 26 54 12.5%

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. Shane O’Brien was also on the team during the 2009-09 season.
  • 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.

Mike Weber:

  • He and Vincent Trocheck were both born in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Toronto Trio:

  • Cody Hodgson, Chris Stewart and Brandon Pirri are all from Toronto, Ontario.

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 (92), Foligno (79), Weber (72)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (77), Myers (63), Weber (53)
Shots: Ennis (66), Moulson (64), Stewart (58)

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: 6-3-0 (12), 18/19, 2/23, 19/24

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

Zemgus Girgensons … 1 game … 100 career games played
Cody McCormick … 2 games … 400 career games played
Tyler Ennis … 4 games … 300 career games played
Points
Torrey Mitchell … 3 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 6 points … 500 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Jhonas Enroth … 100th NHL game … Dec. 11 vs. CGY

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