Game Preview: 12/23/14 at DET

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Sunday, December 21
Buffalo 4 at Boston 3 (OT)
Goals: Meszaros, Ristolainen, Schaller
Goalie: Enroth (33 saves/37 shots)
PP: 1/2; PK: 0/1; Shots: Boston 37 – Buffalo 28

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 112)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 34 games
Mike Weber (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 5 games
Cody McCormick (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 5 games
Torrey Mitchell (lower body, Dec. 16; injured reserve) – 3 games
Tyson Strachan (lower body, Dec. 20; injured reserve) – 2 games
Matt Moulson (illness, Dec. 20) – 2 games
Tyler Myers (lower body, Dec. 21) – 1 game
Patrick Kaleta (illness, Dec. 21) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/17:
Assigned F Mikhail Grigorenko to Rochester (AHL)
12/20: Recalled F Mikhail Grigorenko and F Johan Larsson from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Cody McCormick on IR
12/21: Recalled F Tim Schaller and D Mark Pysyk from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Torrey Mitchell and D Tyson Strachan on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Saturday, Dec. 27:
New York Islanders at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 29: Buffalo at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 31: Tampa Bay at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 2: Florida at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 3: Buffalo at NY Rangers, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at RED WINGS

  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Red Wings this season.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 13 in Buffalo
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Detroit, 3-2 (SO), in Buffalo on Nov. 2
  • The Sabres are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Red Wings; 1-7-2 on the road.
  • This is the 122nd game all-time between Buffalo and Detroit; Buffalo has a 54-51-16 series record.
  • The Sabres are 19-35-7 on the road against the Red Wings all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 17-8-4 all-time on December 23.
  • December 23, 1989: Phil Housley records five points (1+4) in a 6-5 win over the Quebec Nordiques, earning his share of the Sabres’ record for most points in one game by a defenseman (John Van Boxmeer is the other).
  • December 23, 2013: Mark Pysyk scores in overtime as the Sabres top the Coyotes, 2-1, despite dressing only 16 skaters and losing Drew Stafford to a game misconduct in the second period.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win the last time these teams met, the Sabres broke an eight-game losing streak against the Red Wings. A win tonight would be the Sabres’ first in Detroit since Oct. 13, 2006 and would give the Sabres wins in consecutive games against the Red Wings for the first time since March 4, 1994 and Nov. 1, 1995.
  • Chris Stewart leads all Sabres with 14 points (7+7) in 25 career games against the Red Wings.
  • Zemgus Girgensons scored in his NHL debut on Oct. 2, 2013 against the Red Wings and has four points (3+1) in five career games against Detroit.
  • Jhonas Enroth has compiled a 9-3-1 record in his last 13 games.

FAMILIAR FOES       

  • Tonight’s game marks the seventh of nine divisional games in the month of December, more than any other month this season. Buffalo is 3-2-1 against divisional opponents so far this month.
  • Having played five divisional games in November, the Sabres will play 14 of their 30 divisional games during November and December. Buffalo is 7-2-2 against divisional foes since Nov. 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.
  • The Sabres are 10-5-1 in their last 16 games, dating back to a 6-2 win on Nov. 15 vs. TOR.

IN THE LINE OF FIRE

  • Josh Gorges is tied for fourth in the NHL with 83 blocked shots entering Monday night’s games despite missing nine games to injury this season.
  • Gorges has blocked 13.0 percent of all opponent shot attempts taken with him on the ice this season, the fourth-highest percentage among NHL defensemen who have played at least 10 games (see chart below) before 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 32 80 14.1%
2 Kris Russell CGY 33 104 13.9%
3 Michael Stone ARI 31 83 13.1%
4 Josh Gorges BUF 25 83 13.0%
5 Radko Gudas TBL 28 57 12.1%

“BALSO PAR ZEMGU”

  • Second-year Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons ended week four of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Fan Vote with 1,089,865 votes. This total makes him a distant leader, ahead of second-place Patrick Kane (586,310) and third-place Jonathan Toews (573,198). More than 82 percent of his total votes were cast by Latvians.
  • His nine goals this season have already bested his total of eight from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has averaged 20:43 of ice time in his last 14 games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:55 per game this season.

BUF-DET CONNECTIONS
Ted Nolan:

  • Played parts of two seasons for the Red Wings (1981-82 and 1983-84), appearing in a total of 60 games. Initially selected by Detroit in the fifth round of the 1978 NHL Draft, Nolan tallied 20 points (5+15) during his time with the club.

Andre Benoit:

  • Played with Jakub Kindl for the Kitchener Rangers during the 2004-05 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • Played with Darren Helm for two seasons (2005-2007) with the Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL).

Jhonas Enroth:

  • Played with Niklas Kronwall, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Jonathan Ericsson for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.
  • Played with Joakim Andersson for Sweden at the 2008 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist for Sweden at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • He and Niklas Kronwall are natives of Stockholm, Sweden.

Brian Flynn:

  • Played with Gustav Nyquist at the University of Maine for three seasons from 2008-2011.

Cody Hodgson:

  • Hodgson and Brendan Smith were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

Matt Moulson

  • Played with Kyle Quincey for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2008-09 season.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played with Tomas Jurco and Tomas Tatar for Slovakia at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
  • Played with Drew Miller for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2009-10 season.

Chris Stewart:

  • Played with Kyle Quincey for the Colorado Avalanche from 2009-2011.

Mike Weber:

  • Played with Matt Lashoff for the Barrie Colts (OHL) during the 2006-07 season.

Local Players:

  • Tom McCollum was born in Amherst, NY and played for the Wheatfield Blades (EMJHL)
  • Riley Sheahan was born in St. Catharines, Ontario.

NHL Draft:

  • Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson and Tom McCollum were all taken in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft. Hodgson was selected 10th overall by Vancouver, Myers was taken 12th overall, Ennis went 26th overall and McCollum was selected 30th overall.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (106), Foligno (92), Weber (72)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (83), Myers (71), Ristolainen (58)
Shots: Ennis (81), Moulson (73), Stewart (67)

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: 7-3-0 (14), 22/22, 2/25, 20/25
31-40: 1-2-1 (3), 10/17, 3/13, 10/13

OVERTIME RESULTS (1-2; 98-100 all-time)
October 30 vs. Boston: L, 3-2 (GDG-Marchand, 1:20)
December 13 vs. Florida: W, 4-3 (GDG-Zadorov, 0:29)
December 21 at Boston: L, 4-3 (Eriksson, 2:14)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (5-1; 62-47 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)
December 15 vs. Ottawa: W, 5-2 (GDG-Moulson)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Cody McCormick … 2 games … 400 career games played
Points
Torrey Mitchell … 3 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 4 points … 500 career points
Matt Moulson … 10 points … 300 career points

RECENT MILESTONES
Tyler Ennis … 300th NHL game … Dec. 20 vs. COL
Johan Larsson … 1st NHL goal … Dec. 20 vs. COL
Tim Schaller … 1st NHL point (goal) … Dec. 21 at BOS

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