Game Preview: 12/27/14 vs. NYI

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, December 23
Buffalo 3 at Detroit 6
Goals: Deslauriers, Stewart, Benoit
Goalie: Neuvirth (33 saves/39 shots)
PP: 0/1; PK: 2/6; Shots: Detroit 39 – Buffalo 16

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 121)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Matt Hackett (lower body, Oct. 9; injured reserve) – 35 games
Mike Weber (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 6 games
Cody McCormick (lower body, Dec. 13; injured reserve) – 6 games
Torrey Mitchell (lower body, Dec. 16; injured reserve) – 4 games
Tyson Strachan (lower body, Dec. 20; injured reserve) – 3 games
Matt Moulson (illness, Dec. 20) – 3 games
Tyler Myers (lower body, Dec. 21) – 2 games
Marcus Foligno (undisclosed, Dec. 23) – 1 game
Brian Gionta (upper body, Dec. 23) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
12/21:
Recalled F Tim Schaller and D Mark Pysyk from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Torrey Mitchell and D Tyson Strachan on IR
12/23: Recalled F Joel Armia from Rochester (AHL); Placed F Marcus Foligno on IR
12/27: Assigned F Joel Armia, F Mikhail Grigorenko, F Tim Schaller and D Mark Pysyk to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Tuesday, Jan. 6: Buffalo at New Jersey, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
ISLANDERS at SABRES

  • This is the first of three meetings between the Sabres and Islanders this season.
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Feb. 8 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Islanders; 5-3-2 at home.
  • This is the 157th game all-time between Buffalo and NY Islanders; Buffalo has a 76-57-23 series record.
  • The Sabres are 42-24-12 at home against the Islanders all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 11-7-2 all-time on December 27.
  • December 27, 2003: Jason Pominville makes his NHL debut in a 3-1 win at Washington.
  • December 27, 2003: Miroslav Satan records a goal and two assists as the Sabres defeat the Capitals, 3-1, in Washington.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Three of the last four games between the Sabres and Islanders have been decided in shootouts.
  • Andrej Meszaros leads all Sabres with 28 points (11+17) in 31 career games against the Islanders.
  • Andre Benoit has four points (1+3) in five games against the Islanders, including an assist in each of his last three. Matt Moulson has four points (3+1) in two games against his former team.
  • Jhonas Enroth has compiled a 9-3-1 record in his last 13 games.
  • Through five weeks of fan voting for the NHL All-Star Game, 10 percent of all votes have gone to Sabres players, on the strength of team leaders Zemgus Girgensons (1,291,186 votes), Tyler Myers (203,607) and Jhonas Enroth (190,006).

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 10-6-1 in their last 17 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 87 blocked shots despite missing nine games to injury this season.
  • Gorges has blocked 12.8 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).
  • 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 Kris Russell CGY 34 109 14.0%
2 Christopher Tanev VAN 33 82 13.8%
3 Josh Gorges BUF 26 87 12.8%
4 Michael Stone ARI 33 83 12.2%
5 Simon Despres PIT 33 49 12.0%

“BALSO PAR ZEMGU”

  • Second-year Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons ended week five of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Fan Vote with 1,291,186 votes. This total makes him a distant leader, ahead of second-place Patrick Kane (815,990) and third-place Jonathan Toews (803,034).
  • His nine goals this season have already bested his total of eight from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has averaged 20:38 of ice time in his last 15 games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:56 per game this season.

BUF-NYI CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Eric Boulton played for the Sabres for four seasons (2000-2004). Boulton appeared in172 games, scoring 17 points (5+12).
  • Jaroslav Halak was a member of the Sabres for four days during the 2013-14 season. He was acquired from the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 28 before being dealt to the Washington Capitals on Mar. 5, and did not appear in a game during his brief stint in Buffalo.

Former Islanders:

  • Bryan Trottier played 15 seasons for the New York Islanders and won four-straight Stanley Cup Championships with the club from 1980-1983. He still ranks among the franchise leaders in virtually every offensive category, including points (1st, 1,353), goals (2nd, 500), assists (1st, 853), games played (1st, 1,123) and plus/minus (1st, plus-470).
  • Ted Nolan coached the Islanders for two seasons from 2006-2008.  He compiled an overall record of 75-68-21, also leading the club to a postseason berth in 2006-07.
  • Matt Moulson played for the Islanders from 2009-2013, registering 223 points (118+105) in 223 games.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Calvin de Haan and Casey Cizikas for Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens from 2006-2010. Mikhail Grabovski was also part of the team during the 2007-08 season.

Brian Gionta:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the Montreal Canadiens from during the 2009-10 season.

Cody Hodgson:          

  • He and Casey Cizikas were both born in Toronto, Ontario.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Meszaros, Johnny Boychuk and Chad Johnson all played for the Boston Bruins during the 2013-14 season.

Torrey Mitchell:

  • Played with Cal Clutterbuck for the Minnesota Wild during the 2012-13 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Lubomir Visnovsky for the Los Angeles Kings during the 2007-08 season.  The two were then reunited with the Islanders from 2012-13.

Michal Neuvirth:                

  • Played with Josh Bailey for the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) during the 2007-08 season.
  • Teammates with John Tavares for the Oshawa Generals (OHL) during the 2007-08 season.

Chris Stewart:

  • Played with Jaroslav Halak for the St. Louis Blues from 2010-2014 when they were both traded to Buffalo as part of the same deal.

Mike Weber:                       

  • Played with Josh Bailey for the Windsor Spitfires (OHL) in 2006-07.

Nikita Zadorov:

  • Zadorov (1995) and Kyle Okposo (1988) were both born on April 16.

2009 World Juniors:

  • Tyler Myers, Tyler Ennis, Cody Hodgson, John Tavares and Thomas Hickey all played for Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Matt Moulson (263rd overall) and Jaroslav Halak (271st overall) were both chosen in the ninth round of the 2003 NHL Draft.
  • Michael Neuvirth (34th overall), Jhonas Enroth (46th overall), Mike Weber (57th overall) and Nikolay Kulemin (44th overall) were all selected in the second round of the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Tyler Myers, Cody Hodgson, Tyler Ennis and Josh Bailey were all first-round selections in the 2008 NHL Draft. Bailey was the ninth pick, Hodgson, selected by Vancouver, was the 10th pick, Myers was picked 12th and Ennis was the 26th selection.
  • Marcus Foligno and Casey Cizikas were both drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft. Cizikas was the 92nd overall pick, while Foligno was picked 104th overall.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) and Brock Nelson (30th overall) were both first-round draft picks in the 2010 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Deslauriers (108), Foligno (92), Girgensons (74)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (87), Myers (71), Ristolainen (61)
Shots: Ennis (83), Moulson (73), Stewart (69)

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: 1-3-1 (3), 13/23, 3/14, 12/19

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
Tim Schaller … 1st NHL point (goal) … Dec. 21 at BOS

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