Game Preview: 12/27/14 vs. NYI


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

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

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)

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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).


  • 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.


  • 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%


  • 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.

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.

Deslauriers (108), Foligno (92), Girgensons (74)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (87), Myers (71), Ristolainen (61)
Shots: Ennis (83), Moulson (73), Stewart (69)

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
Torrey Mitchell … 3 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 4 points … 500 career points
Matt Moulson … 10 points … 300 career points

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

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