Game Preview: 12/31/14 vs. TBL


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Monday, December 29
Buffalo 2 at Ottawa 5
Goals: Pysyk, Girgensons
Goalie: Enroth (31 saves/35 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/4; PK: 2/2; Shots: Ottawa 35 – Buffalo 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 132)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Torrey Mitchell (lower body, Dec. 16; injured reserve) – 6 games
Tyler Myers (lower body, Dec. 21; injured reserve) – 4 games
Marcus Foligno (undisclosed, Dec. 23) – 3 games
Brian Gionta (upper body, Dec. 23) – 3 games
Rasmus Ristolainen (illness, Dec. 29) – 1 game

Recalled F Mikhail Grigorenko from Rochester (AHL); Activated F Cody McCormick and D Mike Weber from IR
12/28: Recalled D Mark Pysyk from Rochester (AHL)
12/29: Activated D Tyson Strachan from IR; Placed D Tyler Myers on IR; Placed G Matt Hackett on waivers
12/30: Assigned G Matt Hackett to Rochester (AHL)

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.
Thursday, Jan. 8: Buffalo at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 9: Buffalo at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.


  • This is the third of five meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Next meeting: Friday, Jan. 9 in Tampa Bay
  • Last meeting: Tampa Bay defeated Buffalo, 5-0, in Tampa Bay on Dec. 4
  • The Sabres are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 5-3-2 at home
  • This is the 84th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 51-25-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 24-13-4 at home against the Lightning all-time.


  • The Sabres are 13-10-5 all-time on December 31.
  • December 31, 1987: The Sabres trade Paul Cyr and a 10th-round draft pick in 1988 (Eric Fenton) to the New York Rangers for Mike Donnelly and a fifth-round pick in 1988 (Alexander Mogilny).
  • December 31, 1993: Alexander Mogilny appears in his 300th NHL game and Dominik Hasek stops 39 of 40 shots as the Sabres defeat the Rangers, 4-1, at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • December 31, 1997: Michael Peca scores two shorthanded goals in a 3-0 win over Ottawa. Peca still shares the franchise record for most shorthanded goals scored in one game by a single player with Alexei Zhitnik, Bob Sweeney and Don Luce.


  • The Sabres enter tonight’s game with a 9-2-0 record in their last 11 home games. It is their best 11-game stretch at home since the team went 8-1-2 in the last 11 home games of the 2011-12 season. Before the current stretch, the Sabres had not won nine of 11 home games since Jan. 17 to March 7, 2007.
  • Jhonas Enroth has compiled a 10-4-1 record in his last 15 games.
  • If he is in the lineup, tonight will be Cody McCormick’s 400th NHL game.
  • Brian Gionta leads all Sabres with 26 points (13+13) in 40 career games against the Lightning.
  • With points in his last five games (2+3), Chris Stewart is on his longest point streak since March 2011.


  • In the last nine seasons, Buffalo has compiled a record of 24-11-2 (.676) against Tampa Bay. The Sabres have scored seven or more goals in a single game against the Lightning six times during that stretch.
  • Buffalo’s franchise record of 51-25-7 (.657) against Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time record against any Eastern Conference opponent. The team’s record against San Jose (22-6-5, .742) is the only better all-time series record.


  • Tonight’s game marks the ninth and final divisional game in the month of December for the Sabres, more than any other month this season. Buffalo is 3-4-1 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 7-4-2 against divisional foes since Nov. 2.


  • Josh Gorges ranks second in the NHL with 96 blocked shots entering Tuesday’s games despite missing nine games to injury this season.
  • Gorges has blocked 12.9 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 through 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.


  • Second-year Latvian forward Zemgus Girgensons ended week six of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Fan Vote with 1,466,077 votes. This total makes him a distant leader, ahead of second-place Patrick Kane (1,075,304) and third-place Jonathan Toews (1,061,691).
  • His 11 goals this season have already bested his total of eight from his 70-game rookie season.
  • Girgensons has averaged 20:24 of ice time in his last 17 games and leads all Sabres forwards with an average ice time of 18:55 per game this season.

Former Lightning:

  • Andrej Meszaros played for Tampa Bay from 2008-2010, registering 33 points (8+25) in 133 games.

Local Players:

  • Ryan Callahan was born in Rochester, N.Y. and played for the Buffalo Lightning (OPJHL) during the 2001-02 season.

Danny Flynn:

  • Coached Mark Barberio from 2007-2010 when he was a member of the Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL).

Jhonas Enroth:

  • Played with Victor Hedman for Sweden in the 2008 World Junior Championship. Sweden won the silver medal in the tournament. They also played together for Sweden at the 2012 World Championship.

Marcus Foligno:

  • Played with Brett Connolly for Team Canada in the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Josh Gorges:

  • Played with Matthew Carle and Evgeni Nabokov for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2007.

Andrej Meszaros:

  • Played with Matthew Carle for the Lightning during the 2008-09 season and again for the Philadelphia Flyers from 2010-2012.

Torrey Mitchell:

  • Mitchell, Matthew Carle and Evgeni Nabokov were all members of the San Jose Sharks during the 2007-08 season.

Matt Moulson:

  • Played with Evgeni Nabokov for the New York Islanders from 2011-2013.
  • He and Brian Boyle were both members of the Los Angeles Kings from 2007-2009.

Michal Neuvirth:

  • Neuvirth (1988) and Mark Barberio (1990) were both born on March 23.

Drew Stafford:

  • Played with Matthew Carle for the United States in the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Ryan Callahan for the United States in the 2005 World Junior Championship.

Chris Stewart:              

  • Played with Ben Bishop for the St. Louis Blues during the 2010-11 season.
  • Played with Branden Morrow for the St. Louis Blues for part of the 2013-14 season.

Tyson Strachan:

  • Played with Ben Bishop for the St. Louis Blues during the 2008-09 and 2010-11 seasons. They also played together from 2007-2011 for the Peoria Rivermen.
  • Played with Jason Garrison for the Florida Panthers during the 2011-12 season.

Nikita Zadorov:

  • He and Nikita Kucherov were both born in Moscow, Russia.

NHL Draft:

  • Torrey Mitchell (126th overall) and Ryan Callahan (127th overall) were chosen with consecutive picks in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Draft.
  • The Sabres and Lightning combine to feature a total of four players who were drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft: Cody Hodgson (10th overall), Tyler Myers (12th overall), Tyler Ennis (26th overall) and Steven Stamkos (first overall).
  • Nikita Zadorov (16th overall) and Jonathan Drouin (third overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Deslauriers (116), Foligno (92), Weber (78)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (96), Myers (71), Ristolainen (61)
Shots: Ennis (88), Moulson (76), Girgensons (73)

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: 2-4-1 (5), 19/31, 3/21, 16/23

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 (6-1; 63-47 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)
December 27 vs. NY Islanders: W, 4-3 (GDG-Ennis)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Cody McCormick … 1 game … 400 career games played
Torrey Mitchell … 3 points … 100 career points
Brian Gionta … 4 points … 500 career points
Matt Moulson … 9 points … 300 career points


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