Game Preview: 10/17/15 at TBL


Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

Thursday, October 15
Buffalo 2 at Florida 3
Goals: McCabe, Ennis
Goalie: Johnson (26 saves/29 shots)
PP: 1/6; PK: 3/5; Shots: Florida 29 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 22)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Zach Bogosian (lower body, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 4 games
Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 4 games
Bobby Sanguinetti (lower body, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 4 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10) – 3 games

Recalled D Jake McCabe from Rochester (AHL)
10/13: Activated D Brendan Guhle from IR; assigned Guhle to Prince Albert (WHL); Placed D Matt Donovan on waivers
10/14: Assigned D Matt Donovan to Rochester (AHL)

Wednesday, Oct. 21:
Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23: Montreal at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 24: New Jersey at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 27: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 29: Buffalo at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.


  • This is the second of four meetings between the Sabres and Lightning this season.
  • Last meeting: Tampa Bay defeated Buffalo, 4-1, in Buffalo on Oct. 10
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Nov. 5 in Tampa Bay
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Lightning; 4-6-0 on the road
  • This is the 88th game all-time between Buffalo and Tampa Bay; Buffalo has a 51-29-7 series record.
  • The Sabres are 27-14-3 on the road against the Lightning all-time.


  • The Sabres are 9-13-1 all-time on October 17.
  • October 17, 1974: Lee Fogolin and Don Luce score goals four seconds apart in the third period as the Sabres defeat the California Golden Seals, 6-1.
  • October 17, 1990: Gilbert Perreault’s number 11 is raised to the rafters at Memorial Auditorium, making Perreault the first player in franchise history to have his number retired.


  • All four Sabres/Lightning games this year fall within the first 15 games for the Sabres, with the final matchup scheduled for Nov. 10 in Tampa Bay.
  • The Sabres are looking to avoid losing six consecutive games to the Lightning – and four straight road games to the Lightning – for the first time in franchise history.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has six points (3+3) in his last six games against the Lightning.
  • Brian Gionta leads all Sabres with 26 points (13+13) in 41 career games against Tampa Bay.
  • Entering Friday night’s games, Rasmus Ristolainen ranked ninth in the NHL with an average time on ice of 24:49 per game. Ristolainen enters tonight’s game on a two game point streak, with three power play points (1+2) in his last two games.


  • The Sabres’ 27-14-3 (.648) record in Tampa Bay is the team’s best all-time road record against any opponent, edging their 5-3-0 (.625) record at Minnesota. Their next best road record against an Eastern Conference opponent is their 41-24-10 (.613) mark at Washington.
  • Since the beginning of the 2005-06 season, Buffalo has compiled a record of 24-15-2 (.610) 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 all-time record of 51-29-7 (.626) against Tampa Bay is the team’s second-best record against any Eastern Conference opponent, trailing only their 86-44-19 (.641) mark against Washington.

The Sabres have swept nine of the 34 previous Florida/Tampa Bay road trips in franchise history. In the other 25 sets, the Sabres have earned: three points (3), two points (14), one point (2) and zero points (6). This gives them record of 35-28-5 (.551) in previous trips. This Florida trip began with a loss at Florida on Thursday.

Ryan O’Reilly
has tallied 19 points (5+14) in his last 17 road games, including an assist on Thursday at Florida, his first road game as a member of the Sabres. O’Reilly hasn’t gone without a point in three consecutive road games since a pointless stretch from Jan. 6 to Jan. 13, 2015.

Despite a 5-on-5 zone start percentage (33.3%) that ranks as the second-lowest among all Sabres through four games, Johan Larsson leads all Sabres centers with a 5-on-5 shot attempt (Corsi) percentage of 56.9%. Larsson leads qualifying Sabres centers with a faceoff percentage of 52.9 percent in the defensive zone in all game states.

Entering Friday night’s action, Ryan O’Reilly ranked eighth in the league with 84 faceoffs taken, accounting for one-third of Buffalo’s total faceoffs. O’Reilly’s faceoff percentage (56.0%) ranked him 13th in the league among players with at least 50 faceoffs taken before Friday’s games.


  • Nine players made their Sabres regular-season debuts in the season-opener on Oct. 8 vs. OTT: Carlo Colaiacovo, Jack Eichel, Cody Franson, Chad Johnson, Evander Kane, David Legwand, Robin Lehner, Jamie McGinn and Ryan O’Reilly
    • According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this was the most debuts the Sabres have ever had in a season-opener and the most since seven players did so in 1986-87 (Christian Ruuttu, Clark Gillies, Jim Korn, Ken Priestlay, Scott Arniel, Shawn Anderson and Wilf Paiement).
  • Only 10 of the 20 Sabres players who dressed for the first game of the 2014-15 season appeared on the team’s 2015-16 opening day roster. Only five players on this year’s opening day roster suited up for the team in the season-opener two years ago: Tyler Ennis, Zemgus Girgensons, Mark Pysyk, Rasmus Ristolainen, Mike Weber

Entering the season, the 23 players on the Sabres’ opening day roster had combined to play 6,520 NHL games, 662 more than last year’s opening-day roster had between them. The average Sabres skater entering the 2015-16 season had played 28 more NHL games than his counterpart from last season and 60 more games than his 2013-14 counterpart.


  • Buffalo finished the preseason with a 4-3-0 record; 1-2-0 at home and 3-1-0 on the road
  • Jack Eichel led all Sabres and tied for ninth in the league with six points (2+4) in four preseason games, including a league-high two shorthanded goals.
  • Sam Reinhart tied for fifth in the league with five assists in five games.
  • The Sabres ranked fourth in the league with 26 goals, including a league-high five shorthanded goals.

Of the 22 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • Nine were originally drafted by the Sabres — six were first-round Buffalo selections (Ennis, 2008; Pysyk, 2010; Girgensons, 2012; Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015), two were second-round picks (Weber, 2006; McCabe, 2012) and one was a fourth-round pick (Foligno, 2009)
  • Eight were acquired in trades: Deslauriers, Johnson, Kane, Larsson, Legwand, Lehner, McGinn, O’Reilly
  • Five were signed as free agents: Colaiacovo, Donovan, Franson, Gionta, Moulson
  • 12 played in Buffalo at some point last season
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: Colaiacovo, Donovan, Eichel, Franson, Legwand, Lehner, McGinn, O’Reilly
  • Two are opening the season on an NHL roster for the first time in their careers: Eichel, McCabe

Local Players:

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

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • Played with Anton Stralman for the Toronto Maple Leafs from 2007-2009.
  • He and Ben Bishop were teammates for the St. Louis Blues during the 2008-09 and 2010-11 seasons.

Josh Gorges:

  • Represented Team Canada alongside Braydon Coburn at the 2004 World Junior Championship.
  • Played with Matthew Carle for the San Jose Sharks from 2005-2007.

Chad Johnson:

  • Played with Brian Boyle and Ryan Callahan for the New York Rangers from 2009-2011.
  • Played with Kevin Poulin for the New York Islanders during the 2014-15 season.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played at the 2012 World Championship for Team Sweden alongside Victor Hedman.

Matt Moulson:

  • He and Brian Boyle were both members of the Los Angeles Kings from 2007-2009.
  • Played with Kevin Poulin for the New York Islanders from 2010-2013.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • He was born on Feb. 7, 1991, exactly one year after Steven Stamkos.

Sam Reinhart:

  • Represented Team Canada alongside Jonathan Drouin at the 2014 World Junior Championship.

World Championships:

  • Multiple Sabres have played with Steven Stamkos for Team Canada at World Championships. Evander Kane and Chad Johnson both played with Stamkos in 2010, and Ryan O’Reilly represented Team Canada alongside Stamkos in 2013.
  • Matt Donovan and Jake McCabe both played with Tyler Johnson for the United States at the 2014 World Championship.

NHL Draft:

  • Cody Franson (79th overall by Nashville) and Ben Bishop (85th overall by St. Louis) were both third-round picks in the 2005 NHL Draft.
  • The Sabres and Lightning each have a player who was drafted in the first round of the 2008 NHL Draft: Tyler Ennis (26th overall) and Steven Stamkos (1st overall).
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Andrei Vasilevskiy (19th overall) were both first-round picks in the 2012 NHL Draft.
  • Rasmus Ristolainen (8th overall) and Jonathan Drouin (3rd overall) were both taken in the first round of the 2013 NHL Draft.

Kane (12), Girgensons (9), Deslauriers (8)
Blocked Shots: Gorges (5), Pysyk/Ristolainen (4), Colaiacovo (3)
Shots: Ennis (15), Ristolainen (13), Kane (12)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK] 1-10: 1-3-0 (2), 8/12, 5/18, 7/11

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 98-101 all-time)

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 65-51 all-time)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Marcus Foligno … 4 games … 200 career games played
Ryan O’Reilly … 9 goals … 100 career goals
Zach Bogosian … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 9 assists … 100 career assists

Jake McCabe … 1st NHL goal … Oct. 15 at FLA

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