Game Preview: 10/23/15 vs. MTL

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Wednesday, October 21
Toronto 1 at Buffalo 2 (SO)
Goals: Kane; GDG- Moulson
Goalie: Johnson (23 saves/24 shots)
PP: 0/4; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 35 – Tampa Bay 24

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 29)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed

Zach Bogosian (lower body, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 6 games
Cody McCormick (blood clot, Oct. 8; injured reserve) – 6 games
Robin Lehner (high ankle sprain, Oct. 10) – 5 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
10/21:
Activated D Bobby Sanguinetti from IR; placed Sanguinetti on waivers
10/22: Assigned D Bobby Sanguinetti to Rochester (AHL)

UPCOMING GAMES
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.
Friday, Oct. 30: Philadelphia at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 1: Buffalo at NY Islanders, 7:30 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CANADIENS at SABRES

  • This is the first of five meetings between the Sabres and Canadiens this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Montreal, 3-2, in Montreal on Feb. 3
  • Next meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 3 in Montreal
  • The Sabres are 4-5-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Canadiens; 5-3-2 at home
  • This is the 267th game all-time between Buffalo and Montreal; Buffalo has a 122-106-38 series record.
  • The Sabres are 70-37-25 at home against the Canadiens all-time.

THIS DAY IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-8-1 all-time on October 23.
  • October 23, 1983: The Sabres top the Winnipeg Jets, 5-2, to earn the 500th win in franchise history.
  • October 23, 1992: Dominik Hasek relieves Daren Puppa to start the third period vs. San Jose and earns his first of 234 wins with the Sabres.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • In his last four games, Chad Johnson has stopped 70 of 73 shots in 185:51 at even strength, logging a .959 even-strength save percentage and a 0.97 even-strength goals-against average during that stretch.
  • Entering Thursday night’s games, Ryan O’Reilly (21:32) and Evander Kane (21:07) ranked second and third, respectively, among NHL forwards in average time on ice per game. Tyler Ennis (20:41) ranked eighth.
  • Jake McCabe (17:27) set a career-high in ice time for the second consecutive game on Wednesday vs. Toronto.

SABRES-CANADIENS NOTES

  • The Sabres have gone 14-6-2 in their last 22 games against the Canadiens.
  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in four straight games against Montreal for the first time since they won six in a row from Jan. 18, 2011 to Jan. 31, 2012. With a win or overtime loss, they’d have points in five straight matchups with the Canadiens for the first time since they had points in nine straight (8-0-1) from Jan. 18, 2011 to March 21, 2012.
  • Buffalo has more wins against Montreal (122) than against any other NHL team. The Sabres have 120 wins against the Bruins, but have played 11 more games against Boston than against Montreal.
  • Tyler Ennis has 14 points (7+7) in his last 16 games against the Canadiens and 12 points (6+6) in his last 11 at home against Montreal.
  • Matt Moulson has recorded 12 points (9+3) in his last 13 games against the Canadiens, dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 season.
  • Ryan O’Reilly has six points (3+3) in seven career games against Montreal.
  • Nathan Lieuwen made his NHL debut against Montreal, stopping 10 of 10 shots in 21:45 of relief on March 16, 2014.
  • Brian Gionta leads all Sabres with 20 points (12+8) in 28 career games against Montreal.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens up Buffalo’s first of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. NJD. The Sabres were 4-14-1 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 4-14-1 in the second game last season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in back-to-back sets last season was: four points (1), three points (1), two points (5), one point (1) and zero points (11).

QUICK DRAW McGRAW
Entering Thursday night’s action, Ryan O’Reilly was tied for sixth in the league with 135 faceoffs taken, accounting for 36.5% of Buffalo’s total faceoffs. O’Reilly’s faceoff percentage (57.0%) ranked him 15th in the league among players with at least 50 faceoffs taken before Thursday’s games.

GETTING OUT OF TROUBLE
Entering play Thursday, 18 NHL players with at least five even-strength defensive zone starts had a 5-on-5 offensive zone start percentage of less than 40 percent and a corsi for percentage of greater than 50 percent. Two of those players are Sabres forwards. Jamie McGinn is one of only two NHL players (Ryan Garbutt) through Wednesday’s games with at least five defensive zone starts to log a positive CF% despite a ZSO% of 25 percent or less.

Players with Offensive Zone Start Percentage under 40%
Rank* Player Team GP CF% ZSO%
1 Patrice Bergeron BOS 6 59.42% 36.84%
2 Beau Bennett PIT 3 58.57% 38.46%
3 Aleksander Barkov FLA 6 57.53% 34.21%
4 Jonathan Huberdeau FLA 6 56.43% 36.84%
5 Scott Hartnell CBJ 7 55.63% 30.43%
6 Johan Larsson BUF 5 54.76% 38.24%
7 Kyle Brodziak STL 7 54.55% 28.57%
8 Jamie McGinn BUF 6 54.43% 25.00%

*CF% ranking among players with at least five total DZ starts and fewer than 40 percent of their even-strength OZ/DZ faceoffs in the offensive zone as of Oct. 22. (Stats courtesy of war-on-ice.com)

A NEW LOOK

  • 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

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?
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.

2015-16 ROSTER NOTES
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

BUF-MTL CONNECTIONS
Former Sabres:

  • Paul Byron was drafted by the Sabres in the sixth round (179th overall) of the 2007 NHL Draft. With Buffalo, he appeared in eight games during the 2010-11 season and recorded two points (1+1).
  • Brian Flynn played in parts of three seasons for Buffalo, totaling 41 points (17+24) in 159 games.
  • Drafted by the Sabres in the first round (13th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Zack Kassian played in 27 games for the Sabres during the 2011-12 season. He had seven points (3+4) in 27 games.
  • Torrey Mitchell played 60 games for the Sabres during parts of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He had 14 points (7+7) and 30 penalty minutes during his time in Buffalo.

Former Canadiens:

  • Brian Gionta played for the Canadiens from 2009-2014, registering 173 points (97+76) in 303 games played. He also served as the team’s captain from 2010-2014.
  • Josh Gorges was a member of the Canadiens from 2006-2014, registering 88 points (13+75) over 464 games played.

Carlo Colaiacovo:

  • He and P.K. Subban were both born in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Colaiacovo and Lars Eller played together for the St. Louis Blues during the 2009-10 season.

Tyler Ennis:

  • He and Brendan Gallagher were both born in Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Ennis and P.K. Subban both represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Marcus Foligno:

  • He and Zack Kassian represented Team Canada at the 2011 World Junior Championship held in Buffalo.

Chad Johnson:

  • Teammates with Dale Weise for the New York Rangers during the 2010-11 season.

Evander Kane:

  • He and P.K. Subban both represented Canada at the 2009 World Junior Championship.

Johan Larsson:

  • Played with Tom Gilbert and Torrey Mitchell for the Minnesota Wild from during the 2012-13 season.

Jake McCabe:

  • Represented the United States alongside Alex Galchenyuk at the 2013 World Junior Championship and the 2014 World Championship. Jeff Petry was also a part of the 2014 World Championship squad.

Jamie McGinn:

  • He and Dale Weise share a birthday (Aug. 5, 1988).
  • Played with Torrey Mitchell for the San Jose Sharks from 2009-2012.

Ryan O’Reilly:

  • Played with Tomas Fleischmann for the Colorado Avalanche during part of the 2010-11 season.

NHL Draft:

  • Jamie McGinn (36th overall by San Jose) and Jeff Petry (45th overall by Edmonton) were both second-round picks in the 2006 NHL Draft.
  • Evander Kane (4th overall by Atlanta) and Zack Kassian (13th overall by Buffalo) were both selected in the first round of the 2009 NHL Draft.
  • Johan Larsson (56th overall by Minnesota) and Devante Smith-Pelly (42nd overall by Anaheim) were both taken in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Mark Pysyk (23rd overall) was taken one pick after Montreal chose Jarred Tinordi with the 22nd overall pick in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft.
  • Zemgus Girgensons (14th overall) and Alex Galchenyuk (3rd overall) were both first-round selections in the 2012 NHL Draft.

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits:
Kane (18), Deslauriers (14), Foligno (11)
Blocked Shots: Gorges/Ristolainen (9), Pysyk/Weber (6), Franson (4)
Shots: Ennis (24), Kane (22), Ristolainen (19)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10:
2-4-0 (4), 11/15, 5/22, 14/19

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 98-101 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (1-0; 66-51 all-time)
Oct. 21 vs. TOR: W, 2-1 (GDG-Moulson)

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played

Marcus Foligno … 2 games … 200 career games played
Goals
Ryan O’Reilly … 9 goals … 100 career goals
Assists
Zach Bogosian … 6 assists … 100 career assists
Josh Gorges … 9 assists … 100 career assists

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

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