GAME PREVIEW: BUFFALO AT CAROLINA

The Sabres and Hurricanes close out the preseason tonight in Raleigh

Thursday, 09.26.2013 / 3:37 PM

This is Buffalo’s seventh and final preseason game after opening camp on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at First Niagara Center; it is their fourth and final road game during the 2013 preseason. The Sabres are 2-1-0 on the road so far, with a 5-4 shootout win at Montreal on Sept. 15, a 3-1 win at Columbus on Sept. 17 and a 5-3 loss at Toronto on Sept. 22.

Buffalo and Carolina/Hartford have played 10 preseason games all-time. The Sabres are 5-4-1 in preseason contests against the Hurricanes/Whalers; 3-1-0 at home, 1-1-1 in on the road and 1-2-0 at neutral sites. The Sabres topped the Hurricanes, 5-2, in their preseason home opener eight days ago, on Sept. 19. The Sabres and Hurricanes will face off three times in 2013-14, including two January matchups at First Niagara Center in Buffalo.

Both of the Sabres’ 2012 first-round picks, Zemgus Girgensons (4 GP, 3+1) and Mikhail Grigorenko (6 GP, 2+2), tie Marcus Foligno (3 GP, 3+1) to lead the Sabres with four points in the preseason. Seven other Sabres are close behind the trio, with three points each. Jhonas Enroth has led the Sabres goaltenders with 154 minutes played, registering a 1.95 goals against average and .932 save percentage through parts of three games, going 1-0-1 with a shutout.

The Sabres have topped the NHL in rookie goal production during the preseason; they lead the league with 11 goals from a league-high seven different rookies. Only four other teams are close: Dallas (8 goals from 4 different rookies), Calgary (7 from 4), Montreal (7 from 4) and Tampa Bay (7 from 5). These totals include goals through Wednesday’s games.

The Sabres are 142-148-50 all-time in the preseason. Buffalo is 29-12-4 in preseason action since the 2005-06 season. These totals only include NHL games; the Sabres also defeated Adler Mannheim, 8-3, as part of the 2011 NHL Premiere Series in Germany.

Buffalo will open the regular season on the road on Wednesday, Oct. 2, as they travel to Detroit to visit their new division rivals in the first-ever Atlantic Division matchup for both the Sabres and the Red Wings. The team will then head back to Buffalo for their home-opener on Friday, Oct. 4 against the Ottawa Senators.

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