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FAN GUIDE: PANTHERS VS. SABRES

Buffalo prepares for their third match-up of the year with the Panthers tonight.

Friday, 12.09.2011 / 10:18 AM / Sabres Fan Guide
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FAN GUIDE: PANTHERS VS. SABRES
LIVE ON MSG-B  Radio: Listen Live
FRI
12/09/2011
7:30 PM
1 2 3 T
PANTHERS       0
Sabres       0



SCHEDULE FOR TODAY
  • 10:00 a.m.: Sabres game-day skate
    Open to the public & free of charge to attend
  • 5:30 p.m.: Labatt Blue Light Tailgate Tent Party opens.
  • 5:30 p.m.: Arena doors open
  • 7:30 p.m.: Game Time
INFORMATION FOR FOR TONIGHT'S GAME
  • Tonight's game night program can be DOWNLOADED HERE.
  • Tonight is the third meeting of the year between the Sabres & Flyers. The teams have split the previous two games, each winning on the road. Most recently, Florida took down the Sabres 3-2 at the First Niagara Center on October 29.
  • The Sabres will be wearing their blue third jerseys for tonight's game.
  • The Labatt Blue Light Tailgate Tent Party kicks off at 5:30 p.m. today. Tickets can be purchased by CLICKING HERE.
  • Don't forget to purchase Alumni 50/50 tickets for tonight's game. Last games 50/50 prize was worth over $11,000. Tickets can be purchased up to the fifteen minute mark of the second period.

MOE'S HOT PLAYERS

The Moe's Hot Players of the Night are Drew Stafford, Zack Kassian & Derek Roy.

If any of the three (3) selected hot players (announced pre-game) score a goal during that night's game, fans can redeem their free GameNight program coupon(page 20) for 50% off their entree tomorrow, at all participating Moe's restaurants. If any of the three (3) selected hot players score a hat trick during that night's game, fans can also redeem their free GameNight program for a free burrito at all participating Moe's restaurants.

SUBWAY SCORE 3 OR MORE

If the Sabres score three (3) or more goals during tonight's game, fans can redeem their game ticket for a free 6" Subway sub with a purchase of 30oz. drink tomorrow only at participating Subway restaurants. If the Sabres score three or more goals this evening, the Subway promotion will be valid until Friday, November 25.

NEW ERA CAP TRICK

Each time a Sabres player scores a hat trick inside First Niagara Center, New Era will make a monetary donation to charity per cap thrown onto the ice. Any hats thrown onto the ice and not claimed will be donated as well.

NEW ERA SCORE MORE

For every goal scored by the Sabres at that night’s game, fans can save a dollar per goal on their purchase of any cap tomorrow at the New Era Buffalo Store when they show their ticket stub.


GAME NOTES FOR TODAY'S GAME
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD


PANTHERS vs. SABRES
  • This is the third of four meetings between the Sabres and Panthers this season.
  • Last meeting: Florida defeated Buffalo, 3-2, in Buffalo on Oct. 29.
  • The Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Panthers; 6-4-0 at home.
  • This is the 71st game all-time between Buffalo and Florida; Buffalo leads the series with a 41-25-4 record. Buffalo is 23-10-3 at home against the Panthers all-time.
  • The two teams will next meet on March 17 in Florida.
STORYLINES
  1. The Sabres have four players on IR and another three who sat out Wednesday’s game with an injury. In all, 13 players have missed time this season. Buffalo’s total of 90 man games lost is 26 more than they had at this point last season, but their record (14-11-2) is better than last year’s (11-13-4).
  2. Due to the injuries, nine rookies have seen action for the Sabres this season, one behind Philadelphia for the league lead. Five of these players made their NHL debut. Buffalo’s group of nine rookies is the highest total the team has dressed in a season since they had 10 in 2006-07, when seven players made their NHL debut. The Sabres have gotten 36 points (15+21) from their rookies this year, tying EDM for the league lead entering Thursday’s games.
  3. Tonight’s game is the second in a five-game home stretch ending with a matchup with Toronto on Dec. 16 that will see the team play five games in 10 days. The home stand is the second of two five-game stints at home, the longest such stretches for the team this season. The Sabres went 2-3-0 during the first one, which ran from Oct. 25 to Nov. 4, and are 0-0-1 so far during this one.
  4. Jason Pominville leads all Sabres with 26 points (10+16) in 25 career games against the FLA, including four (2+2) in two games this season. Pominville has points in five straight games against FLA (4+6).
Gerbe
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Nathan Gerbe left Wednesday’s game with an upper body injury… Entering play Thursday, Thomas Vanek has scored the first goal of a game five times, tying Mike Richards and Evander Kane for the league lead…With his goal Wesnesday, Vanek passed Don Luce for ninth-most goals in franchise history… Buffalo’s penalty kill ranked fifth in the league at 86.7% before Thursday night’s games… Buffalo is 50-27-9 (.628) in December since the lockout; the Sabres’ 50 wins are their most in any month during that time… Zack Kassian has five points (3+2) in his first six NHL games.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/8 games)
Vanek: 7 PPG (T-2nd), 3 GWG (T-5th), 13 G (T-9th)
Pominville: 20 A (T-6th), 29 P (T-10th)
Gaustad: 57.8 FO% (4th)
Regehr: 72 hits (6th, defensemen)
Adam: 19 P (3rd, rookies), 9 G (3rd, rookies), 10 A (4th, rookies)
Gragnani: plus-10 (1st, rookies), 8 A (T-6th, rookies)

FAMILIAR FACES
Leopold
Jordan Leopold played with the Panthers during the 2009-10 season, appearing in 61 games and tallying 18 points (7+11). Buffalo Assistant Coach Kevyn Adams played in Florida during the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. He played in 56 games and notched 21 points (7+14) as a Panther.

Selected by the Sabres in the sixth round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, Brian Campbell played in Buffalo for parts of eight seasons (1999-00 –2007-08). As a Sabre, Campbell tallied 176 points (32+144) in 391 games and was selected as an NHL All-Star twice (2007 & 2008).

Kennedy
Buffalo native Tim Kennedy played for the Sabres for parts of two seasons, appearing in 79 games and recording 26 points (10+16) in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Craig Ramsay began his coaching career with Buffalo when he served as an assistant coach during the 1986-87 season and took over as interim head coach later in the year. Prior to leaving the Sabres in 1993, Ramsay also served as the team’s director of player personnel and assistant general manager. Ramsay also played for the Sabres for 14 seasons and is second in franchise history with 1,070 games played for the club. He appeared in 776 consecutive games from 1973-1983, which ranks as the fourth longest consecutive games streak in NHL history.

EHRHOFF LOGGING EXTRA TIME
Christian Ehrhoff has led all skaters on either team in ice time in seven of the last eight games, averaging 28:06 during that stretch. Ehrhoff leads the Sabres with an average TOI of 24:32 this season.

Leino
LEINO’S GOING STREAKING
After scoring on Wednesday, Ville Leino is on a three-game point streak (1+3). Leino has not recorded points in four consecutive games since Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, 2010 while playing in Philadelphia.

POINT PER GAME
Two Buffalo skaters have averaged more than a point per game dating back to last season: Thomas Vanek has scored 49 points (22+27) in his last 44 regular season games, dating back to Mar. 5. Jason Pominville has 39 scored points (13+26) in his last 36 regular season games, dating back to Mar. 25, 2011 vs. FLA.

DYNAMIC DUO
Thomas Vanek (13+15) and Jason Pominville (9+20) both rank in the top 15 in league scoring entering play Thursday. Both players have recorded a point on the same goal 23 times this season (on 34% of the team’s goals –highest percentage by a duo in the league), second only to Daniel and Henrik Sedin (24). At least one of the two has recorded a point on 34 of the team’s 74 goals (45.9%).

A LONG DECEMBER
The Sabres play 14 games in December, tying November for second-most in a month this season. So far, they are 1-1-1. Buffalo’s five game home stand from Dec. 7 to Dec. 16 ties the one that ran from Oct. 25 to Nov. 4 for the longest this season. Buffalo’s 50 wins are the most the team has had in any month since the lockout. The Sabres are 50-27-9 (.628) in December in those years.

LINDY’S LONGEVITY
Since Lindy Ruff was named Buffalo's head coach on July 21, 1997, there have been 167 coaching changes in the NHL. After Tony LaRussa (MLB) announced his retirement on Oct. 31, Ruff became the second-longest tenured coach in the four major professional sports leagues. Only Gregg Popovich, who began coaching the San Antonio Spurs in 1996, has been head coach of his team longer.

THE ARBOUR CLUB
Lindy Ruff has 540 wins as head coach of the Sabres, second-most by a head coach with a single franchise, trailing only Al Arbour (740). Ruff has more wins than any other coach with his first NHL team.

Hecht
BUF-FLA CONNECTIONS
Jochen Hecht and Christian Ehrhoff played with Marcel Goc and Marco Sturm on the German Olympic Team. Hecht, Ehrhoff and Sturm all represented Germany at the 2002 Winter Games, while Goc joined the trio for the 2006 and 2010 Winter Games.

Kevin Dineen was the head coach of the Portland Pirates for the three seasons the Sabres were affiliated with the Pirates. Dineen helped develop three straight AHL rookies of the year in Nathan Gerbe (2009), Tyler Ennis (2010) and Luke Adam (2011).

Kevyn Adams
-Played with Kris Versteeg in Chicago in 2007-08.
-Played with Kevin Dineen in Columbus in 2000-01.

Brad Boyes
-Played with Marco Sturm in San Jose in 2003-04.

Christian Ehrhoff
-Played with Marcel Goc in San Jose from 2005-2009.
-Played with Mikael Samuelsson in Vancouver in 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Matt Ellis
-Played with Mikael Samuelsson in Detroit from 2006-2008.

Ville Leino
-Played with Tomas Kopecky and Mikael Samuelsson in Detroit in 2008-09.

Jordan Leopold
-Played with Jose Theodore in Colorado in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Cody McCormick
-Played with Jose Theodore in Colorado in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

James Patrick
-Played with Kevin Dineen on Team Canada at the 1984 Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo.

Robyn Regehr
-Played with Ed Jovanovski on Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games.

Download your copy of the official game notes by clicking here.



TONIGHT'S TUNES

Have an idea for a song that you want to hear at a Sabres game? Let us know what it is by sending us a tweet. Send us a message at @SabresDotCom with a hashtag of #SABRETUNES before 12:00 p.m. on a game day and we'll  try to get it into the playlist for that night's game.

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