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FAN GUIDE: LEAFS VS. SABRES

Buffalo closes out their five-game home stand tonight when they take on Toronto tonight at 7:30 PM.

Friday, 12.16.2011 / 10:58 AM / Sabres Fan Guide
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FAN GUIDE: LEAFS VS. SABRES
LIVE ON MSG-B  Radio: Listen Live
FRI
12/16/2011
7:30 PM
1 2 3 T
MAPLE LEAFS       0
Sabres       0



SCHEDULE FOR TODAY
  • 10:30 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 first meeting of the year between the Sabres and the Maple Leafs.
  • The Sabres will be wearing their blue 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. Sabres alumnist Don Edwards will be in the tent prior to tonights game.
  • 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 Mike Weber, Paul Szczechura & Paul Gaustad.

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.

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


MAPLE LEAFS vs. SABRES
  • This is the first of six meetings between the Sabres and Maple Leafs this season.
  • Last meeting: Toronto defeated Buffalo, 4-3, in Toronto on March 29.
  • The Sabres are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Maple Leafs; 7-3-0 at home.
  • This is the 179th game all-time between Buffalo and Toronto; Buffalo leads the series with a 99-57-22 record. Buffalo is 58-25-7 at home against the Maple Leafs all-time.
  • The two teams will next meet on Dec. 22 in Toronto.
STORYLINES
  1. With 30 games played by each team, Toronto and Buffalo enter the game ranked sixth and eighth in the conference, respectively. The Sabres and Maple Leafs last met with both teams in playoff position on January 6, 2007. Buffalo won that game, 4-3, boosting them to first place in the league with a 30-9-3 record.
  2. Thomas Vanek and Derek Roy will both play in their 500th NHL game tonight. The pair will become just the 25th and 26th players to suit up for 500 or more games with the Sabres in franchise history, joining Jochen Hecht, the only other active Sabre on the list. Vanek (415 points) and Roy (403 points) are 12th and 13th in franchise scoring history, respectively.
  3. Buffalo has four players on IR and another two who sat out Saturday’s game with an injury. In all, 14 Sabres have missed at least one game with injury this season entering tonight's game. Buffalo’s total of 110 man games lost after 30 games is 37 more than they had at that point last season, but their record (15-12-3) is better than last year’s (12-14-4).
  4. Tonight’s game is the final game in a home stretch that has seen 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 1-1-2 so far during this one.
Leino
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
Ville Leino suffered a lower body injury in Tuesday’s game vs. OTT… Buffalo’s point leader, Jason Pominville, has recorded 23 of his 32 points at home…The Sabres are 10-1-3 when Derek Roy records a point… In his career, the Sabres are 29-8-5 when Tyler Ennis records a point… Buffalo is 4-1-2 against the Northeast Division this year.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 12/15 games)
  • Vanek: 7 PPG (T-3rd), 3 GWG (T-6th)
  • Pominville: 22 A (T-5th), 3 GWG (T-6th), 32 P (T-9th)
  • Gaustad: 58.1 FO% (2nd)
  • Regehr: 78 hits (T-4th, defensemen)
  • Adam: 9 G (3rd, rookies), 19 P (T-4th, rookies), 10 A (4th, rookies)
  • Gragnani: plus-11 (1st, rookies), 8 A (T-7th, rookies)
FAMILIAR FACES
  • Tim Connolly returns to Buffalo for the first time as an opponent after spending eight seasons in Buffalo (2001-02 –2010-11). He played in 464 games for the Sabres, tallying 320 points (94+226).
  • Clarke MacArthur spent four seasons with the Sabres (2007-08 –2009-10). While in Buffalo, MacArthur played in 187 games and recorded 79 points (41+38).
  • Buffalo Assitant Coach Kevyn Adams played for the Maple Leafs from 1997-2000, appearing in 58 games and recording 13 points (5+8).
BUFFALO’S DOMINATION OF LEAFS NATION
Buffalo is 29-12-1 against the Maple Leafs since the lockout. The 29 wins are Buffalo’s highest win total against one team since the lockout, ahead of Boston (27) and Montreal (24). After dropping a 2-1 decision at home to the Leafs on Feb. 16, Buffalo will look to avoid consecutive home losses to Toronto for the first time since Mar. 21 and Dec. 12, 2008.

Miller
MILLER IS A LEAF KILLER
Ryan Miller is 24-11-0 all-time against Toronto with a 2.28 GAA and a .928 SV%. He has more wins (24) and shutouts (4) against the Maple Leafs than any other team. His .928 save percentage is his best against any team that he’s played more than six times. Miller’s 24 career wins against the Leafs leads all active goaltenders.

SABRES’ PENALTY KILL IS KILLING THE LEAFS
The Sabres have killed off their last 47 penalties against Toronto. The streak spans 13 games, dating back to March 27, 2009 when Nikolai Kulemin scored at 8:30 of the 3rd period. At 13 games, the Sabres own thelongest active streak in the NHL.

Pominville
POPULATING POMINVILLE
Sabres captain Jason Pominville leads the Sabres with 32 points (10+22) and is on a four-game point streak (1+3). Pominville has recorded a point in 23 of Buffalo’s 30 games this season, only having gone two straight contests without a point one time. His four 3+ point games tie for third-most in the league. In December, Pominville has six points (1+5) in six games.

GAUSTAD STILL DRAWING ATTENTION
After going 10-for-15 on the draw on Tuesday, Paul Gaustad is ranked second in the NHL with a faceoff percentage of 58.1%. Gaustad’s cumulative win percentage of 59.2% since the beginning of the 2009-10 season ranks third in the league (trailing only Manny Malhotra and David Steckel).

POINT PER GAME
Two Buffalo skaters have averaged more than a point per game dating back to last season: Thomas Vanek has scored 50 points (23+27) in his last 47 regular season games, dating back to Mar. 5. Jason Pominville has 42 scored points (14+28) in his last 39 regular season games, dating back to Mar. 25, 2011 vs. FLA.

Vanek
DYNAMIC DUO
Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville have recorded a point on the same goal 24 times this season (on 30.7% of the team’s goals–highest percentage by a duo in the league), second only to Daniel and Henrik Sedin (25). At least one of the two has recorded a point on 37 of the team’s 78 goals (47.4%).

SABRES ROOKIES
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 this year. 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’ 36 points (15+21) from rookies tied Philadelphia for third-most in the league behind Edmonton and Ottawa (38 each) entering play Thursday.

LET'S PLAY TWO
Today’s game opens up Buffalo’s ninth of a league-high 21 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Sabres are 5-3-0 in the first game and 5-3-0 in the second. The Sabres have swept two sets and split six. They continue this set tomorrow night at PIT.

A LONG DECEMBER
The Sabres play 14 games in December, tying November for second-most in a month this season. So far, they are 2-2-2. Buffalo’s fivegame home stand that ends tonight ties the one that ran from Oct. 25 to Nov. 4 for the longest this season. Buffalo’s 51 December wins are the most the team has had in any month since the lockout. The Sabres are 51-28-10 (.629) in December in those years.

LINDY’S LONGEVITY
Since Lindy Ruff was named Buffalo's head coach on July 21, 1997, there have been 168 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. Ruff has 541 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.

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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