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FAN GUIDE: SENATORS VS. SABRES

Buffalo closes out 2011 with a 7 PM match-up with the Ottawa Senators

Saturday, 12.31.2011 / 10:31 AM / Sabres Fan Guide
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FAN GUIDE: SENATORS VS. SABRES
LIVE ON MSG-B  Radio: Listen Live
SAT
12/31/2011
7:00 PM
1 2 3 T
SENATORS       0
Sabres       0



SCHEDULE FOR TODAY
  • 10:00 a.m.: Sabres game-day skate
    Open to the public & free of charge to attend
  • 5:00 p.m.: Labatt Blue Light Tailgate Tent Party opens.
  • 5:00 p.m.: Arena doors open
  • 7:00 p.m.: Game Time
INFORMATION FOR FOR TONIGHT'S GAME
  • Tonight's game night program can be DOWNLOADED HERE.
  • Tonight is the fifth meeting of the year between the Sabres and the Senators. Each team has won twice this year in the series
  • The Sabres will be wearing their blue jerseys for tonight's game.
  • The Labatt Blue Light Tailgate Tent Party kicks off at 5:00 p.m. today and will be part of Tux & Pucks. Tickets can be purchased by CLICKING HERE.
  • Don't forget to purchase Alumni 50/50 tickets for tonight's game. Tonight the Buffalo Sabres Foundation and the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association are guaranteeing a 50-50 pot of $20,011 as we say good bye to 2011 and in saying hello to 2012 we are giving out 5 - prizes of $2,012. 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 Luke Adam, Brad Boyes, and Mike Weber.

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


SENATORS vs. SABRES
  • This is the fifth of six meetings between the Sabres and Senators this season.
  • Last meeting: Ottawa defeated Buffalo, 4-1, in Ottawa on Dec. 20.
  • The Sabres are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Senators; 4-4-2 at home.
  • This is the 111th game all-time between Buffalo and Ottawa; Buffalo leads the series with a 55-40-15 record. Buffalo is 30-19-5 at home against the Senators all-time.
  • The two teams will next meet on March 10 in Buffalo.
STORYLINES
  1. Jhonas Enroth has a career record of 3-0-0 against the Senators. Enroth is 2-0-0 against Ottawa this season with a 1.44 GAA.
  2. The Sabres are playing on New Year’s Eve for the first time since 2003, when they beat Washington by a score of 7-1 on the strength of hat tricks from Maxim Afinogenov and Miroslav Satan. The Sabres played 19 straight home games on New Year’s Eve from 1978 to 1997.
  3. With his goal Wednesday at New Jersey, Thomas Vanek tied Rene Robert for eighth-most goals in franchise history (222). Vanek needs two more to tie Miroslav Satan for seventh.
  4. Thomas Vanek is on a seven-game point streak (4+6), tying the longest streak of his career, which ran from Nov. 10, 2010 at NJD to Nov. 20, 2010 vs. TBL (4+6).
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW
These teams are meeting for the third time in 18 games… The Sabres are 12-2-3 when Derek Roy records a point… Tyler Ennis has seven points (2+5) in seven career games against Ottawa, including points in his last four against the Senators.

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before tonight’s games)
Vanek: 8 PPG (T-3rd), 4 GWG (T-8th), 18 G (T-8th), 39 P (T-9th)
Pominville: 27 A (T-5th), 39 P (T-9th)
Gaustad: 56.8 FO% (6th)
Regehr: 93 hits (7th, defensemen)
Adam: 10 G (T-3rd, rookies), 20 P (T-5th, rookies), 10 A (T-8th, rookies)
Gragnani: plus-11 (T-1st, rookies)

Roy
WHO’S HOT VS. OTT?
Derek Roy has a team-high 36 points in 43 career games against Ottawa… Thomas Vanek leads all Sabres with 19 goals in 45 career games against Ottawa… Jhonas Enroth is 3-0-0 against the Senators in his career (2-0-0 this year)… Drew Stafford has five assists in four games against Ottawa this season.

HOMETOWN BOY
Derek Roy, an Ottawa native, is the Sabres’ leading scorer against the Senators with 36 points (14+22) in 43 games played. Roy has tallied five points (2+3) in four games against the Sens this year, and added the game-deciding goal in the shootout when the teams met on Nov. 5.

Vanek
VANEK RISING IN THE RECORD BOOKS
With 222 goals in 506 games with the Sabres, Thomas Vanek is tied with Rene Robert for eighth-most goals in franchise history. Vanek’s goals per gametotal ranks sixth-best in franchise history among players with at least 100 goals. He trails only Pat LaFontaine, Rick Martin, Alexander Mogilny, Danny Gare and Alexander Mogilny in that category.

POPULATING POMINVILLE
Sabres captain Jason Pominville has recorded a point in 28 of Buffalo’s 37 games this season, only having gone two straight contests without a point one time. In December, Pominville has 13 points (3+10) in 13 games. The Sabres are 9-2-0 this season when Pominville scores.

Gaustad
GAUSTAD DRAWING ATTENTION
Paul Gaustad ranks sixth in the NHL with a faceoff percentage of 56.9%. Gaustad’s cumulative win percentage of 58.3% since the beginning of the 2009-10 season ranks third in the league (trailing only Manny Malhotra and David Steckel) during that stretch.

POINT PER GAME
Two Buffalo skaters have averaged more than a point per game dating back to last season: Thomas Vanek has scored 60 points (27+33) in his last 54 regular season games, dating back to Mar. 5. Jason Pominville has scored 49 points (16+33) in his last 46 regular season games, dating back to Mar. 25, 2011 vs. FLA.

DYNAMIC DUO
Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville have recorded a point on the same goal 29 times this season, trailing only Daniel and Henrik Sedin (33) for most by any duo in the league. At least one of the two has recorded a point on 48 of the team’s 95 goals (50.5%).

SABRES ROOKIES
McNabb
Buffalo has dressed nine rookies this season, the highest total dressed by the team in a single season since 2006-07, when the team dressed 10. Buffalo dressed a franchise-record 12 rookies in the 1995-96 season. The Sabres’ 30 skaters and 33 total players dressed this season are the highest totals for the Sabres since they dressed exactly that many in the 2006-07 season.

MISSING TIME
Buffalo currently has five players on injured reserve. In all, 17 Sabres have missed at least one game with injury entering tonight's game. Buffalo’s total of 160 man games lost after 37 games is 74 more than they had at that point last season, but their record (17-17- 3) is better than it was at this point last season, when they were 10points out of playoff position with a 15-18-4 record.

LET'S PLAY TWO
Today’s game wraps up Buffalo’s 10th of a league-high 21 sets of back-to-back games this season after a 3-1 loss last night at WSH. The Sabres are 6-4-0 in the first game and 5-4-0 in the second. The Sabres have swept two sets and split seven.

A LONG DECEMBER
The Sabres play 14 games in December, tying November for second-most in a month this season. So far, they are 4-7-2. Buffalo’s 53 December wins are the most the team has had in any month since the lockout. The Sabres are 53-33-10 (.604) in December in those years.

LINDY’S LONGEVITY
Since Lindy Ruff was named Buffalo's head coach on July 21, 1997, there have been 169 coaching changes in the NHL. Ruff is 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 543 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.

BUF-OTT CONNECTIONS
Rochester American Marcus Foligno is the son of former Sabre Mike Foligno (1981-1991) and the brother of Ottawa LW Nick Foligno.

Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean was an assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings when Sabres LW Matt Ellis (2006-2008) and Sabres C Ville Leino (2008-2010) played for the team. MacLean also coached Sabres Assistant Coach Teppo Numminen when he
was an assistant for the 1996-97 Phoenix Coyotes.

Brad Boyes
-Played with Milan Michalek on the San Jose Sharks in 2003-2004.

Christian Ehrhoff
-Played with Milan Michalek on the San Jose Sharks from 2003-2009.

Jordan Leopold
-Played with Sergei Gonchar on the 2009-10 Pittsburgh Penguins.

Robyn Regehr
-Played with Jason Spezza on Team Canada at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino.

Drew Stafford
-Played with Brian Lee at the University of North Dakota for one season (2005-06). The Fighting Sioux advanced to the Frozen Four but eventually lost a 6-5 decision to Nathan Gerbe and the Eagles of Boston College.
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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