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Sabres were true road warriors

Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 3:00 AM / NHL.com's 30 in 15

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

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Sabres were true road warriors
Advantage Margin: -21
The Sabres were among the NHL's best road teams despite spending a lot more time killing penalties (162 times shorthanded) than on the power play (140 advantages).

Special Teams Goal Margin: -8
Buffalo's power play outscored the opposition 54-51, but the penalty-killers managed only a pair of shorthanded goals while the power-play unit surrendered 13.

Goals by defensemen: 39
The Sabres got a big boost offensively from an unexpected source -- despite missing 11 games with injuries, Jordan Leopold scored 13 goals and finished with 35 points while averaging a team-high 23:19 of ice time per game. Tyler Myers recovered after a slow start to score 10 goals and finish with 37 points.

BUFFALO SABRES
2010-11 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2010-11 Points 96 (7th East/15th NHL)
Change from 2009-10 -4
Home Points 46 (9th East/20th NHL)
Road Points 50 (4th East/10th NHL)
Overtime Record
Total: 15-9-1 OT: 10-9 SO: 5-1

Sixteen of the Sabres' 41 road games went past regulation. They split the 12 that were decided during overtime, but were a perfect 4-0 when the game went to a shootout.

Times Scored First: 38
Record: 25-10-3

Buffalo scored first 19 times each at home and on the road, but the Sabres turned 14 of those early leads at home into wins (14-4-1) while winning just 11 times on the road (11-6-2).

Best 2010-11 Number: 14-4-3
Buffalo's record from March 1 to the end of the season, the second-best in the Eastern Conference and a big reason the Sabres could overcome a sub-.500 record in the first three months of the season to earn a playoff spot.

Worst 2010-11 Number: 47.7
Buffalo's winning percentage on faceoffs, 27th in the NHL. The Sabres have not had a winning record in faceoffs since 2006-07 and are the only team during that span to lose more than 51 percent of their draws in each of the last four seasons.
   
Scheduling
The Sabres start their season in Europe with games against Anaheim (in Helsinki) and Los Angeles (in Berlin), come home for one game and hit the road for four more. They face a seven-game trip in January, then start February with nine of 11 at home, and then have another five-game swing. They also have a League-high 21 sets of back-to-back games.
Quote of the Day

Your team is going to want to recapture the feeling. What they're going to have to figure out is they're going to have to rewrite the story. Because you're going to rewrite the story doesn't mean you want a different end. It's just that you're going to have to learn that there's different challenges to get there, and if you're going to try and tap the same feeling, it ain't going to happen.

— Los Angeles Kings general manager Dean Lombardi on maintaining their success from last season