By John Vogl
The Sabres will need a sudden surge of offense in today's season finale to avoid a long list of dubious records.
The most significant record the Sabres can set is fewest goals scored in a season (post-1967 expansion). Tampa Bay set the NHL mark in 1997-98 with 151 goals. The Sabres have 147. Buffalo is averaging 1.82 goals per game.
As for franchise records, the Sabres are assured of three:
*Buffalo's season-low goal total is 190 set in 2002-03. The Sabres need to score 44 times against the Islanders to avoid that. (Sure would make for an interesting "Fan Appreciation Night," wouldn't it?)
*The Sabres will have the fewest double-digit goal-scorers in team history. The record is seven, set in 2011-12. Buffalo has just four this year. Zemgus Girgensons needs two goals to make it five, and Marcus Foligno needs a hat trick to make it six.
*Lowest assist leader. Alexei Zhitnik had 30 helpers in 1997-98 (get used to reading that season). Christian Ehrhoff has 27 assists, but he'll miss the game with a concussion. Cody Hodgson is next with 24, so he needs seven assists to avoid the mark.
With those three records locked down, the Sabres have a good (bad?) chance at two more:
*Lowest points leader. Miroslav Satan led the Sabres with 46 points in '97-98. Hodgson has 44 points heading into today's game.
*Lowest goals leader. Donald Audette paced the Sabres with 24 goals in '97-98. (That really was an average team with a great goaltender.) Tyler Ennis leads the Sabres with 21 goals. He'll need four today to top Audette.
If Ville Leino fails to score for the 58th game, he actually won't set a record. Rob Ray went 76 games without a goal in 1998-99, the most scoreless games played by a forward in team history.
To leave y'all with happy memories, here are some positive team records:
*Alexander Mogilny scored 76 goals in 1992-93.
*Pat LaFontaine had 95 assists and 148 points in 1992-93.
*The Sabres had 15 double-digit goal-scorers in 1982-83.