The Sabres played their best period of hockey since opening night in the 1st Period Saturday night in LA. Buffalo dominated the pace of the game and control of the puck throughout the first 20.
Jordan Nolan was the toast of the period. The former LA forward received a loud thank you from the Staples Center fans as he came to Los Angeles for the first time since being claimed off waivers by the Sabres. Nolan also made his presence felt physically moments after when he leveled Alec Martinez behind the LA goal.
Buffalo found their way onto the scoresheet first as Jack Eichel found Zemgus Girgensons on an odd-man rush. Zemgus easily beat Quick for his first goal of the year and third point since joining Eichel and Pominville.
The Kings responded in the 2nd on a powerplay goal from Dustin Brown. LA entered the game at 0/16 on the PP.
Buffalo received their 2nd powerplay of the game later in the 2nd but their struggles continued. The differences between this year’s powerplay and last year’s are night and day. Buffalo has not had the same amount of cycling or scoring opportunities when up a man.
The Kings owned the 2nd period but we’re not able to capitalize on the shots and possession advantage as the 2nd period ended 1-1.
Buffalo’s powerplay woes would follow them into the third when Quick robbed Seth Griffith with a sprawling stick save, denying Griffith of his first goal and Eichel of a 2nd assist.
Minutes later Tyler Toffoli would roof a powerplay goal giving the Kings their 2nd of the game. Special teams issues followed the Sabres all game long and only got worse as the game progressed.
Buffalo responded nearly two minutes later on a supreme effort from Jack Eichel who stole the puck from a Kings defender and scored on his own rebound. This was classic Jack.
The fun wouldn’t last long. As RJ put it “the pace has slowed to a crawl”. Following a missed call on a glove pass Kane would go to the box for tripping. It took Drew Doughty only 4 seconds to score the Kings 3rd powerplay goal and what would end up being the winning score.
Tanner Pearson added an empty net goal to seal a 4-2 Kings victory.
Buffalo travels to Anaheim for a 6 PM meeting with the Ducks.