Kings use power play to defeat Sabres 4-2

October 14, 2017

The Los Angeles Kings scored on all three of their power play chances, helping them defeat the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 on Saturday night at Staples Center. Buffalo is still winless on the season. 

Buffalo went to the power play nearly halfway through the first period thanks to a turnover created in their own zone. Ryan O'Reilly was able to steal the puck from Jake Muzzin at the blue line and skated into the Kings' zone before being slashed on the hands. Muzzin was called for the minor as O'Reilly and Evander Kane were not able to connect on a scoring chance. The blue and gold failed to score on the man advantage. 

Zemgus Girgensons' first goal of the season came on Buffalo's tenth shot of the opening period and gave the team a 1-0 lead over the Kings. Jack Eichel was able to move the puck into the offensive zone, thanks in part to Jake McCabe, and fed the puck to Girgensons at the side of the net where Jonathan Quick was out of position. Both Eichel and McCabe assisted on the game's first score. The goal marked the first for Buffalo in LA in 279:38. Craig Rivet scored the last goal for Buffalo at Staples Center in 2010.

The Sabres and Los Angeles each recorded ten shots on goal in the first, but Buffalo was the only team with a power play and failed to score. The game marked Jordan Nolan's first against his former team, and he delivered a big hit against former teammate Alec Martinez.

Buffalo's first penalty kill situation came nearly halfway through the second period. Josh Gorges was called for interference in the defensive zone. Los Angeles was able to take advantage of the special teams chance and evened the score 1-1. Dustin Brown and Jeff Carter were able to establish position around Robin Lehner's crease and the two whacked away until Brown was finally able to score. The goal was his fourth of the season, with Carter and Drew Doughty being credited with assists.

Western New York native Alex Iafallo gave Buffalo their second power play of the game after grabbing hold of Eichel and stealing the puck away from him in the Sabres zone. Iafallo was called for holding just over ten minutes into the period. Buffalo again failed to score on the man advantage.

Eichel was called for interference nearly five minutes into the third period. The Kings had several scoring opportunites, and capitalzed with seconds left on the man advantage to take a 2-1 lead. Tyler Tiffoli was credited with the go-ahead goal for LA, with Muzzin and Oscar Fantenberg receiving assists on the second power play goal of the night.

The Sabre forward made up for his penalty with a goal less than two minutes later to even the score at 2-2 in the third. Eichel was able to score on a rebound attempt after going from one side of the crease to the other, on a play also created by a strong fore check from Kane and Jason Pominville. Both forwards were given assists on the game-tying goal.

The Kings were given their third power play of the night and promptly scored just seconds into it for their second lead of the night. Drew Doughty scored his first goal of the season after Brown won the face-off in the Buffalo zone and created the opportunity. Kane was in the penalty box after being called for tripping. Buffalo had several scoring chances once Lehner was pulled for the extra attacker over the final two minutes, but could not score. An empty net goal by Tanner Pearson iced the game for Los Angeles.

Game Summary

Goal Summary

First Period

BUF: 15:45 - Zemgus Girgensons (1) (Jack Eichel, Jake McCabe)
LA: none

Second Period

BUF: none
LA: 7:42 - Dustin Brown (4) PPG (Jeff Carter, Drew Doughty)

Third Period

BUF: 9:06 - Jack Eichel (2) (Evander Kane, Jason Pominville)
LA: 7:09 - Tyler Tiffoli (2) PPG (Jake Muzzin, Oscar Fantenberg). 18:00 - Drew Doughty (1) PPG (Alec Martinez, Anze Kopitar). 19:47 - Tanner Pearson (1) ENG (Tyler Tiffoli, Alec Martinez)

Penalty Summary

First Period

BUF: none
LA: 10:28 - Jake Muzzin (2 min., slashing)

Second Period

BUF: 6:56 - Josh Gorges (2 min., interference)
LA: 10:05 - Alex Iafallo (2 min., holding) 

Third Period

BUF: 5:26 - Jack Eichel (2 min., interference). 17:56 - Evander Kane (2 min., tripping)
LA: 3:01 - Alex Andreoff (2 min., tripping)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 8 (25), LA - 9 (30)

Power Play Chances

BUF: 0 for 3
LA: 3 for 3

Next Game: The Sabres play game three of their four game west coast road trip against the Anaheim Ducks. The teams drop the puck at 9 o'clock on the home of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame begins at eight with Brian Koziol.