NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 21st
(All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (30-12-6) at Los Angeles Kings (27-19-3), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Still holding on to the eighth spot in the Western
Conference, the Los Angeles Kings conclude a seven-game homestand tonight
versus the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center.
The Kings are 2-4-0 on their longest residency of the season but have
maintained a one-point edge over the ninth-seeded Detroit Red Wings in the
standings. Los Angeles had won its last two games on the homestand before
Tuesday's 5-1 loss to Pacific Division-leading San Jose.
Wayne Simmonds had the Kings' lone goal and Jonathan Quick allowed five goals
on 24 shots for Los Angeles, which is now 17 points behind the Sharks in the
Special teams have been a problem for the Kings over their last few games. Los
Angeles went 0-for-5 on the power play versus San Jose and is 0-for-21 on the
man advantage over its last four games. The Kings also allowed the Sharks to
score on all three of their power-play opportunities.
"The power play can win you games, and the penalty killing will lose you
games," said Kings head coach Terry Murray. "I think this game tonight against
San Jose is a perfect example of that."
The Sabres come to Los Angeles for the first time since December of 2007 and
continue a season-long seven-game road trip. They fell to 2-1-1 on the swing
with Tuesday's 5-4 setback to Anaheim. The loss was Buffalo's first in
regulation since December 23, as it had gone 8-0-3 in its previous 11 games.
Tim Connolly had a goal -- the 100th of his career -- to extend his career-
best point streak to 13 games and has amassed six goals and 15 assists on the
run. Steve Montador, Clarke MacArthur and Johan Hecht also scored as the
Sabres tried to dig themselves out of a 4-0 first-period deficit.
Patrick Lalime started at goaltender for Buffalo in order to give Ryan Miller
a rest, but was pulled less than 10 minutes into the game after he allowed
four goals on 11 shots. Miller made 18 saves the rest of the way.
"I know my role and in the last few weeks, that is the way it's been," said
Lalime after his seventh start of the season. "I've been getting a game here
and there. It's part of my job. I think there were a couple of bad breaks and
they all seemed to find their way into the back of the net -- just a couple of
mistakes that cost us goals."
The Sabres, two points behind Washington for the most in the Eastern
Conference and owners of a 10-point advantage over second-place Ottawa in the
Northeast Division, have won four of their last five meetings with the Kings.
That includes a 5-0 win at Buffalo last year in which Miller posted a 40-save
However, the Sabres have just one win and a tie in their last eight trips to
Los Angeles, which includes a 5-1 victory there on October 23, 2003. However,
Buffalo was blasted, 8-2, the last time it traveled to the City of Angels on
December 6, 2007.
01/21 11:12:18 ET