Kings (12-5-0) vs. Buffalo Sabres (7-10-3) at HSBC Arena, 4:30 p.m. (PT)
Five storylines to track:
Bounce-back game – The Kings aren’t desperate by any means, but a win would certainly feel good for their psyche, especially as they begin a four-game road trip. Los Angeles has lost two in a row for the first time this season, giving the shakes to those who get stressed about prolonged losing streaks. Los Angeles has handled Buffalo well in its recent history, however, only losing two of the last 10.
Goalkeeper rotation – Kings coach Terry Murray has publicly stated he plans to stick with his pre-planned goalie rotation through the end of the year, giving starter Jonathan Quick about 75% of the starts and backup Jonathan Bernier the rest. Quick has been much better so far, which led someone to ask Murray about his goalie rotation for the current road trip. He suddenly claimed amnesia.
Yes, we’re talkin’ cereal – ESPNLA wouldn’t normally feature golden oats in its ‘Five storylines to watch," but the timing of this announcement is too good to pass up. It seems Buffalo goalkeeper Ryan Miller has been busy promoting a new brand of cereal called ‘Kick-Save Crunch." Not to create a stir here, but ESPNLA thinks a better name would be "Five-Hole Flakes."
Miller time? – While we’re on the subject of Miller, he stopped 40 shots the last time the Kings played in Buffalo, a 5-0 victory on Dec. 19, 2008. Of course, the Kings aren’t the same spaghetti strainer they were back then, so this sets up to be a great payback game.
Coy Roy – Somebody tell Derek Roy he’s not Wayne Gretzky. The 27-year-old is everything the Kings wish they had at left wing, owning three goals and six assists in the last six games. He also has haunted Los Angeles, totaling a goal and six assists in the team’s last five meetings. In the Kings’ last game in Buffalo two years ago, he had a goal and two assists in the 5-0 victory.