Buffalo Sabres 4, Kings 2
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: The Sabres exploded for three goals in the second period Saturday night and the Kings were unable to rally at 02 World in Berlin, Germany.
THE STAT: The Kings out-shot the Sabres, 33-26 but, except for Anze Kopitar, were unable to solve Buffalo goalkeeper Ryan Miller, who had defeated the Ducks the day before in Helsinki, Finland.
TURNING POINT: After a scoreless first period, the Sabres scored twice within 2 minutes 20 seconds of the second. Luke Adam scored the first when he took a pass from Jason Pominville behind the net and beat Jonathan Bernier with a one-timer 2:40 into the period. Adam scored again moments later when Kings defenseman Jack Johnson lost the puck behind the Kings net. The rubber made its way in front of the crease and Adam dipped in and slammed it past Bernier. Adam came into the game with three goals in his career. Thomas Vanek assisted on both goals.
HOT: Kopitar scored both goals for the Kings, giving him three in two games this season. Kopitar didn’t record his third goal last season until the eighth game.
NOT: The Kings were just plain bad in front of Bernier, chasing defenders instead of staying between the puck and the goal, and letting opposing forwards camp in front of the net for far too long.
GOOD MOVE: Justin Williams made his second highlight-reel pass to Kopitar in as many days. This time, he hit Kopitar with a spot-on diagonal pass in the slot. Kopitar spun to his backhand and slammed the puck into the net with 4:14 remaining in the game.
BAD MOVE: With the Kings trailing, 3-1, early in the third period, Kevin Westgarth committed a needless cross-checking penalty while the Kings were scrambling in front of the Buffalo net. Westgarth, who was a healthy scratch in Friday’s victory against the Rangers, went to the box and the Sabres scored on the ensuing power play. Not a good way to stay in the lineup on a regular basis.
NOTABLE: Kings left wing Dustin Penner missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. Trent Hunter was scratched in place of Westgarth, who recorded just 6:44 of ice time
UP NEXT: Thursday at the New Jersey Devils, 4 p.m. (PT).