FINAL LA 2-0 BUF
LA: Iginla Assists: Kopitar, Brown
LA: Kempe Assists: Brown, Doughty
This was Robin Lehner’s first jest showdown of the season with Jonathan Quick. Robin Lehner stopped several shots from dangerous areas of the ice very early on. The 1st five minutes of the game had a very slow pace, being stopped several times by those meddling glove passes and icings. Matty the Iceman Moulson would get the Sabres first scoring chance with a slap shot that hit the pipe. The Kings’ Andreoff would take a cross checking penalty after harassing Hudson Fasching behind the net without the puck anywhere near him. That’s two for bullying the new guy.
The Kings would make easy work of the Sabres power play. This is nothing to fret over as LA came in with the 4th ranked penalty kill. Their penalty kill in the last 23 games is 56 for 60. The Kings would put the Sabres under siege with 9 minutes remaining in the opening period but an alert Samson Reinhart would clear the zone. Buffalo couldn’t help but turn the puck over in the neutral zone in the final 6 or so minutes of the period. Sam Reinhart would rip a slap shot with 3 minutes remaining that would once more ricochet off the goal post. This was followed up with Cody Franson being caught out of position by Kempe, setting up a breakaway. Franson took a desperation hooking penalty which prevented a potential goal. Good play by Clumsy Cody here. The period ended 0-0.
The Sabres began the 2nd period having not scored since the 1st period on Tuesday against the Sharks. Matt Moulson would put forth another great effort in the Kings zone, stripping the puck carrier in the slot and creating a scoring chance. Andreoff would come speeding into the Sabres zone uncovered and got a beautiful scoring chance on one knee that was foiled by Lehner who came to the top of the goal mouth to cut off the opportunity. We can thank Zach Bogosian for this doozy of a scoring chance. Moulson once more got a chance to bring the puck into the zone but took a tumble to his hind end. For every occasional good play he’s had there’s 4 other things that prove he just shouldn’t be on this team.
The Fasching-Rodrigues-Foligno line had a brilliant period. Fasching should really be up here the rest of the year. Foligno was throwing his body around like a punker at a Black Flag concert. E-Rod caught Quick with a shot right in the mask on this same shift.
Marian Gaborik got an opportunity with 9 minutes remaining in the period but was stifled by Lehner. Robin got caught with a shot by Dustin Brown while flopped on his stomach. This was a very risky play here, but man was Lehner’s stop moments earlier beautiful. Josh Gorges practically handed the puck to the Kings’ Dowd creating a 3 on 1 that Robin Lehner once more shut down. If you think he’s good now then you better grab your thesaurus when we have a good defense core in front of him because you’re going to need a better word than “good”. Cody Franson’s strong game continued as he shut down a 2 on 1 witha. Stick check before Jarome Iginla could pass or shoot. The puck then sat next to Lehner’s goal and could’ve easily been tapped in, but the mass of humanity in the crease didn’t let that happen. Franson was the reason this game was still 0-0 after 2. That felt so dirty typing that.
It wouldn’t take long after the first puck drop in the 3rd period for the Kings to open the scoring. Jarome Iginla scored his 3rd goal in 7 games as a King on a bouncing cross crease pass 36 seconds in.
The Sabres would get their 2nd power play opportunity about a minute later on a Trevor Lewis roughing call. The Kings PK absolutely suffocated the Sabres PP unit and gave them almost no chance to get a shot. The power play came to an end without a single Buffalo shot. Meanwhile we have to listen to Rob Ray scold Tyler Ennis for not playing “Smart hockey”, which is the equivalent of a 1st grader attempting to teach a high schooler then Pythagorean theorem. We love you Rayzor though, for reals. Is there really a better color guy in the league on a regional level?
Ryan O’Reilly knocked down Drew Doughty with a harmless elbow that got him attacked by the entirety of the Kings skaters. The Kings later knocked down Gionta but no retaliation came from the Sabres. Jack Eichel would hesitate too long on an opportunity in front of an open net but the puck would hop off his stick. Marcus Foligno and Kyle Clifford would drop the gloves on the next shift. Clifford launched a series of bombs, none of which really landed. The two would wrestle to the ground but this tilt goes to Clifford. Jack Eichel and Tyler Ennis would create a 2 on 1 but the chance was squandered when Ennis took too long to shoot. Josh Gorges took a tripping penalty with 7:26 remaining, giving the Kings their 2nd power play.
The Kings would get a chance to score but hit a post instead on Lehner’s blocker side. Adrian Kempe would get a feed from Doughty and score from the left faceoff circle to give the Kings a 2-0 lead with 5:20 remaining. The Sabres couldn’t get the puck on their sticks if it was made of paper and the blades were doused in Gorilla glue. So many fans, so many passes that just had too much juice. This just wasn’t our night.
Lehner went to the bench with 1:58 remaining. Buffalo wouldn’t be able to solve Quick, and the final horn sounded ending the game 2-0 in a Kings victory.