The Buffalo Sabres couldn’t produce a win on their west coast road trip tonight as they fell to the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 inside the Staples Center.
Buffalo’s offense proved ineffective from start to finish, mustering only 19 shots throughout the entire contest. Their power play was equally dismal, failing on four different occasions against a King’s penalty kill unit which had given up 13 shorthanded goals leading into the game.
But Buffalo’s inability to reach the scoreboard could also be attributed to the brick wall they faced tonight. King’s netminder. Jonathan Quick, who began his NHL career with a win over the Sabres, was phenomenal in between the pipes tonight. With the win, he secured his 26th career shutout while playing in his 300th NHL game, adding points to resume as the potential starting goaltending for Team USA in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
While Los Angeles saw stellar defense over the course of sixty minutes, they also saw their offense come to life at the most opportune times. A mirror image of Buffalo’s inept power play, the King’s scored twice with the man advantage.
Their first goal came just as the opening period drew to a close. Center Mike Richards kept himself parked in front of the Buffalo net and was able to get a stick on a shot by defensemen Jake Muzzin, which fell underneath Sabres’ netminder Jhonas Enroth to put Los Angeles ahead.
The Kings added to their lead at 12:18 of the second period while on a four-on-three power play. Anze Kopitar accepted a pass at the right circle from former second overall draft pick Drew Doughty, and the Slovenian center was able to throw it by Enroth, who looked like he had been on a swivel in the crease stopping a salvo of shots beforehand.
Enroth was one of very few bright spots on the night for the Sabres, fending off 26 of 28 shots that Los Angeles hurled his way.
Perhaps just as troubling as the loss was an injury to Christian Ehrhoff in the third period, which sent the Sabres’ leader in ice time to the dressing room. Ehrhoff did not return for the rest of the contest, and the severity of his injury remains unknown.
The Sabres will need to put that and the defeat behind them, however, as they make the short trip to Anaheim for a Friday night meeting with the Ducks. Puck drop is scheduled for 10:00 PM EST from the Honda Center.