|7:30 PM PT8:30 PM MT9:30 PM CT10:30 PM ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 PM MST9:30 PM EST6:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ET23:30 BRT, October 17, 2019
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 17,605
Sabres head to L.A. to complete SoCal back-to-back
Buffalo Sabres at Los Angeles Kings
- The Sabres won each of their 2018-19 meetings with the Kings and snapped a five-game road losing streak in the series with a 5-1 victory last October, their first in Los Angeles since January 2010. The last time Buffalo defeated the Kings three straight times was from Oct. 23, 2003-Jan. 14, 2006.
- The Kings have recorded 30 shots on goal or more in each of their first six games, their longest streak to begin a season since a seven-game stretch to start the 1993-94 campaign. Los Angeles leads the NHL with a +41 shot differential in the first period, though it's outscored opponents by only an 8-7 margin.
- Victor Olofsson scored his sixth power-play goal in Buffalo's 5-2 loss at Anaheim on Wednesday, making him the first NHL player to record his first eight career goals with his team having a man advantage. Olofsson, along with Edmonton's James Neal, are the first players with six power-play goals over a season's first seven games since the Rangers' Jaromir Jagr in 2005-06.
- The Kings are 0-for-14 on the power play over their last four games, continuing their recent history of starting slow in those situations. Since 2016-17, Los Angeles ranks last in the NHL in power-play percentage (13.6) in October.
- Carter Hutton moved to 4-0-0 with a 1.74 goals-against average this season with his 25-save shutout of the Stars on Monday. Hutton joins Jhonas Enroth (2011-12) and Ryan Miller (2008-09) as Sabres goaltenders within the last 30 years to start a season with four straight wins and a GAA under 2.00.
- Los Angeles' Jonathan Quick has allowed 19 goals, the most by any NHL goaltender over his first three starts of a season since San Jose's Wade Flaherty also gave up 19 in 1996-97. Quick's .793 save percentage is the lowest by any netminder in his first three starts in a season since the Coyotes' Mike Morrison (.784) in 2006-07.
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After consecutive home defeats and with the Buffalo Sabres coming to town Thursday night, new Los Angeles Kings head coach Todd McLellan is looking for accountability as he tries to rebuild team culture following an abysmal 2018-19 season.
McLellan appeared to send out a challenge this week to Kings winger Adrian Kempe, whose production has continued to diminish in the early part of the season with playing time that has been slashed.
Kempe does not yet have a goal this season, and his ice time has been reduced to less than 12 minutes a game over the past three games. He did not play at all in the third period Tuesday during the Kings' 2-0 defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes, but he was also getting stitches after he was hit in the face by a puck.
"Quite frankly, he's got to be way more productive than he's been," McLellan told reporters after the Tuesday loss. "I can try to justify his minutes and lack of, but he dictates how much he gets on the ice. At this point, I thought we would get a lot more from him."
Before losing to Carolina, the Kings also fell 5-2 to the visiting Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday after a promising 7-4 victory over the visiting Nashville Predators on Saturday.
McLellan knows he will need all the production he can get during a meeting with the Sabres, who did not lose in regulation until they dropped a 5-2 decision in a physical road game against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.
Buffalo will not have to wait long to avenge the defeat and figure out a way to get their power play back on track. The Sabres had converted an NHL-best 42.9 percent of their power plays (9 of 21) to start the season, but they scored on just 1 of 7 against the Ducks.
That one power-play conversion came on a first-period goal from Victor Olofsson, whose production with the man advantage continued. All six of Olofsson's goals this season, and all eight in his career, have come on the power play. He is the first player in NHL history to score his first eight career goals with a man advantage.
After Buffalo held its opponents to two goals or fewer in four of the first six games, the Ducks broke down the Sabres' defense to score the final five goals Wednesday, including three in the second period to take the lead for good.
Sabres goalies Linus Ullmark and Carter Hutton have shared time so far this season, but after Ullmark was in goal during the Wednesday defeat, Hutton could be back in net against the Kings. Hutton recorded his first shutout with the Sabres on Monday in a 4-0 victory over the Dallas Stars.
The Sabres have been pleased with the play from both goalies.
"A lot of it is the fact that they both get to play then they both feel like they have a little bit of a rhythm going," assistant coach Mike Bales, said, according to NHL.com. "One guy's not going to sit for too long. So, they always feel game-ready because of that, too. It helps a lot."
--Field Level Media
Updated October 17, 2019