5 Observations: Kings take down Sabres 2-0

Posted at 1:22 AM, Mar 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-17 01:22:16-04

Since rattling off a three-game win streak the Buffalo Sabres have lost 10 of their last 12 games including a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday evening. Remember less than a month ago when we were talking about the playoffs?

Here's a fun stat to kick things off -- the Sabres haven't scored a goal at Staples Center since 2010. Memories. 

Five observations from Thursday's loss:

Defensive breakdowns

If you look at the box score and see the Kings had *only* two goals you might think "Well the Sabres defense must've played pretty well."

Ehh, not exactly.

Robin Lehner was fantastic and bailed the Sabres defenders out of some sticky situations. Perhaps their worst mishap came on the Kings first goal when three Sabres players failed to clear the zone, allowing Los Angeles forward Jarome Iginla, the ageless wonder, an easy goal.

On LA's second goal of the evening, the Sabres got caught chasing the Kings and Adrian Kempe made them pay.  The goal came right as a Sabres penalty expired.

s h o o t
  t h e
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The good news: The Sabres recorded progressively more shots as the game went on. 

The bad news: After two periods they had only 11.

Buffalo finished the night with 26 shots, which isn't absolutely terrible, but it's not good either when you allow 36 to your opponent. The Sabres applied pressure late but just couldn't beat Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who was great in his own right on Thursday evening.

Robin the Kings

Lehner did everything he could and then some against the Kings on Thursday, stopping  34 of Los Angeles' 36 shots.
Lehner was the Sabres best player for the second game in a row, keeping the Sabres alive until the very end, despite being dominated in both shots and shots attempted.

For whatever reason, Lehner has taken a lot of criticism from fans this season. While at times it has been fair to be critical, more often than not, Lehner has played very well. He was stellar on Thursday.

Hudson Fasching has a beard now and it's very fitting

It has been a tough season for 21-year-old Hudson Fasching but on Thursday he reminded Sabres fans what he brings to the table. After an injury-riddled season kept Fasching sidelined for months the Sabres forward returned to the lineup for the first time since October.

Early in the game, Fasching made his presence felt, knocking Kings defender Drew Doughty to the ice.  A few seconds later Doughty retaliated with a cross-check and just like that the Sabres were on the power play. Mission accomplished, Mr. Fasching.

It was a very strong effort from start to finish for Fasching. Heading into the season a lot of people, myself included, were really excited to see what Fasching could do in a full season. It looks like we'll have to wait another year to get the answer, but if he keeps playing like he did on Thursday he's not going back to Rochester.

But wait, there's more

Just when you thought the Fasching praise was done......

The Foligno-Rodrigues -Fasching line was the Sabres most effective trio against Los Angeles. Here's your crazy stat: In the third period, the line generated four (!) scoring chances on one shift.  Up until that point, the entire Sabres team only had six scoring chances.

It would be nice to see if this combination could stick together for a few more games and build off their success against the Kings.