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5 Observations: Kings take down Sabres 4-2

Posted at 3:56 PM, Feb 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-17 16:11:53-05

For the first time in 15 years, the Los Angeles Kings won a game in Buffalo, knocking off the Sabres 4-2.  With the loss, the Sabres remain at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a 17-31-11 record.

Five observations from Saturday's loss: 

A little help would be nice

Robin Lehner would certainly tell you he would want back the goal he allowed in the first period to Michael Amadio. But what is the guy supposed to do when his team is outshot 19-8 in the first 20 minutes? If it wasn't for Lehner the game could've been out of reach after the first period. 

For comparison, In Thursday's loss to the Ottawa Senators, the Sabres finished the game with 25 shots. Only six more than the Kings had in the first period. And the Sabres game went into overtime. Yikes. 

Two and through 

After a relatively solid first period, the wheels came off for Lehner as he allowed three goals in the middle frame. Lehner gets a pass on the Kings' second goal as his teammate Benoit Pouliot fell over in the Sabres' zone, gift wrapping a 2-on-1 in the opposite direction. 

The same can't be said for the Kings' third and fourth goals. Both beat Lehner five-hole and put the Sabres into a deficit they wouldn't be able to climb out of. Chad Johnson led the team onto the ice as the third period began, stopping the six shots he faced. Lehner wasn't the only reason the Sabres lost this game but a few more saves and this game could've possibly had a different outcome. 

Uninspired from start to finish 

When you're playing against Jonathan Quick you need to get pucks to the net and hope for some weird bounces. On Saturday the Sabres did the exact opposite, failing to generate almost any dangerous scoring chances in the first 40 minutes of the game. 

Eventually the blue and gold spoiled Quick's shutout bid thanks to an absolute rocket from Marco Scandella 30 seconds into the third period. But it was too little too late for the Sabres, who once again let two bad periods spoil their chance at two points. From a strictly offensive standpoint, this was one of the Sabres poorest outings in some time, which is saying something. 

Homecoming for Iafallo 

Perhaps the biggest ovation of the afternoon came as the Kings' third goal was announced. The nearly (at the time) full KeyBank Center crowd cheered as Eden native Alex Iafallo's name was announced after he picked up the primary assist on Anze Kopitar's second goal of the day. 

For Iafallo this was the first time he's played in his hometown as a pro after spending the last four years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In 56 games, Iafallo has a very respectable six goals and 14 assists [20 points]. 

Now at quarterback, Evan Rodrigues

When Jack Eichel suffered his high-ankle sprain last Saturday the Sabres needed to find someone to replace him on the first power-play unit. Nobody on the roster can do what Eichel does but his former Boston University teammate Evan Rodrigues is doing a commendable job. Rodrigues has looked composed while manning the point and made some really nice plays while doing so. 

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