Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Season Outlook: Buffalo Sabres vs. Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres will face each other twice in the upcoming 2013-2014 NHL season, marking the first times the teams will meet on North American soil since November 19, 2010.

The Kings and Sabres did not play each other during last year’s lockout-shortened season, but they did face each other once in the season prior, as part of the NHL Premiere Series in Germany on October 8, 2011.

Buffalo won that game by a score of 4-2. with Luke Adam leading the way with a pair of goals. Thomas Vanek had a pair of assists, and Ryan Miller stopped 31 of 33 shots faced in the victory.

Prior to that, the teams last met on November 19, 2010 in Buffalo. Similar to the game in Berlin, the Sabres came out on top, 4-2. Patrick Kaleta and Thomas Vanek scored, and Tim Connolly snapped a 2-2 tie early in the third period to give Buffalo the win. Jochen Hecht also scored for the Sabres, while Ryan Miller made 34 saves.

Of the 18 skaters who appeared in that 2010 game for the Sabres, only five are still with the team today: Cody McCormick, Thomas Vanek, Patrick Kaleta, Tyler Myers and Tyler Ennis.

Of course, some players from both teams departing isn’t the biggest thing that’s happened since the last time these teams met, on North American soil or otherwise.

Since the teams last faced off in 2011, the Los Angeles Kings have won a Stanley Cup and have won 51 percent of its regular season games (66 wins in 129 games during the regular season). Buffalo has won 46 percent of its regular season games (59 wins, 129 games) and hasn’t made any playoff appearances.

Last season, center Anze Kopitar led the Kings with 42 points in 47 games; he was also top in assists, with 32. Jeff Carter was second in points (33) and had a team-high 26 goals in 48 games.

The Los Angeles Kings have lost several players to free agency this offseason, including Rob Scuderi, Brad Richardson and Dustin Penner. They signed defenseman Jeff Schultz from Washington and re-signed players such as Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez, but otherwise haven’t made a huge splash in the NHL free agent market.

The acquisition of forward Daniel Carcillo will provide an interesting boost to the Kings lineup, but perhaps the most significant move of the Los Angeles Kings this offseason was the trade of goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goaltender Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin and a draft pick. These are two players who have experience playing against the Buffalo Sabres organization – a skill that may come in handy on a Western Conference team that doesn’t generally see much of the Sabres team.

Players To Watch:

  • LOS ANGELES: Newly acquired Los Angeles Kings forward Matt Frattin has scored four goals and one assist for five points in six career NHL games against the Sabres. Ithaca native Dustin Brown has six points (3-3) in seven career games against Buffalo, while former Philadelphia Flyers dynamic duo Jeff Carter and Mike Richards have 21 and 25 points in their careers against the Buffalo Sabres, respectively. Anze Kopitar has eight points (2-6) in four career NHL games against the Sabres. Also keep an eye out for former Buffalo Sabres defenseman Robyn Regehr.
  • BUFFALO: Buffalo Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff has scored 12 points in 34 career games against the Los Angeles Kings. Forwards Thomas Vanek and Drew Stafford have both scored more points against the Kings than games they’ve played in versus the team. Vanek has scored seven career points in 6 games against LA, while Stafford has notched five points in four games.

Meetings This Season:

  • November 7 @ LAK
  • November 12 @ BUF

Tags: Buffalo Sabres Los Angeles Kings

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