Having yet to win at home, the Buffalo Sabres returned from their west-coast trip to take on the Los Angeles Kings, hoping to finally end their losing streak at the First Niagara Center.
They did just that, having walked away with a 3-2 shootout win over the visiting Kings.
The first period was extremely brutal for the hometown team, having let up five shots in the first two minutes of the game, the Kings capitalized quickly on Buffalo’s rough start, with Justin Williams tipping a goal past Ryan Miller” href=”http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8468011#&navid=nhl-search” target=”_blank”>Ryan Miller.
Up 1-0 already, the Kings still continued to pepper Miller throughout the period. Halfway through the first, the Kings led in shots 7-1.
At the intermission, the Kings led 1-0 with a 15-4 lead in shots as well.
Buffalo seemed to find their legs in the second, giving a bit of a challenge to the Kings, who were still rolling and firing shots left and right at will.
By the halfway mark of the second, Los Angeles held a commanding 26-5 shot lead.
Cody Hodgson managed to tie the game at 1 when he received a pass from Steve Ott and tapped the puck into the net at the 12:46 mark of the second period. The assists on the goal were given to Steve Ott and Matt Moulson” href=”http://www.nhl.com/ice/player.htm?id=8470852#&navid=nhl-search” target=”_blank”>Matt Moulson. The goal was Hodgson’s 6th of the season.
At the end of the second, the game was tied at 1, but LA controlled the shot count 30-7.
Hoping to start generating more chances and get into double digits in shots, Buffalo began the third trying anything they could to gain the lead. Justin Williams went to the penalty box with a hooking call on Drew Stafford. With the man advantage, Buffalo went to work.
At the 4:26 mark of the third, Hodgson recorded his second goal of the night on a backhand shot that found the net past Jonathan Quick. Assists on the goal were given to Tyler Ennis and Matt Moulson. The assist was Moulson’s second of the night.
Throughout the third, LA continued their triumph of shooting, amassing a 41-15 shot count, with Buffalo in the lead.
Buffalo looked like they could have scored their third goal of the game, with a 2-on-1 featuring Ott and Moulson found a cross-crease pass that just barely tipped off of Moulson’s stick and trickled past the Kings goal with under a minute left to play.
Drew Stafford took a slashing call with 38 seconds remaining, which carried over into the overtime period.
At the end of regulation, with the game tied at 2, LA led the shots, 42-16.
Buffalo, a man-down to start the overtime, were constantly on their heels in their zone, with Miller still surviving the seemingly endless roulette of shots.
With 1:20 left in the overtime, Jonathan Quick seemed to be under some sort of discomfort after a routine wrap-around protection of the net. Unable to recover, Ben Scrivens relieved Quick in the overtime, with only a little bit of stretching coming off the bench.
Making it through overtime, it looked like this game would be settled in a shootout.
Matt Moulson shot first, able to wrist a high shot over Scrivens.
Mike Richards came next, but was foiled on a Miller pad save.
Cody Hodgson carried the puck across the crease, but his backhand shot rang off the post.
Trevor Lewis was stopped by Miller to keep Buffalo in front.
Tyler Ennis finished the job by wristing the puck through Scrivens’ legs and that was the game.
Despite being outshot exponentially, Buffalo finally put a home win in the win column, skating off the ice with a 3-2 victory over the Kings.
Ryan Miller showed his worth tonight, posting 43 saves on the night.
Buffalo faces off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in what is sure to be an electric game if the preseason previewed anything. Puck drop is 7PM, Friday night.