Buffalo Sabres prove they can bounce back from multi-goal deficits after all

The Buffalo Sabres got off to another rough start last night against the Los Angeles Kings, but there was one huge difference in this one.

Jan 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24), right, is
Jan 24, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24), right, is / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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The Buffalo Sabres found themselves down 3-1 in the first 10 minutes of their matchup against the Los Angeles Kings, and many of us were probably saying, “Wow, here we go again,” considering how poorly they played the previous evening. Goaltender Devon Levi looked like he indeed belonged in the AHL, and the skaters in front of him also weren’t helping much.

It wasn’t until the 8:22 mark of the second period did anything change, when Jack Quinn made a heads-up pass to the brewing star in JJ Peterka. Peterka scored his second of the game on a backhand before Quinn scored one just over two minutes later with helpers from Casey Mittelstadt and Ryan Johnson. 

Alex Tuch and Dylan Cozens scored within the first 10 minutes of the third, and the Blue and Gold picked up momentum heading into their final game before the All-Star Break against the San Jose Sharks. But what caused, after going down by two goals early in so many games and faltering, the Sabres to finally come back and win this one?

Buffalo Sabres found a weak spot in their opponents and took advantage

If you stayed up and watched all of last night’s contest, you may have noticed that, despite the Kings going up 3-1 early, they could not control the puck in their own zone. The Sabres saw that and put relentless pressure on them, forcing turnovers and creating chances for themselves, which proved to be the difference-maker.

Further, Devon Levi found his rhythm after a bad first period when he allowed three goals on 13 shot attempts. Levi finished the game having saved 37 out of 40, good for a 0.925 save percentage. While it still doesn’t justify the Buffalo Sabres rookie playing for the big club given Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s status, he nonetheless was also a big reason they won, coming up with huge saves when the Blue and Gold allowed the Kings to generate chances. 

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(Statistics and information provided by NHL.com)