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Los Angeles
Kings
34-37-11
Buffalo
Sabres
41-32-9

40 SOG
22 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
LAK
BUF
game preview

Kings-Sabres Preview

Friday, 12.19.2008 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

Traditionally one of the better home teams in the NHL, the Buffalo Sabres are hoping to turn things around there. Facing the Los Angeles Kings could be a start.

The Sabres look to avoid a third straight loss at HSBC Arena while trying to continue their home dominance over the Kings on Friday night.

Buffalo (15-13-3) lost 5-3 to New Jersey at home on Wednesday to split a home-and-home set with the Devils. The loss dropped the Sabres to 8-8-1 in western New York, where they have lost have lost six of their last nine contests.

The Sabres, who haven't lost more than 15 home games in each of their last four seasons, have been outscored 52-43 there this season.

"When we come home we try to do a little bit too much and that's when you turn the puck over," Buffalo forward Jason Pominville told the Sabres' official Web site.

A visit from the Kings (13-12-6) could help Buffalo improve its play at home, at least for one night. Though Los Angeles won 8-2 on Dec. 6, 2007 in the teams' most recent meeting, the Sabres have won two in a row and seven of the last eight against the Kings on home ice.

The Sabres hope for a better effort than they put forth against the Devils. Drew Stafford, Patrick Kaleta and Paul Gaustad scored for Buffalo, which lost for the second time in six games since losing three in row.

"We need to simplify our game," Gaustad said. "We stick to our game of hard hockey, we're a tough team to beat. We made mistakes we shouldn't have."

Stafford has scored in two straight games and three of his last four, while Derek Roy extended his points streak to seven games with an assist versus the Devils.

Roy has two goals and five assists during his run.

Ryan Miller made 25 saves versus New Jersey, but suffered his second straight loss. Miller is 13-9-2 with a 2.61 goals-against average this season and 1-1-0 with a 3.38 GAA against Los Angeles. He allowed four goals in the most recent loss to the Kings.

Dustin Brown had two goals and an assist in that contest for Los Angeles, and added one of each in a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Thursday as the Kings concluded a 2-0-2 homestand.

"I think the effort was there," forward Anze Kopitar said. "We can be satisfied with the way we played, but it's frustrating not to win."

It was the 12th goal of the season for Brown, who played his 300th NHL game. He has four goals and three assists in his last four contests.

Jason LaBarbera made 27 saves, and lost his third straight contest to fall to 5-7-4 with a 2.71 GAA in 2008-09.

LaBarbera, who should get more work as Erik Ersberg recovers from a groin injury sustained Monday in a 3-2 shootout loss to San Jose, has never faced Buffalo.

2008-2009 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Dec 19 '08LAK 0 at BUF 5D. Roy
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Kopitar32101626-61421
D. Brown32121224-33633
A. Frolov3213922+01450
P. O'Sullivan3181220+6420
K. Quincey2921618+32012
J. Stoll328816+62240
M. Handzus327815-41222
O. Moller306713-21450
D. Doughty323811-32211
K. Calder27369+21910
T. Preissing19347-5620
M. Greene32156+44400
S. O'Donnell32066+03300
P. Harrold25066-81000
W. Simmonds32235-42401
T. Purcell5123+1000
D. Armstrong18112-91701
D. Gauthier29022-73500
B. Boyle14101-71200
M. Moulson7101-4201
B. Richardson9011+1700
R. Ivanans32000-106300
J. Zeiler10000-12800
J. Johnson2000-3200
T. Lewis1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
E. Ersberg188-5-2373802.38.903
J. LaBarbera195-8-4474402.83.893
J. Quick10-0-0183.53.875
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Vanek3224630+22294
D. Roy32101929+31824
J. Pominville3291625-11221
D. Stafford298917+6430
J. Spacek3211516-31210
C. MacArthur317714-72630
A. Kotalik257714-41641
J. Hecht223811-51911
A. Sekera3201111-8600
D. Paille303710-6200
M. Afinogenov281910-141000
A. Mair32448+06801
T. Lydman32178+21600
T. Numminen32178-61610
P. Gaustad22347-42611
T. Connolly6257+1000
H. Tallinder29145+31201
C. Rivet21055-63900
P. Kaleta23213-35000
M. Mancari7112-4400
N. Paetsch11022-5400
M. Ellis8101+1000
A. Peters20011-26400
N. Gerbe5011+3400
C. Butler1011+2000
M. Weber2000-2900
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Miller2614-9-2637262.51.913
P. Lalime82-4-1221963.09.888