Fatigue proved not to be an issue for the Buffalo Sabres in Saturday's Compuware NHL Premiere game against the Los Angeles Kings at O2 World Arena in Berlin.
Despite arriving in Berlin at 4 a.m. after a Friday night victory in Helsinki, Finland against the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo came out flying and scored the game's first three goals en route to a 4-2 victory against the Kings, who had arrived two hours earlier after a Friday night win against the New York Rangers in Stockholm, Sweden.
Before the game, German native Christian Ehrhoff said he was hoping that adrenaline would overcome any hardships the team might have endured as he enjoyed a rare chance to play as a NHLer before a German crowd, which crammed the arena to capacity.
Rookie Luke Adam certainly showed no signs of being tired as he scored the game's first two goals. Linemate Thomas Vanek, from nearby Austria, assisted on both goals after putting up a three-point night in Helsinki in Friday's 4-1 victory.
Adam, one of the last players to make the Buffalo roster, scored his first goal just 2:40 into the period, snapping home a one-timer after a pass from Jason Pominville. It was Vanek's work along the end boards, though, that made the play possible.
Adam's second goal came just 2:20 later, on his next shift, when he swept home the rebound of a Vanek shot.
Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford scored Buffalo's other goals as backup Jonathan Bernier was shelled for 4 goals in the final two periods after a strong first. Bernier, who had 22 saves, earned the start after No. 1 Jonathan Quick earned the win in Friday night's 3-2 win against the Rangers.
The Sabres also have another German on their roster, Jochen Hecht, but he missed the game with concussion-related symptoms. In fact, Hecht has not played at all on this trip, including an exhibition game on Tuesday against Adler Mannheim, his hometown club.
In a somewhat shocking move, Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff opted to go back to Ryan Miller in net, just 15 hours after landing in Berlin.
Miller replayed that confidence by being sharp early, stopping 22 of 23 shots in the first two periods. In fact, the only goals he allowed were a power-play tally by Anze Kopitar with 39 seconds remaining in the second period and a late goal by the Sloivenian star, who has 3 goals in the two European games. He finished with 31 saves.
With Drew Stafford in the box for tripping, the Kings moved the puck efficiently around the perimeter -- especially after Paul lost his stick -- until Kopitar got the puck in the high slot and ripped it home over the shoulder of a screened Miller.
Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson, who scored the overtime game-winner Friday night against the Rangers, earned the assists on the goal, which was Kopitar's second in as many games.
It is also the second game in a row that the Kings have scored on the power play, which was a point of emphasis this preseason. Johnson's game-winner Friday came on a 4-on-3 man advantage.
Stafford restored the three-goal lead less than four minutes into the third.
With Kevin Westgarth in the box for an offensive-zone cross-checking penalty, Stafford pounced on a rebound and swept it past Jonathan Bernier for his first goal of the season.
Nathan Gerbe and Derek Roy earned assists on the goal. For Gerbe, it was his second point of the night.
The goal was the first power-play tally Los Angeles has allowed in these first two games.