The Kings earned a point Saturday night, doing so for the ninth-straight game in their 2-1 OT loss to the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center.
Saturday night was the Kings’ first overtime loss of the season; they came into the game with a perfect 5-0 mark in the extra frame.
Jhonas Enroth made his fifth start of the season in what was a homecoming for the Kings’ backup goaltender, he played parts of six seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. Saturday marked Enroth’s first start since November 20, and he was solid in net, keeping the Kings in a game in which they were heavily outshot.
The Kings recorded only three shots in the first, a season-low for the team in a single period this season, but it’s also when they produced their first and only goal of the evening.
Less than five minutes into the game, Anze Kopitar corralled the puck in the Kings’ zone, connected with Tanner Pearson on a quick give-and-go sequence in the neutral zone, then sped into Buffalo territory on a two-on-one with Marian Gaborik.
Kopitar, with patience, snuck a pass through a Sabres defenseman’s legs and right into Gaborik’s wheelhouse, who one-timed the feed past Linus Ullmark to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Less than three minutes later, Buffalo tied the game on a power play goal from Jamie McGinn. The Sabres came into the evening with the NHL’s fourth-best power play.
The rest of regulation remained scoreless, the Sabres getting a late second period goal overturned by a coach’s challenge during the final seconds of the second period.
Ryan O’Reilly won the game for Buffalo 3:19 into overtime, beating Jhonas Enroth with a shot as he fell backward while Alec Martinez slid to defend the play.
The Kings are now 1-11-2-1 against the Sabres in Buffalo dating back to the 1993-’94 campaign.
Marian Gaborik (1G), Anze Kopitar (1A), and Tanner Pearson (1A) led all Kings players in points scored (1), Marian Gaborik, Tanner Pearson, and Jeff Carter in shots taken (4), Milan Lucic in hits delivered (5), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (6), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (26:42). Jhonas Enroth made 28 saves in the overtime loss.
The Kings will continue their six-game road trip Monday night when they take on the Ottawa Senators at the Canadien Tire Centre, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 4:30 PM PST.