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Kings look to pounce on struggling Sabres

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings



SABRES (1-6-0) at KINGS (4-1-1)

7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC

SABRE THE DATE: Today marks the first of two meetings with the Buffalo Sabres this season, the teams will also see each other in upstate New York on December 9. Buffalo started a three-game California road-swing Wednesday night, falling 4-1 to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. The Sabres come into tonight’s contest with a 1-6-0 record, their lone win coming in OT on October 14 in Raleigh, NC against the Carolina Hurricanes.

MUZZ-IN: Defenseman Jake Muzzin returns to the Kings lineup tonight for the first time this regular season. Muzzin suffered an undisclosed upper-body injury on October 21 in a preseason game against the Colorado Avalanche, and has been out ever since. At today’s morning skate, Muzzin skated alongside Drew Doughty, and the two are expected to be paired on the Kings’ first defensive unit tonight. Marian Gaborik and Trevor Lewis will remain out of the lineup, as will Slava Voynov.

LAKI PREGAME - MUZZIN

LIFE AFTER BUFFALO: Originally drafted by Buffalo in the third round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Brayden McNabb was acquired by the Kings on March 5 of last season for prospects Nic Deslauriers and Hudson Fasching. McNabb cracked the Kings’ lineup out of training camp, and has played in all six regular season games so far this season. McNabb played 37 games with the Sabres in parts of two seasons, tonight will be the first time he faces his former club.

QUICK WALL: Jonathan Quick has made a combined 114 saves on 116 shots faced in the Kings’ previous three games. During that span, Quick went 112:08 straight minutes without surrendering a goal. The Sabres come into town last in the NHL in scoring, averaging in at a lowly 1.14 goals per game. Jonathan Quick needs one more shutout to pass Rogie Vachon to take over the Kings’ franchise record.

FATHER VS SON: There are some family ties involved in tonight’s game, as Jordan Nolan’s father, Ted Nolan, will be coaching against his son as he man’s Buffalo’s bench. The Sabres hired Nolan on November 13 of last season, just after the Kings finished up their season series with Buffalo. Nolan also coached the Latvian national team during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. This will be the first time Jordan Nolan faces his father as the opposing team’s coach.

STRUGGLIN’ SABRES: Buffalo trudges into tonight with a 1-6-0 record, having scored just eight goals in the seven games they’ve played, and have failed to score on all 24 of their power play attempts this season. Michal Neuvirth got the start for Buffalo last night in Anaheim, so it is likely the Kings will see Jhonas Enroth in the Sabres’ net tonight. The Kings faced Enroth once last season, beating Buffalo’s goaltender for two goals on 28 shots in the Kings’ 2-0 win last November.

ANZE’S GOT ENROTH

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In their two meetings against the Buffalo Sabres last season, the Kings went 1-0-1, playing both games in a five-day span. The Kings won the first matchup 2-0 as Jonathan Quick pitched a shutout on November 7 at STAPLES Center. In the second meeting on November 12, the Kings fell 3-2 in a shootout at Buffalo’s First Niagara Center.

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 7:00PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:30PM PT.

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