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game recap

Doughty lifts Kings past Sabres with late goal

Scores on power play with two minutes left to break tie; Buffalo remains winless

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Despite not scoring a power-play goal the first three games of the season, the Los Angeles Kings liked how that unit was playing.

Their belief was rewarded in a 4-2 win against the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center on Saturday.

 

[WATCH: All Sabres vs. Kings highlights]

 

Drew Doughty scored a power-play goal with two minutes remaining to break a tie and cap a 3-for-3 night with the man-advantage for Los Angeles.

With Dustin Brown setting a screen in front of the net, Doughty beat goalie Robin Lehner to make it 3-2 with his first goal of the season. Tanner Pearson scored into an empty net to make it 4-2 with 13 seconds left.

Brown and Tyler Toffoli also scored on the power play for the Kings (3-0-1), and Jonathan Quick made 23 saves.

Video: BUF@LAK: Toffoli fires PPG over the glove of Lehner

"We weren't disappointed with the way the power play has been playing," Doughty said. "It sounds stupid, we had zero goals up until now, but we were getting good chances, hitting posts. Just not getting it done, but we knew it was going to come if we stick to the basics."

Zemgus Girgensons and Jack Eichel scored for the Sabres (0-4-1), who lost their fourth straight game in regulation. Lehner made 26 saves.

Defenseman Oscar Fantenberg got his first NHL point with an assist on Toffoli's goal for a 2-1 lead at 7:09 of the third period. But Eichel followed up on his initial shot for his fifth goal to make it 2-2 at 9:06.

The Sabres had the better of the play to start the third period, but Quick robbed Seth Griffith at 3:59 as the Kings killed a tripping penalty against Andy Andreoff. Instead of Buffalo retaking the lead, Los Angeles held and set the stage for Toffoli's second goal.

"Quickie made an absolutely stupid save there," Toffoli said. "I think that kind of changed the momentum and made us realize that it's time and Quickie's battling. After that, we kind of stuck together and score just big goals at the right time."

Video: BUF@LAK: Brown pokes home tough power-play goal

Brown scored the Kings' first power-play goal after they started the season 0-for-16. He was left alone at the front of the net and tapped in the rebound of a Jeff Carter shot at 7:42 of the second period to tie it 1-1. Doughty got an assist on the goal.

Brown has four goals and two assists during a three-game point streak.

Girgensons put the Sabres ahead 1-0 at 15:45 of the first period, becoming the first Buffalo player besides Evander Kane, Jason Pominville and Eichel to score a goal this season. Capitalizing on a quick breakout, Eichel drew the attention of defenseman Jake Muzzin and Quick before finding Girgensons speeding in through the slot.

The goal was Buffalo's first at Los Angeles in 279:38, having been shut out in its past four games at Staples Center.

"I think maybe at this point guys are gripping their stick a little bit. I know I am," Eichel said. "Just maybe overthinking some plays that come naturally."

Video: BUF@LAK: Eichel finishes his own rebound in tight

 

Goal of the game

Doughty scored his 21st NHL game-winning goal with a one-timer from the left point that went in past Lehner's glove. Defenseman Alec Martinez had the primary assist in his season debut after missing the first three games with a lower-body injury.

Video: BUF@LAK: Doughty launches blistering PPG for lead

 

Save of the game

Quick dove to his right and extended his stick to deny Griffith at the left post after a pass from Eichel through the crease. "I already told him he's won save of the year in [the fourth game of the season]," Doughty said.

Video: BUF@LAK: Quick sprawls for unbelievable stick save

 

Highlight of the game

Eichel showed his playmaking ability with a saucer pass to Girgensons on a 2-on-1 to open the scoring. With a goal and an assist, it was Eichel's second straight multipoint game, third in his past four.

Video: BUF@LAK: Girgensons slams home Eichel's nice feed

 

They said it

"He's getting back to his power game. We're trying to make that part of our identity as a hockey team, and he's leading the charge when it comes to that. He likes being there. He understands the value of being there, he wants to be the guy there, and I think it's a great example for everybody else to kind of lead the charge and getting more people there." -- Kings coach John Stevens on Dustin Brown's willingness to attack the crease

 

"I think everybody as a group, as a whole, we were into the battle. We can't take anything away from what we did tonight. We can't get down on our guys. I thought they competed. They did everything but win." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley

 

Need to know

The Kings have earned at least a point in each of their first four games for the first time since 1995-96. … Sabres forward Kyle Okposo (illness) did not play. … Pominville had an assist to extend his point streak to three games.

 

What's next

Sabres: At the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday (9 p.m. ET; PRIME, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the New York Islanders on Sunday (10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, MSG+, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Doughty, Toffoli lead Kings past Sabres, 4-2

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