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game recap

Pearson's two goals lead Kings past Sabres

Enroth makes 23 saves to shut out former team

by Curtis Zupke / Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Jhonas Enroth doesn't get many chances to play, let alone play against his former team. He made the most of his opportunity on Saturday.

Enroth made 23 saves, Tanner Pearson scored two goals, and the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 at Staples Center.

The Kings (37-20-4) won their fourth straight and have scored two goals in each game of the streak. They are four points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks in the race for first place in Pacific Division. The teams play Sunday at Honda Center.

The Sabres (25-31-7) went 1-2-0 on a three-game California trip.

Enroth, who played for the Sabres from 2009-10 to 2014-15, earned his seventh career shutout and first win since Jan. 24.

"It means a lot, even though my feelings for them kind of fade away," said Enroth, who was traded by Buffalo to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 15, 2015, and signed with the Kings last summer as a free agent. "It's been a while since I played for them. Definitely feels good to beat your old team, especially to get a shutout. I'm going to try to build on this and try to make this something positive."

Video: BUF@LAK: Pearson hammers home blocked shot

Pearson put the Kings ahead to stay when he one-timed the rebound of Alec Martinez's shot past Robin Lehner at 4:40 of the second period. Pearson helped get the puck out from the corner to newly acquired defenseman Rob Scuderi, who set up Martinez.

He was in the slot to tap in the rebound of a shot by defenseman Jake Muzzin, who faked a shot and put it on net, at 13:58 of the third period. It was his 10th goal of the season.

Pearson, who had six goals in his first 51 games, has boosted his confidence by scoring four in his past eight games.

"I think I'm getting it back in my game," he said. "I think both goals were the result of going to the net, which I've got to do more on a consistent [basis]. I think it's a step in the right direction."

Video: BUF@LAK: Pearson finishes rebound for his second goal

Buffalo allowed four goals in three games on the trip but had to settle for two points.

"We played well," rookie forward Jack Eichel said. "Not good enough."

Buffalo coach Dan Bylsma pointed to a power play that went 0-for-3 as a reason for the lack of offense.

"We haven't been able to establish any presence with the power play, right from the faceoff and our entries and our possession and in the power play, and that's been a big factor, a draining factor," Bylsma said.

Eichel said he needs to be better after a scoreless trip against big, physical teams. His frustration was evident in the second period when he took a roughing penalty after he reached around and smacked Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb. He called it "a bad penalty."

"No production in these three games," said Eichel, the second player taken in the 2015 NHL Draft. "I need to be a lot better. I need to step up. Coach puts me in great situations … I need to start to finish."

Video: BUF@LAK: Enorth stones Sabres to keep shutout intact

Scuderi's assist came in his first game back with the Kings after he was acquired Friday from the Chicago Blackhawks for defenseman Christian Ehrhoff. The 37-year-old, who played for Los Angeles from 2009-13, received an ovation during a video tribute in the first period and motioned to his heart for the fans.

"I'm not an overly emotional guy," said Scuderi, who had been playing with Rockford of the American Hockey League. "I don't show a whole lot. But it was pretty special. I was looking for an opportunity to go to the NHL. It's a privilege to play in this league, but it made it a lot sweeter to come back to the Kings. It really meant a lot."

Scuderi played 19:07 and was on the ice when Buffalo pulled Lehner for an extra attacker in the final two minutes.

"It's a big confidence boost," Scuderi said. "I think the biggest thing that's been hurting in my game isn't so much the physicality of it as is the confidence of it, the mental side. Anytime you can be used in those type of situations, it gives you a little boost."

Martinez's assist was his career-high 23rd point of the season.

Video: Pearson, Enroth pace Kings to 2-0 win over Sabres

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