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game preview

Kings at Sabres preview

Lehner in goal for Buffalo, which has won eight straight at home against Los Angeles

by Joe Yerdon / Correspondent

KINGS (30-22-5) at SABRES (17-30-11)



The Game

The Los Angeles Kings will try for their first road win against the Buffalo Sabres in almost 15 years when they come to KeyBank Center on Saturday. The Sabres have won eight in a row against the Kings in Buffalo since a 4-1 loss on Feb. 21, 2003, and are 14-1-1 (tie) in their past 16 home games against Los Angeles.

The Kings, who've lost three in a row after winning the opener of their seven-game road trip, are three points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

Jonathan Quick made 36 saves in a 3-1 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday and may start. Backup Darcy Kuemper is 4-0-0 in his past six games (five starts) with a .939 save percentage.

The Sabres are 3-1-1 in their past five games and will likely start Robin Lehner against the Kings. Lehner made 33 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.


Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar has eight points (four goals, four assists) in the past six games and 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in the past 13.

Sabres forward Sam Reinhart has eight points (three goals, five assists) in the past six games and 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the past 11.


They said it

"I think we've just got to get a reset. I think anytime you hit this point of the season, it's about each game and getting your game in order; even if you're a team solidified in a playoff spot, the main concern is how you're playing going into the playoffs. Our main concern is to get our team game in order and win this game." -- Kings coach John Stevens

"I don't know if it's frustrating. It's more disappointing. We're making strides and we're playing the right way. For us, all 20 guys have to be focused and prepared to battle and win those one-on-one battles. I thought we had a lot of one-arm reaching with sticks and not getting engaged. Eventually that's going to come back to bite you." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley on losing to the Senators


Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Adrian Kempe -- Tyler Toffoli

Jonny Brodzinski -- Torrey Mitchell -- Kyle Clifford

Andy Andreoff -- Nate Thompson -- Michael Amadio

Jake Muzzin -- Drew Doughty

Dion Phaneuf -- Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort -- Christian Folin

Jonathan Quick

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Kevin Gravel, Michael Mersch, Paul LaDue

Injured: Trevor Lewis (upper body), Jeff Carter (lower body)


Sabres projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Sam Reinhart

Benoit Pouliot -- Evan Rodrigues -- Kyle Okposo

Scott Wilson -- Johan Larsson -- Jason Pominville

Zemgus Girgensons -- Jacob Josefson -- Jordan Nolan

Marco Scandella -- Casey Nelson

Nathan Beaulieu -- Rasmus Ristolainen

Justin Falk -- Victor Antipin

Robin Lehner

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Nicholas Baptiste, Josh Gorges

Injured: Jack Eichel (ankle), Jake McCabe (thumb), Zach Bogosian (hip)


Status report

The Kings held an optional practice Friday.


Stat pack

The Kings have held opponents to two or fewer goals in five of the past nine games. … The Sabres have scored at least four goals in four of their past five games.

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