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O'Reilly, Sabres end Kings' six-game winning streak

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- Ryan O'Reilly helped the Buffalo Sabres end a three-game losing streak with an acrobatic milestone goal.

O'Reilly scored his 100th NHL goal with 1:41 left in overtime to give the Sabres a 2-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at First Niagara Center on Saturday. It ended the Kings' six-game winning streak.

O'Reilly received a pass from Jake McCabe and went in on a 2-on-1 with Evander Kane against Kings defenseman Alec Martinez. O'Reilly settled the puck and skated around Martinez, who went down to block a shot. O'Reilly tripped on Martinez's stick and took a wrist shot as he fell that went high over the shoulder of Kings goalie Jhonas Enroth for his 10th goal of the season.

"I was waiting to get around and then see what was open," O'Reilly said. "I usually like low-blocker, but as I was falling I just tried to get it off in that area.

"Anytime you get a game-winner you feel good, especially in OT when we haven't had much success this year. Obviously for myself, you feel great, but at the same time we have to start preparing for Detroit (on Monday)."

O'Reilly had two points against the Kings; he has 10 points in a seven-game streak. He leads the Sabres with 10 goals and 27 points.

"He's pretty much been there in every situation and every opportunity for our team and he's come up big again for us tonight," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said. "He obviously scores a fantastic goal for us in the overtime, but all game long I think he's out there against the top line against the opposition. He's been nothing short of magnificent for us."

O'Reilly, 24, scored his first 90 NHL goals in 427 games with the Colorado Avalanche.

"Hopefully I got a lot more coming, but obviously it's great to get that and hopefully there are more milestones to come," he said.

The Sabres (12-15-3) came off a three-game road trip when they were swept, but have four wins in their past eight games. The Kings (19-8-2) are 1-11-2 in Buffalo since 1993-94.

McCabe nearly gave the Sabres a 2-1 lead with 11.8 seconds left in the second period, but Kings coach Darryl Sutter challenged the play. After review, it was determined Sabres captain Brian Gionta entered the zone ahead of the puck and was offside.

"Our video guys watch all those plays," Sutter said. "They made the right call, and it was that close, low-scoring game you're going to call it anyway. And it was the right call. Once you look at it from another angle, it's not even close. That's the rule. That's what video's for."

It was the third time the Sabres had a goal overturned at home, and fourth this season.

"I'd like a few more to go in our favor, but they got it right; it was offside," Bylsma said. "The linesman said they, just at the end, had enough video evidence to overturn it, and I said, 'Well, you got it right.' I'm glad they're getting it right. It's disappointing when it goes against your team and it would've been a big goal for us. They're getting it right and we'd like to get it right more in our favor."

Marian Gaborik gave the Kings a 1-0 lead 4:47 into the first period. He received a pass from Anze Kopitar on a 2-on-1 against Sabres defenseman Mike Weber and took a one-timer that got past goalie Linus Ullmark for his sixth goal of the season.

"I thought we got better as the game went on, but we couldn't seal the deal," Kings forward Tanner Pearson said.

Ullmark made up for it in the second period when Gaborik and Kopitar had another 2-on-1, this time against McCabe. After McCabe slid toward Kopitar, he passed to Gaborik, but Ullmark got across his crease and made the save with his leg.

"I bit too hard on the shooter [on the goal], just getting stuck out there and no backflow at all," Ullmark said. "[Kopitar] made a great [saucer] pass over and [Gaborik] one-timed it, and if you want to take that one, you have to be more patient on your feet and be able to read that there's a 2-on-1 and not just one."

Sabres forward Jamie McGinn made it 1-1 7:19 into the first period with a power-play goal. McGinn picked up loose puck from an attempted pass by O'Reilly that bounced off Pearson and Kings defenseman Brayden McNabb and his no-look backhand between his legs beat Enroth for his sixth goal of the season.

"I don't know what the heck he was doing with that goal," Bylsma said. "I had to see the replay again to actually make sense that he did actually go between his legs and somehow beat the goaltender. But his strength on the power play has been at the net and being in front of the net and being the net-front guy, and I think Ryan was trying to make a seam pass to the weak side of the ice and hit a stick and bounced into that crease and [McGinn] took advantage of it. I thought he played his best game of the year tonight in a lot of areas for us and playing big on that top line."

McGinn has eight points in the past eight games (three goals).

Enroth made 28 saves in his first start against the Sabres since he was traded by Buffalo to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 11. It was his first game since Nov. 22 playing behind Jonathan Quick.

"I'm sure he'd like the power-play goal back," Sutter said. "I wouldn't call that a great goal. Other than that ... that's what a backup's job is; come in and get your points. Nothing around it. Backup goalie, your fifth, sixth, seventh defenseman ... fourth line ... they've got to win you these games."

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