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Sabres beat Kings in shootout for first home win

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- Ryan Miller made 43 saves and Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis scored in the shootout to give the Buffalo Sabres their first home victory this season, a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

The Sabres (4-15-1) had been 0-8-1 at First Niagara Center. But Moulson scored to start the shootout and Ennis ended the game in the third round by beating backup goaltender Ben Scrivens, who came on when starter Jonathan Quick left with an injury with 1:20 remaining in overtime.

"I actually shoot on Scrivens a lot in the summer," Ennis said. "Normally, I go fake shot, backhand [to] forehand, but I think he knows that pretty well, so I just tried to fool him and shoot it quick. It was nice to go out on a good feeling."

Miller stopped both L.A. attempts in the tiebreaker, handing the Kings (11-5-1) their first loss in five shootouts.

"We're probably going to look at it and say we should've had two points," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said.

After the game, the Kings only said Quick was being evaluated.

"I didn’t notice until I got on the ice, and then he finally went down," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "It’s too bad. Hopefully he recovers quick and is ready to go.

When asked for an update on his goalie, Sutter said, "I didn't really check."

Los Angeles, playing the first game of a four-game road trip through New York and New Jersey, outshot the Sabres 45-17, but got only a first-period goal by Justin Williams and a tying goal by Dwight King with 3:34 left in regulation. Those were sandwiched around a pair of goals by Cody Hodgson, the second of which put the Sabres ahead 2-1 at 4:26 of the third.

Hodgson's big game Tuesday came after his line with Moulson and Ennis was benched Friday against the Anaheim Ducks.

"Obviously, you try to put the other game in the past and don't think about it," Hodgson said. "It was nice to contribute tonight, and Moulson and I to be a part of it and Tyler [Ennis] to get the shootout winner. Obviously, it's a good night all around."

L.A. jumped in front when Williams scored his seventh of the season 1:17 after the opening faceoff, beating Miller from the right circle.

Miller was flawless the rest of the period as the Kings outshot Buffalo 15-4 in the opening 20 minutes. His best stop was a highlight-reel kick save on Matt Frattin.

"We know how good [Miller] is. He keeps us in everything," Ennis said. "I told him in the huddle after the game, I was like, 'Every time I think you're the best goalie in the world, you are even better than I think.' He was so good tonight and got us a win."

"My job doesn't change, fewer shots or more shots," Miller said. "The season's a nice way to remind me what my job is and to handle myself. My job continues to be stop the puck no matter what the situation is in the game."

Buffalo tied it at 12:46 of the second period when Steve Ott's pass hit Hodgson's skate and deflected past Quick.

"Moulson made a great little saucer pass over to me to start that play and as I was driving through, I could see through my side peripheral that Cody [Hodgson] was going hard to the net," Ott said. "I just kind of threw it in that area, and he banged it home hard."

The Sabres capitalized on their second power play of the night to take a 2-1 lead. With Williams in the penalty box for hooking, Hodgson batted home a loose puck for his team-high seventh goal of the season.

But King fired a rebound past Miller to get the Kings even with just 3:34 remaining in the third. Rookie forward Tyler Toffoli earned an assist on the play, extending his point streak to four games.

Moulson had a chance to put the Sabres ahead with 45 seconds left in regulation, but was unable to convert a pass from Ott with Quick out of position.

A key factor for the Sabres in the win was the play of their penalty kill. The Kings went 0-for-5 on the power play, including a total of 1:54 of 4-on-3 play in overtime. Both Los Angeles goals in the Kings' 2-0 win against the Sabres last Thursday came on the power play.

"We had some huge blocks in those situations, guys sacrificing," Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. "Steve Ott had a lot of minutes in that situation, especially with him taking a lot of the faceoffs. Brian Flynn had some big blocks in those situations. So that was huge for us, and obviously [Miller] being able to do what he did tonight."

Kings defenseman Robyn Regehr had no points in 17:44 in his first game back in Buffalo since being traded by the Sabres on April 1.

The Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the front end of a home-and-home series on Friday. The Kings continue their trip against the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

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