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At the Horn: Kings 2 - Sabres 3

Ullmark makes 25 saves in win over Kings

by Chris Ryndak @ChrisRyndak /

Linus Ullmark made 25 saves and earned First Star honors in the Buffalo Sabres' 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday at KeyBank Center.

Rasmus Ristolainen and Marco Scandella scored for Buffalo, and Victor Olofsson added an empty-net goal with 1:33 remaining. 

Ullmark improved to 11-7-3 on the season and is 7-2-2 in his last 11 appearances. He has won all four of his career meetings with Los Angeles.

Jack Eichel kept his personal point streak alive with the secondary assist on Olofsson's goal. While the NHL declared Eichel's point streak dead since he missed the team's last game with an upper-body injury, the Sabres captain now has points in each of his last 18 games, totaling 32 points (16+16). 

What happened

The Kings opened the scoring 1:32 into the second period when Adrian Kempe netted his seventh goal of the year on a quick shot from the slot. 

The Sabres then responded with a pair of goals in the period. First, Ristolainen buried a rebound at the 7:35 mark to tie the game. 

Then, Reinhart thought he gave the Sabres the lead with 3:55 remaining when he knocked home a rebound past Jonathan Quick, but the officials determined that the whistle had already blown before the puck crossed the goal line. 

The Sabres didn't waste time getting back on the board. Forty-five seconds later, Scandella's low slap shot from the point found the back of the net to give Buffalo a 2-1 lead.  

Olofsson's empty netter stood up as the game winner after Dustin Brown scored on a one-timer with 37.7 seconds remaining. 

Ullmark was sharp throughout the game. He stopped Anze Kopitar on a backhand as time expired in the second period and stopped a 2-on-1 with about 4 minutes remaining for two of his flashier saves. 

What it means

The Sabres are now 17-13-7 on the season and 11-3-3 on home ice. 

The Sabres are 11-3-3 through their first 17 home games of the season, putting the team on pace for its ninth-best home record in a season. Buffalo has a plus-19 goal differential at home this year.

The Sabres have also compiled a 16-2-1 record (one tie) at home against the Kings dating back to the beginning of the 1993-94 season, outscoring Los Angeles 76-34 in those games. The Kings' lone wins in Buffalo during that stretch came on Feb. 21, 2003 and Feb. 17, 2018.

Olofsson has now recorded 24 points (10+14) in his last 22. Games. He's also on a six-game point streak with four goals and four assists in that stretch. 

With two assists today, Reinhart now has 10 points (3+7) in the Sabres' last nine games.

Roll the highlight film

Scandella's slap shot should earn him a spot in the Hardest Shot event at the Sabres Skills Challenge on Jan. 5:

Video: LAK@BUF: Scandella fires laser in from blue line


Up next

The Sabres will practice on Sunday before heading Ottawa for Monday's road game against the Senators. Faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

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