The west coast has not been kind to the Buffalo Sabres, that is, except for the team they always beat. Aside from the generous Sharks, the Sabres failed to score a single goal on this western road trip, losing 1-0 to Anaheim and 2-0 last night to Los Angeles.
The loss stung a bit more because the goaltender for the Kings was former Sabre Jhonas Enroth.
"It means a lot, even though my feelings for them kind of fade away," said Enroth after the game. He's having a very solid season as a backup in LA, sporting a .931 save percentage in 11 starts.
Despite the shutout, Enroth did not earn first star honors - that went to Tanner Pearson, who scored both goals for the Kings. The first was on a kooky bounce that went right to Pearson's stick, giving him a total freebie goal. His second was also off of a bounce, though this one was a Lehner rebound that went into the middle of the ice, and Pearson banged home the rebound for his second goal.
For the Sabres, they were outshot 35-23 by the Kings, and were also beaten in hits, blocked shots, faceoffs, and giveaways. Essentially, they were smacked around by a very good Western Conference team. Robin Lehner did make 28 of 30 saves for a .941 save percentage, but his streak of good games plagued by a lack of goal support continues.
The Sabres next game is a big one - Connor McDavid and the Oilers will visit Jack Eichel and the Sabres for the first time.
1. Who will come out on top, the Sabres new goalie or their old goalie?
Jhonas Enroth was the clear winner last night, making 23 saves in his flawless victory. Lehner played well, making 28 of 30 saves, but was the victim of bad luck and poor goal support yet again.
2. How will the Sabres young centers fare against Kopitar?
Jack Eichel played more than 20 minutes tonight, second among Sabres forwards behind Evander Kane, and led the team with six shots - good! However, he was on the ice for both goals against and was a measly 33% in the faceoff circle - not good! Reinhart didn't fare much better, sitting at -1 and 33% himself.
3. Who wins tonight, the Kings PP or the Sabres PK?
The Sabres were a perfect 2-for-2 on the PK, but they also couldn't convert on any of their three power plays.