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Sabres at Kings: Game Preview

Can Buffalo finally get that first win?

NHL: Buffalo Sabres at Los Angeles Kings Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Game #5

Buffalo Sabres (0-3-1) vs. Los Angeles Kings (2-0-1)

Puck drop: 10:30 p.m. EST | Staples Center | Los Angeles , CA


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Kings blog: Jewels From the Crown

What to Watch For

1. Will Buffalo secure their first win?

For the first time in their last three games, the Buffalo Sabres did not allow six goals but their regulation losing streak was pushed to three games.

Buffalo has struggled to find an offensive identity outside of Jack Eichel, Evander Kane and Jason Pominville. That is a problem.

Heading into Game Five, those aforementioned players are STILL the only goal scorers for Buffalo. Unreal.

2. Will the real Ryan O’Reilly please stand up?

Since his arrival in Buffalo, Ryan O’Reilly has played the role of de facto captain on this team and that has not changed this year.

After Buffalo’s tough loss to New Jersey, O’Reilly was the first to stand in front of the media and take the blame.

Now, he needs to put his money where his mouth is and straighten his game out.

It has been strange to see O’Reilly be rendered invisible through four games (aside from one assist) but he may be the biggest x-factor as to why Buffalo’s secondary offense has gone dormant.

If O’Reilly can get things heating up tonight against Los Angeles, maybe Buffalo can jump into the win column for the first time this season.

3. Let’s have some fun with stats!

Want to have some fun with early season stats?

Evander Kane and Jason Pominville are tied for sixth in the National Hockey League with 4 goals apiece. Only five players in the league have scored more goals.

Pominville’s hot start goes in the books as his best personal start ever, according to the Sabres PR department.

He currently boasts a 57.1 shooting percentage, tied for fourth-best in the league. Early season stats are fun.

Projected Lines

28 Zemgus Girgensons - 15 Jack Eichel - 29 Jason Pominville

9 Evander Kane - 90 Ryan O'Reilly – 21 Kyle Okposo

23 Sam Reinhart - 22 Johan Larsson – 25 Seth Griffith

67 Benoit Pouliot - 10 Jacob Josefson - 17 Jordan Nolan

6 Marco Scandella - 55 Rasmus Ristolainen

82 Nathan Beaulieu - 5 Matt Tennyson

4 Josh Gorges - 19 Jake McCabe

Starting Goaltender: #40 Robin Lehner