It was a rough few games for the Buffalo Sabres and the Los Angeles Kings heading into today’s matinee. Unfortunately for the Kings the struggles continued and the Sabres were the team that bounced back this afternoon.
The Sabres got the first goal of the game from the newly created top line of Jeff Skinner, Jack Eichel, and Jason Pominville.
The 35-year-old winger scored his second of the season when he crashed the net and batted a bouncing puck by Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.
A great look at the goal. Eichel & Pominville crashed the net to make it happen.— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 20, 2018
LA challenged and the challenge failed. pic.twitter.com/xSNGxedpv2
Another good sign early, was the improvement of the Sabres penalty kill. They held the Kings off the board on two power play opportunities in the period.
In the middle frame the Sabres took control. Skinner scored his first of the game. Eichel made a nice play to out-work two Kings defenders to a loose puck and chip it to Skinner behind the net. He skated out front and waited out Quick to make it 2-0.
Later in the period Skinner scored his second of the game. He wrapped the puck around quickly and put it under the Kings goaltender.
It looked like it was going to be 3-0 after two, but Zach Bogosian put a shot on net from the side wall in the final seconds. The puck went over the shoulder of Quick and in to make it 4-0 after 40 minutes.
This goal and Bogo's reaction: Priceless. pic.twitter.com/j2Zbr01roZ— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) October 20, 2018
The Sabres held the Kings to 12 shots on goal through two period!
In the third, we saw some frustrations start to show up for the Kings. Dion Phaneuf went after one of the smallest players on the ice (Skinner) in classic Phaneuf fashion. Let in the period Kyle Okposo and Nate Thompson thought about throwing hands after a questionable hit on Casey Mittelstadt, but nothing came of it.
Drew Doughty did manage to end Linus Ullmark’s shutout streak. He blew a puck past Ullmark on the power play to get the Kings only goal of the contest.
Skinner finished off his hat trick with an empty net goal in the final seconds. The Sabres head to Anaheim tomorrow night to face the Ducks with an opportunity to end the road trip with a winning record.
Final: Sabres 5, Kings 1
Shots on Goal: Sabres 26 | Kings 20
Sabres Goals: Pominville (2), Skinner (2, 3, 4) and Bogosian (1)
Kings Goals: Doughty (1)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Jeff Skinner (3 G)
2. Jason Pominville (1 G, 2 A)
3. Jack Eichel (2 A)