Tonight felt like one of those games the Buffalo Sabres really needed to have. Playing the worst team in the league in the Los Angeles Kings and they’re coming into town on back to back nights. It wasn’t pretty, but were able to get it done at the end of the day.
The Sabres started off the game strong by putting pressure on Kings goaltender and former Sabres prospect Cal Petersen early in the game. However, it was the Kings that would score the first goal.
Linus Ullmark fumbled a harmless shot from behind the net and fell out of position. The puck eventually made its way out to Jake Muzzin in front and he ripped it by Ullmark who was laying on the ice.
The Sabres got themselves even again on a great play by Zemgus Girgensons. He picked the pocket of Drew Doughty and wristed a shot high blocker on Petersen for this third of the season to make it 1-1.
Girgensons snipe off a turnover— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) December 12, 2018
Rasmus Dahlin was all over the ice the opening period creating opportunities for the Sabres. Both goaltenders made some nice saves in the period, but things remained even after 20 minutes.
The second period didn’t go well for the Sabres.
Very early in the middle frame Matt Luff knocks a puck out of the air before Dahlin is able to get to it. He skated in alone on Ullmark and roofed one past him to put the Kings ahead again.
Buffalo continued to make mistakes with the puck and give the Kings power play opportunities with dumb penalties.
Near the end of the period, the Kings increased their lead to two goals. Adrian Kempe picked up a loose puck after some more sloppy defensive play and skated to the high slot, beating Ullmark low glove side.
The Kings were down to four healthy defenseman after 40 minutes, but held a 3-1 lead.
Fortunately for the Sabres the injuries finally appeared to catch up to the Kings. They finished the game without Dion Phaneuf and Drew Doughty.
The Sabres got themselves back in the game on the power play. Jack Eichel sniped one high glove on Petersen to make it 3-2.
Just a few minutes later Lawrence Pilut made a very heads up play to create the goal to get things back even. He waited for the cutter and put a shot just wide of the net off the skate of Johan Larsson and by Petersen to make it 3-3.
Buffalo had a few chances to win it in regulation with some power play opportunities, but were unable to do so. In the final seconds, Eichel, continued to take over the game a caused another penalty with 3.8 seconds remaining.
The Sabres headed into overtime with a power play and were finally able to put the game away. Jeff Skinner hammered a loose rebound into the net for another game-winner and snapped the Sabres five-game losing streak.
Skinner OT winner— Ben Mathewson (@Ben_Mathewson) December 12, 2018
Buffalo wins 4-3 pic.twitter.com/DWSu7wyJzr
Final: Sabres 4, Kings 3 (OT)
Shots on Goal: Sabres 47 | Kings 29
Sabres Goal Scorers: Zemgus Girgensons (3), Jack Eichel (10) (PPG), Johan Larsson (2), and Jeff Skinner (21) (PPG)
Kings Goal Scorers: Jake Muzzin (2), Matt Luff (3), and Adrian Kempe (5)
Three Stars of the Game
1. Jack Eichel (1 G, 1 A)
2. Cal Petersen (43 saves on 47 shots)
3. Rasmus Dahlin (8 SOG)