Sabres Kick off California Trip in Los Angeles

The Sabres look to snap a three-game skid with a trip out west.

Game 52

Buffalo Sabres (26-21-4) vs. Los Angeles Kings (29-18-7)

Puck Drop: 10:30 PM | Arena | Los Angeles, CA


Radio: WGR 550

SB Nation Kings Blog: Jewels from the Crown

Know Your Opponent

Los Angeles Kings

Record: 29-18-7 | 65 PTS

Last Game: 6-0 win over Pittsburgh

Division Ranking: 4th in Pacific Division

PP: 7th (24.5%)

PK: 27th (74.9%)

What to Watch

1. Switching Things Up

Don Granato has switched up the Sabres’ lines in practice the last two days, which will seemingly carry over into Monday night’s game. Buffalo had what may have been ‘the toughest practice’ of the season following Saturday’s implosion against Calgary. That’s the kind of game that forces a coach’s hand - you have to do something drastic to get the team back on track. Will the changes be enough? Who knows. It’s not great that the Sabres are coming into tonight’s game on the heels of such a bad loss (and a three-game skid), while the Kings come in off a 6-0 win over Pittsburgh, but this is the time for Buffalo to say “Okay, Saturday was a one-off. We’re a good hockey team, let’s prove it.”

2. Back to You, Andy

Craig Anderson is set to make his return to the net tonight. Assuming he’s your starter, it’ll be his first action since January 23. If that seems like a long time, well, the All-Star Break and the bye week certainly help. Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has played much of the Sabres’ games lately, with a little Eric Comrie sprinkled in. It’s time to go back to Andy, at least for one game amid a busy stretch out in California.

Anderson has appeared in 17 games this season and started 16 of those. His record is 8-6-2 with a 2.73 GAA and .918 save percentage. By all technical markers, he is the Sabres’ best goaltender this season.

3. California, Here We Come

The Sabres’ last win in Los Angeles came on October 17, 2019. Granted, the Sabres don’t head out to California all that often, so while it may seem like a long time ago, it’s really not. Buffalo went 2-1 in their California trip in 2019, then went a dreadful 0-3 in 2021. Let’s see if they can get at least two of three wins this year.

The Sabres, of course, beat the Kings earlier this season with a 6-0 win in Buffalo. During that game (December 13), Tage Thompson and Dylan Cozens each had three points. Anderson was in net and made a perfect 40 saves for his first - and to date, only - shutout of the season.

Projected Lineups

Buffalo Sabres


Jeff Skinner - Dylan Cozens - Alex Tuch

Casey Mittelstadt - Tage Thompson - Kyle Okposo

Rasmus Asplund - Tyson Jost - Victor Olofsson

Zemgus Girgensons - Peyton Krebs - Jack Quinn


Rasmus Dahlin - Mattias Samuelsson

Owen Power - Henri Jokiharju

Kale Clague - Ilya Lyubushkin

Goaltenders: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, Eric Comrie, Craig Anderson (expected starter)

Los Angeles Kings


Quinton Byfield - Anze Kopitar - Adrian Kempe

Trevor Moore - Phillip Danault - Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala - Blake Lizotte - Alex Iafallo

Jaret Anderson-Dolan - Rasmus Kupari - Arthur Kaliyev


Mikey Anderson - Drew Doughty

Sean Durzi - Matt Roy

Alexander Edler - Sean Walker

Goaltenders: Pheonix Copley, Jonathan Quick

Injuries: Carl Grundstrom, Gabriel Vilardi