Kings-Sabres Preview

Published Dec. 12, 2015 12:34 a.m. ET

With Los Angeles being among the best teams in the Western Conference in recent seasons and the Sabres the East's worst, one might have expected the Kings' struggles in Buffalo to have passed by now.

The ups of the Kings and downs of the Sabres are playing out further on current streaks, and they meet Saturday night in Buffalo with Los Angeles after its second seven-game winning streak this season but just its second win there dating to 1993.

The Kings (19-8-1) got out of Pittsburgh with a 3-2 shootout win on Friday after squandering two regulation leads. They've opened a six-game road trip with two wins, and in addition to the winning streak, they're 7-0-1 while allowing 1.63 goals per game since their last regulation loss on Nov. 22.

"I don't know if there's any one thing," goaltender Jonathan Quick said. "It would (be) just keep working, and good teams find ways to win. So we're just trying to be a good team every night. We've got a long way to go. We've got a lot of things to work on and continue to get better at."

The streak has come without a point from Tyler Toffoli, who along with Jeff Carter has a team-high 11 goals. Carter's seven-game point streak came to an end against the Penguins.

Jake Muzzin had a goal and an assist and has two goals and three assists in his last four games, but Los Angeles' eight goals over the last three games have come from eight different players. Quick said contributions from new faces are key on a winning streak like this.

"You can that they're getting a little more comfortable," Quick said of the team's newcomers. "So we want to see them continue to do that. The older guys that have been around for a little bit continue to push ourselves and push them at the same time and keep working."


Quick hasn't needed much pushing. He made 40 saves against Pittsburgh and has played in each game on Los Angeles' eight-game point streak with a 1.57 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. He's 4-1-0 with a 1.41 GAA and .933 save percentage in six career games against the Sabres.

The teams have split four games over the previous two seasons, but Los Angeles hasn't won in Buffalo since 2003, going 0-5-1 since with eight goals scored and 1-11-1 with a tie since the previous victory there in 1993.

The Sabres (11-15-3) have won their last two home games, but they're returning from a 0-3-0 road trip. It ended with Thursday's 4-3 loss in Calgary despite Rasmus Ristolainen's first career hat trick.

"That's special," Ristolainen, who has seven points in five games, told the team's official website. "That doesn't happen often to me, so I take it, but we really need wins. We've got to find a way and do it together here.

"That wasn't what we wanted. Really bad two periods. They outworked, they outbattled us, and that's not the way we should play, especially the situation - three losses, tough road trip. We've got to pick it up and do it together."

The biggest issue has been containing opponents' scoring with Buffalo allowing 13 goals on the losing streak.

Chad Johnson played in two of the losses, allowing eight goals with a .867 save percentage, but he's 2-0-0 with a 1.48 GAA and .942 save percentage versus Los Angeles.