Kopitar, Amadio score 2 each in Kings’ 4-2 win over Sabres
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Anze Kopitar and rookie Michael Amadio scored two goals each, and the Los Angeles Kings snapped a three-game skid with a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon.
Jonathan Quick stopped 33 shots and Dustin Brown had two assists in a game where the Kings scored on three consecutive shots to build a 4-0 lead in the second period. Los Angeles jumped ahead of the idle Colorado Avalanche and into 10th place in the tightly contested Western Conference playoff race.
The win was also the Kings’ first in Buffalo since a 4-1 victory on Feb. 21, 2003. Los Angeles had gone 0-6-2 in its previous eight trips to Buffalo.
Sabres defensemen Marco Scandella and Rasmus Ristolainen scored third-period goals in what was an otherwise forgettable outing for the Eastern Conference’s last place team.
Robin Lehner was pulled after stopping 26 shots through two periods. Backup Chad Johnson finished the game by stopping six shots.
The Sabres’ lackadaisical performance led to an audible sound of frustration that shook the press box.
The loud sound of a door slamming was heard, and Sabres general manager Jason Botterill was spotted leaving the team’s booth shortly after Kopitar scored his first goal to put the Kings up 2-0.
The goal summed up the Sabres’ dreadful performance.
Buffalo forward Benoit Pouliot lost his balance while trying to play the puck just inside the Sabres’ blue line. The puck dribbled to Brown to set up a two-on-one break. Brown fed Kopitar, who wound his way across the front of the net and easily deposited a shot into the open right side with 7:58 left in the second period.
The Kings scored twice more in a span of 1:29 against a Sabres team that appeared to be going through the motions.
Kopitar scored his team-leading 25th of the season to make it 3-0 with 3:54 left. He was set up for a one-timer in the left circle by Alex Iafallo, who beat the Sabres’ defenders to a loose puck behind the Buffalo net.
Then, Amadio scored his second when Sabres defenseman Justin Falk got turned around. Amadio stepped around Falk, and snapped a shot inside the right post.
The Sabres were booed off the ice after two periods and greeted with a few more boos upon returning for the start of the third.
Amadio opened the scoring midway through the first period by beating Lehner through the legs after the goalie inexplicably didn’t have his stick square to the ice.
NOTES: The Sabres are 2-6-1 in their past nine home games and 8-17-4 overall at home. Buffalo’s fewest home wins in an 82-game season is 13, set in 2013-14. ... Iafallo was a fan of the Sabres growing up in Eden, New York, just outside Buffalo. Though Iafallo had a large contingent of friends present for his first game at Buffalo, the Kings rookie’s parents weren’t among them. They were instead in Columbus, Ohio, to be with Iafallo’s sister, Juliana, who was being honored as part of Ohio State women’s hockey team’s senior weekend. ... Sabres C Ryan O’Reilly entered the day leading the league with 867 faceoff wins.
Kings: Continue their seven-game road trip at the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
Sabres: Host the Washington Capitals on Monday afternoon.
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