Royal Treatment: Sabres beat up on Kings
After a foot of snow fell on the New York area, a blizzard of offense helped the Sabres get a much needed win Friday night at the expense of the Los Angeles Kings, whose playoff chances look about as bleak as the weather.
It was a matter of missed chances for the Kings, who out shot the Sabres 40-22 but couldn’t manage to notch a goal in the first of a three game road trip which continues tomorrow in Detroit.
Sabres left winger and point leader (29) Thomas Vanek, who leads the league in goals with 24, wasn’t able to get to the quarter century mark but his teammates made the most of their time on the ice.
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Buffalo got five goals from five different players and nine Sabres recorded points in the game including Derek Roy who scored a goal and two assists, Drew Stafford who scored a goal and had an assist, and Vanek who had an assist.
Derek Roy scored an unassisted goal – his 10th of the season – to give the Sabres the lead in the first period. “We got a couple of good bounces and worked hard getting to the front of the net,” he said. “That's what we have to keep doing.” The bounces kept coming. In the second, the Sabres broke the game wide open with goals by Adam Mair and Clarke MacArthur. Drew Stafford and Matt Ellis each added a goal in the third to make it 5-0. Kings goalie Jason LeBarbera played two periods and change, giving up 4 goals on 14 shots. He was replaced by back-up Jonathon Quick who surrendered a late goal and stopped 7 shots. On the other side, Ryan Miller was perfect, stopping all 40 shots to record his 3rd shutout of the year. The 40 saves were the most he’s had in a shutout victory.
“He stopped everything that came his way,” said head coach Lindy Ruff about his goalie. “That might have been as good as he looked all year.” The Sabres improved to 16-13-3 but remain 3rd in the Northeast Division behind Boston and Montreal. They travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens tomorrow. Currently the Sabres would make it into the playoffs as the eighth seed in the east. There was some controversy in the second period when the Kings Dennis Gauthier was given a 4 minuet major for a cheap shot on Patrick Kaletta. It wasn’t clear what prompted Gauthier’s aggression but after the puck was cleared from the Sabres zone, he struck Kaletta in the side of the head with a hard shot that knocked him to the ice. Kaletta got up and appeared to be alright but the Sabres were unable to score despite the 4 minute power play. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff was upset with the play and said he hopes the league takes a good look at the tape to determine if a suspension is warranted.
ProHockey-fans.com Buffalo Sabres Correspondent
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