Sabres searching for first win vs. Kings

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Quick hasn't faced the Buffalo Sabres very often since making his NHL debut against them nearly 10 years ago.

When he has played the Sabres, he's been exceptionally difficult to score against.

Quick is expected to lead the Kings (2-0-1) onto the ice against Buffalo for the ninth time in his career on Saturday night at Staples Center.

Quick is 5-1-0 in his career against the Sabres with three shutouts, and his 1.22 goals-against average is the lowest against any NHL team. He made 26 saves in his most recent outing against Buffalo, a 2-0 win at Staples Center on March 16.

In his past three games against the Sabres overall, Quick allowed one goal on 71 shots.

Buffalo (0-3-1) is still seeking its first win under coach Phil Housley, the NHL's all-time second-leading scorer amongst American-born players. Housley was hired in June to replace Dan Bylsma, who was unable to guide Buffalo back into the playoffs in his two seasons.

"We've got to just figure out a way to be sick of losing," Sabres forward Jack Eichel told the team web site after a 3-2 loss at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. "I know I'm sick of losing. There's a lot of guys who are sick of losing. But there's a difference between playing hard and playing hard and smart."

The oldest player for the Sabres has also been one of their most productive. Jason Pominville, 34, has four goals and an assist in the first four games. He scored both goals in the loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

Pominville owns 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 18 career games against the Kings, including a goal and three assists in his past three meetings. In his last game at Staples Center on Oct. 18, 2016, when Pominville was with the Minnesota Wild, he had a goal and an assist in the 6-3 victory.

Special teams have been a weak spot for both teams so far this season. The Sabres have allowed a league-leading four shorthanded goals after allowing four all of last season.

The Kings, meanwhile, are 0-for-16 on the power play, one of four NHL teams that has yet to score with the man-advantage.

On the plus side, the two longest-tenured members of the Kings are off to solid starts.
Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, who combined for two goals and five assists in the 8-2 victory in Quick's debut against Buffalo on Dec. 6, 2007, each have three goals and two assists in the first three games this season.

Kopitar has been especially strong against the Sabres throughout his career, totaling 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 13 games.

The Kings will look to continue taking advantage of their comfortable early schedule. They won't play a game outside California this season until Oct. 21, when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets to start a six-game road trip.

"It's a big home stand for us before we get on the road," Kings coach John Stevens told the team's web site.
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