(SportsNetwork.com) – The Los Angeles Kings will try to shake off some recent
off-the-ice issues involving one of their players and remain unbeaten on their
homestand as they take on the lowly Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
After beginning the season with consecutive losses — one in a shootout — the
Kings have won the first four of a six-game stay at Staples Center. They won
their fourth in a row on Sunday, topping the Minnesota Wild 2-1.
Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist, while Tanner Pearson also lit the lamp
for the Kings to keep their line hot. The trio of Toffoli, Pearson and Jeff
Carter have accounted for 11 of Los Angeles’ 14 goals this season.
Jonathan Quick stood tall in net with 40 saves just a few days after stopping
43 shots in a 1-0 shootout win over St. Louis last Thursday.
“I think our special teams won us the game,” said Kings head coach Darryl
Sutter. “The two penalty kills were big.”
Defenseman Slava Voynov was part of the units that held the Wild scoreless on
five power-play chances. He logged just over five minutes of ice time on the
penalty kill and added an assist in the game.
However, Voynov will not be available to the Kings for at least the near
future as he was suspended indefinitely on Monday following an arrest on
charges of domestic violence. He will continue to be paid during his absence.
“These developments are of great concern to our organization,” the Kings said
in a statement. “We support the NHL’s decision to suspend Slava Voynov
indefinitely during this process, and we will continue to take appropriate
action as the legal proceedings and the investigation by the NHL take their
On the ice, the Kings will welcome back defenseman Jake Muzzin at just the
right time. Muzzin, who signed a five-year contract extension earlier this
month, has yet to play this regular season due to an upper-body injury.
However, forward Marian Gaborik has missed the past three with his own upper-
Buffalo comes to town having lost three straight and six of seven to begin the
season. They opened a four-game road trip on Wednesday night in Anaheim and
lost 4-1 as the Ducks’ Corey Perry notched his second hat trick of the young
Perry’s efforts in one game by far surpassed the Sabres’ efforts over their
three-game slide. They came into the contest having been shut out in back-to-
back games by Florida and Boston and did not get on the board versus the Ducks
until Tyler Ennis’ tally with 5:06 to play in the third.
Ennis, though, saw some positives in the loss.
“We came out hard and matched them physically,” Ennis said. “We played hard,
we played well.”
Michal Neuvirth made 30 saves on 33 shots for the Sabres, who went scoreless
on two chances on the power play and are 0-for-24 on the man advantage this
With Neuvirth having gotten the start last night, Jhonas Enroth figures to be
in net for the Sabres against the Kings, who has had faced just once before
while giving up two goals on 28 shots in a loss.
Quick is unbeaten versus the Sabres, going 3-0-0 with a 1.81 goals against
average and .911 save percentage in five games with four starts.
The Sabres have won three of four and seven of their last 10 encounters with
the Kings, splitting the two meetings last season. A 2-0 setback on the road
was Buffalo’s third straight defeat in Los Angeles however.
Tonight’s game will mark the first time that Kings forward Jordan Nolan will
play against a team coached by his father, Ted Nolan. The elder Nolan took
over bench duties for the Sabres on an interim basis on Nov. 13 of last
season, one day after Buffalo beat a visiting L.A. team.
Ted Nolan took over head coaching duties full time in March.