What a game! I was a bit late in turning on the game and was pleasantly surprised to find the Kings ahead 2-0 early in the first period. I can't even remember who scored in the game so I'll need the assistance of the boxscore. Kings goals came from Cammalleri, Brownie (2), Preissing (2!), Modry (first goal in 83 games!), Handzus (first since his only goal of the season that came in Game 1), and Armstrong (first of the season). Kopitar didn't have a goal but did notch 4 assists! The Kings had 4 PPGs and 1 SHG. Brownie did most of the work on the SHG but it was Handzus who was able to tap it in.
I couldn't believe we were up 7-0 at just past the midway point of the game. Seriously, we've only managed to get 2 goals against Phoenix in 3 games yet we can score 7 goals against Buffalo in just over 30 minutes of play. Considering we lost to Buffalo 10-1 the last time we played them (during the '05-'06 season) it was refreshing to see the roles reversed this time around. Part of me kept thinking we better win this game or else we'll never hear the end of it. Lately we've had some problems holding onto leads so I was worried that we might have a meltdown late in the game.
Through the first two periods it really looked like nothing was going right for Buffalo. T-Bo looked atrocious, but yet the guys in front of him just were not playing well at all. Both teams played last night and lost their respective games, yet the Kings had a lot of energy and the Sabres struggled with the forecheck and looked downright sluggish. It also probably didn't help the Sabres that the Kings were playing a physical game and the Sabres retaliated several times.
There were a lot of positives in this game. The Kings got scoring from multiple players and several had a multi-point game. The power play looked sharp and the penalty killers were very aggressive. This was a game where most of the time we could play the puck out of the zone on a PK instead of just dumping it out. Jonathan Quick played tonight's game and was tested early in the first period on a 1-on-3. He made a fantastic glove save on the play when (I think) the Kings were still only up by 2 or 3. The save was huge because it didn't allow the Sabres to get any momentum. Quick played a strong game, but he wasn't tested that much.
Of course, not every game will turn out this way. Tonight the Kings finally played a solid 60 minutes during which they played physical, were smart, and finally held onto a lead. The real test will be how the Kings play against Phoenix on Saturday. The Kings have lost all three games against Phoenix this season and hopefully tonight's win will spark some confidence in the guys.