Kings vs. Sabers – NHL Game Recap – December 13, 2022

BUFFALO, NY — — Tage Thompson scored two third-period power-play goals, and Craig Anderson stopped 40 shots in the Buffalo Sabres’ 6-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.

Victor Olofsson and JJ Peterka scored goals 13 seconds apart midway through the final frame, and Alex Tuch and Peyton Krebs also scored during a six-goal third-period outburst. Dylan Cozens had three assists and the Sabers improved to 6-3-2 in their past 11 since snapping an eight-game skid.

The shutout was Anderson’s first in two seasons since joining the Sabres, and 43rd of his career. The 41-year-old’s last shutout came when he played for Ottawa, and stopped 35 shots in a 4-0 win over Buffalo on March 26, 2019.

Pheonix Copley stopped 25 shots for the Kings, who dropped to 5-6-4 in their past 15. They also allowed four or more goals for the sixth time in their past 11.

Copley allowed six goals on 16 shots in the final frame in making his third start since being called up from the minors following Cal Petersen’s demotion on Dec. 1.

Thompson’s two goals pushed his total to 23 on the season. He entered the third day in the NHL scoring race.

Thompson opened the scoring 1:21 into the third and two seconds after Carl Grundstrom was penalized for slashing to give Buffalo a brief two-man advantage. Cozens beat Kings captain Anze Kopitar on the faceoff to the left of the net and drew the puck back to Thompson, who snapped in a shot inside the left post from the high slot.

The rout was on when Olofsson one-timed in Rasmus Asplund’s centering pass to make it 2-0 at the 9:56 mark, followed by Peterka completing a give-and-go on a 2-on-1 rush with Jack Quinn.

The Kings were intent on cleaning up their defensive play, and neutralizing the NHL’s second-best scoring offense, after a sloppy outing in a 6-5 overtime loss at Columbus on Sunday. LA spent much of the first two periods with three men back, limiting the Sabers to just three shots in the first period.

Despite being out-shot 16-3 in the first period, the Sabers did have one of the best scoring chances when Copley kicked out his left pad to stop Tuch’s tap-in attempt eight minutes in. The Sabers mustered 12 shots in the second period but failed to score, despite having a three-to-one edge in power-play chances.

The Kings’ best scoring chance through 40 minutes came late in the first period, when Gabriel Vilardi was set up alone to the left of the net but fanned on a shot that dribbled behind Anderson and rolled through the crease.

LINEUPS

Kings: D Drew Doughty returned after missing one game with a lower body injury. He replaced Alex Elder, who was a healthy scratch.

Sabres: LW Jeff Skinner served his second game of a three-game suspension for cross-checking Pittsburgh’s Jake Guentzel. … D Ilya Lyubushkin has resumed skating on his own and expected to be cleared for practice soon. He’s missed seven games with a lower body injury.

UP NEXT

Kings: Close six-game road swing at the Boston Bruins on Thursday.

Sabres: Open three-game road trip at the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.

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