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Miller leads Sabres past Kings

The SportsXchange

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Ryan Miller has put together many dazzling performances throughout his nine years in Buffalo.

Tuesday night was one of his finest.

The Buffalo Sabres goaltender put forth a Herculean effort against the Los Angeles Kings, making 43 saves and stopping both shootout attempts to lead his team to a 3-2 victory.

"I told him in the huddle after the game, 'Every time I think you're the best goalie in the world, you are even better than I think,'" Sabres center Tyler Ennis said.

Ennis scored the game-clinching goal for Buffalo in the shootout. Left winger Matt Moulson also scored in the shootout.

It was an unlikely win for the Sabres, who were dominated by Los Angeles throughout the contest and outshot by a margin of 45-17. But Buffalo was resolute and came through with the game on the line, largely due to Miller.

"We've put ourselves in a position to win games in this league," Buffalo captain Steve Ott said. "If this game was on the road, would we have taken that same exact win? Absolutely. ... It wasn't pretty. It wasn't a Picasso."

Center Cody Hodgson scored two goals for Buffalo, which picked up its first home victory of the season. With the win, the Sabres (4-15-1) avoided becoming only the second team in NHL history to lose their first 10 home games of the season.

"The fans deserve a win," Ennis said. "We kind of carried over the greasy road style to home."

Right winger Justin Williams and left winger Dwight King scored for Los Angeles (11-6-1), which was unable to capitalize on its many opportunities throughout the game.

"It sucks," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "I'm not happy we lost. I'm happy, I guess, in a way that we got one point even though we deserved to get two but we can't just say it was bad luck or Buffalo didn't deserve to win. They won because they scored more goals than us and we only got two and that's why we lost, bottom line."

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick, who made 14 saves, left the game with a lower-body injury with 1:20 remaining in overtime. He was replaced by Ben Scrivens, who was not tested with a shot prior to saving just one of three attempts in the shootout.

Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter did not have an update on Quick after the game.

Moulson opened the shootout by scoring on a strong forehand deke, while Ennis iced it for Buffalo with a wrist shot through Scirvens' legs.

"It's obviously tough going into the game late like that and going into the shootout but I've got to find a way to make a save in the shootout there," Scrivens said. "That's my job."

King tied the game at 2 with 3:34 remaining in regulation by slamming home a rebound in front of the Buffalo net.

Hodgson gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead with his second of the night 4:26 into the third period on the power play. Moulson's pass deflected off Ennis at the top of the crease and fell to Hodgson, who tapped in his second goal of the night.

The Kings jumped out to a 1-0 lead 77 seconds into the game on a fortuitous bounce. Williams' shot from the point ricocheted off Sabres defenseman Mark Pysyk and took a sharp turn into the Buffalo net at 1:17. The Kings' lead was well deserved, though. Los Angeles outshot Buffalo by a 15-4 margin in the first period.

Los Angeles' dominance continued throughout the second period, with the Kings outshooting the Sabres by a 27-5 margin 12 minutes into the second. That's when the Sabres tied the game at 1 against the flow of play. Hodgson redirected center Steve Ott's pass past Quick for his sixth goal of the year 12:46 into the period. Los Angeles ended the period with a 30-7 edge in shots.

The game showcased two goaltenders vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic team in February, Quick and Miller. Miller raised his stock with a tremendous showing. Quick turned in several quality saves despite getting limited opportunities.

NOTES: D Matt Greene, LW Kyle Clifford and C Jarret Stoll were scratched for the Kings. ... LW Johan Larsson, LW John Scott and D Nikita Zadorov were scratched for the Sabres. ... The Sabres wore camouflage jerseys during pregame warmups in honor of Veterans Day. The jerseys will be auctioned off after the game with all proceeds going to the non-profit Buffalo Sabres Foundation. ... This was the first time the teams met in Buffalo since Nov. 19, 2010. ... The Sabres are 11-1-1 in their past 12 home games against Los Angeles dating back to Dec. 17, 1993. ... The Kings defeated the Sabres on Nov. 7 in Los Angeles, 2-0.
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