Struggling teams meet as Kings host Sabres


The Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres will try to turn things around when they meet on Saturday at Staples Center.

The Kings (2-4-1) have been outscored 16-4 while losing their past three games, most recently giving up four unanswered goals in the third period of a 7-2 loss to the visiting New York Islanders on Thursday night.

Buffalo (3-4-0) has lost its past two games by a combined score of 9-2. The Sabres gave up three straight goals in the third period of a 5-2 loss at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

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"Our execution from the top of the circles to the red line, we're forcing things there," Sabres coach Phil Housley told reporters after the loss to San Jose. "We've just got to keep it more simple, especially on the road here, when you're down by one or two, because there's an opportunity to still come back in the game."

A main issue for the Kings and Sabres has been their lack of efficiency on the power play.

Buffalo and the Calgary Flames had the most power-play opportunities of any teams in the NHL (29) through Thursday, but the Sabres have scored just four power-play goals

The Kings did not score with the man-advantage on their first 22 power plays -- the longest stretch of any NHL team this season -- before scoring twice in the loss on Thursday.

The power play woes took a back seat to the third-period play of the Kings on Thursday.

They had cut the deficit to 3-2 on a 5-on-3 goal by Jeff Carter at 2:54 of the third period, and still had an extra attacker on the ice less than a minute later when the Islanders scored a shorthanded goal, opening the gates on a four-goal barrage over eight minutes.

"I think we've got some soul searching to do," Los Angeles defenseman Alec Martinez said. "What happened there at the end was unacceptable. It's not one guy in particular. It's all of us. We've got to figure some things out."

Kings coach John Stevens seemed to single out goalkeepers Jonathan Quick and Jack Campbell.

Quick was playing his first game since missing the previous five with a lower-body injury. He allowed six goals on 29 shots before Campbell replaced him and gave up a goal on the first shot he faced.

"The problem is, your goalies have got to keep playing," Stevens said. "Those guys try to give you a chance to win every night, and they can't stop playing. It's disappointing."

The Kings are hoping to have Anze Kopitar back in the lineup. He was a late scratch on Thursday because of an illness. Kopitar was the team's leading point scorer in 10 of the past 11 seasons.

Los Angeles has also been without veteran forward, Dustin Brown, the team's second-leading point scorer last season who broke a broken finger in the final preseason game.

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