sIt was a woeful western road swing for the Buffalo Sabres and while the team returns to First Niagara Center Saturday night, ending their three-game losing streak will face another challenge from the left coast.
The Sabres host the hottest team in the NHL in the L.A. Kings. Los Angeles is on a six-game winning streak, coming off a 3-2 shootout win at Pittsburgh on Friday. The Kings are 7-0-1 for an eight-game point streak.
But Sabres Dan Bylsma isn't concerned about the Kings. The Sabres, he believes, need to focus on their own game.
"I think right now for us we need to look at our own game, look at how we play," Bylsma said after the team's morning skate at First Niagara Center. "I think that’s where we’ve missed in the last three or four or five games is we haven’t been playing our game; we haven’t gotten to our game. We’ve been reactionary an awful lot. That’s a big part of it. So our focus while we’re playing the Kings tonight has got to be on the Buffalo Sabres and our game."
The Sabres have had success against the Kings in Buffalo, going 12-1-1 in their last 14 home games against L.A., dating back to a 2-0 win on Dec. 17, 1993. In that stretch, the Sabres have outscored the Kings, 59-21, in Buffalo.
Bylsma is also looking for forward Matt Moulson to take advantage of more opportunities in front of the opposition's net. Moulson has gone 17 games without a goal and will likely skate on a line with Jack Eichel and Evander Kane.
"Matt does his best work in the house in the offensive zone," Bylsma said. "That’s where he needs to get to and where he needs to be to be productive for us. He should get that opportunity with those two guys and their speed and their ability to lug the puck should give Matt the opportunity to get to that area where he needs to be to be successful for us."
Sabres lines at the morning skate:
Jamie McGinn-Ryan O'Reilly-Sam Reinhart
Matt Moulson-Jack Eichel-Evander Kane
Brian Gionta-Johan Larsson/Cal O'Reilly-Zemgus Girgensons
Marcus Foligno-David Legwand-Nicolas Deslauriers
Sabres defensive pairings:
Josh Gorges-Rasmus Ristolainen
Jake McCabe-Zach Bogosian
Mike Weber-Cody Franson
Carlo Colaiacovo looks to the defensive scratch.
On the injury front, Bylsma said Mark Pysysk (bone bruise) and Tyler Ennis (upper body) were still week to week. Ennis did skate on his own this week.