Robin Lehner will get a chance to win. The Sabres will get a chance to rebound from a demoralizing loss.
Here are Five Things to Know as Buffalo hosts the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night.
1. Lehner heads back to the crease.
Buffalo’s starting goaltender is just 1-6-3 in his last 10 decisions. He knows it. The team knows it.
“You feel it,” coach Dan Bylsma said after the morning skate in KeyBank Center. “You want to get the guy a win and you want to get him some goals.”
"It’s just not bouncing the way I want. I don’t accept that, and I just want to keep going.” - Sabres' Robin Lehner. https://t.co/1aLA8N5rmg
— John Vogl (@BuffNewsVogl) December 12, 2016
2. Records can turn in a hurry.
The Sabres entered their previous game on a 5-2-2 run. After Washington handily beat them Friday, 4-1, the Sabres’ nice run flipped. The 1-2-1 record in their last four takes the place of the potential 6-2-2.
“We liked the stretch of hockey we were on, 5-2-2, and we felt Washington was a big game for us and another step,” Bylsma said. “It was a big disappointment in not winning that game.”
3. Kyle Okposo returns to the ice.
The Sabres’ top right winger missed practice Monday with the flu. He took part in Buffalo’s optional morning skate and will face the Kings.
“Yesterday was a tough day, but it happens to everybody and you’ve just got to deal with it,” Okposo said. “I’m feeling better today, though. Obviously, I’m not 100 percent, but hopefully get a good meal in me today and be back and ready to go.”
With a limited number of players, the Sabres did no line work. Okposo is expected to play with center Jack Eichel and left wing Evander Kane for the first time. Ryan O’Reilly will likely skate between William Carrier and Sam Reinhart. Johan Larsson will center Marcus Foligno and Brian Gionta.
Zemgus Girgensons and Matt Moulson will be on the fourth line, but it’s a game-time decision between Derek Grant and Nicolas Deslauriers for the other spot.
4. Zach Bogosian skates with the team.
The Buffalo defenseman has been out since suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament in his knee Nov. 1. He took part in the morning skate, his first time on the ice with teammates since the injury.
“It felt good,” Bogosian said. “I’ve missed a lot of time. It gets pretty boring when you’re not with the same schedule as the team, but it felt nice to be out there.
“I don’t have a game scheduled or penciled in right now. I’m just kind of taking it a day at a time, talk to Dan and the training staff and see if we can come up with a plan.”
5. At home against the Kings.
Los Angeles hasn’t won in Buffalo since a 4-1 victory Feb. 21, 2003. Buffalo is 13-1 with one tie in its last 15 at home against Los Angeles. During the stretch, the Sabres have outscored the Kings, 61-22.
L.A. is 14-11-2 this season, including 7-2-1 in the last 10.
“The Kings have a good understanding, a good sense of what they need to do to win hockey games and how they need to play,” Bylsma said. “They’re going to defend, play a hard checking game, and they’re going to play that for 60 minutes. That’s where they’ve had success. That’s what they do well, and that’s what they’re going to continue to do.”