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Five Things to Know as Sabres host L.A. Kings in matinee

The Sabres thought they were gaining traction, then they slipped in Ottawa.

Here are Five Things to Know as they try to find solid ground Saturday afternoon against the Los Angeles Kings.

1. Attention to detail

Buffalo had won three of four games heading in Ottawa on Thursday. Though the Sabres had the lead in the final minute before suffering a 3-2 overtime loss, they didn't look like a winning team.

"The effort there wasn't very good," forward Jordan Nolan said in KeyBank Center. "We've got to come in here and have a good game."

Nolan won two Stanley Cups with the Kings and was claimed off waivers just before the season started.

"It's a big game," he said. "I want to prove something to these guys."

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2. Back to Lehner

Sabres goaltender Robin Lehner made 33 saves in Ottawa and will head back to the crease for the 1 p.m. faceoff. He gave up five goals on 27 shots in his previous start against Colorado.

"It's good to see for him," coach Phil Housley said Saturday morning of the bounceback. "If it wasn't for Robin, we wouldn't have been in the game. He made some key saves, especially on the penalty kill, so it's good to see him find his game back."

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3. Kings bring familiar faces

Los Angeles forward and Eden native Alex Iafallo will play in Buffalo for the first time. The rookie has six goals and 19 points in 55 games, including time on the No. 1 line.

"I always had it circled," the 24-year-old said of his return. "I’ve always wanted to play in my hometown and play in front of my friends and family. It’s definitely an honor, and I have to keep doing my job to stay up and keep producing.”

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One of Los Angeles' assistant coaches is Pierre Turgeon, the former Sabres center and No. 1 overall draft pick.

The Kings also bring a 30-22-5 record.

"We've got to execute quickly, use our feet, our speed, get pucks in deep and not allow them to use their weight on us in our defensive zone because they do a terrific job hanging on to pucks," Housley said. "They're tough to defend. We have to use speed and execution up ice to get out of our end."

4. Lineup changes

Nolan will replace Nick Baptiste up front for the Sabres. Justin Falk will go in for Josh Gorges.

Baptiste had no shots or hits during Thursday's return to his hometown and played only 8:53.

"Nick took a step back against Ottawa," Housley said. "I didn't see the tenaciousness that he had in his last game using his speed. His wall play, he could have been a little bit hungrier in the battle, but I can see him getting back in the lineup soon."

5. This and that

Buffalo is 14-1-1 in its last 16 home games against Los Angeles, outscoring the Kings, 67-25. The Kings' last win in Buffalo was Feb. 21, 2003. … If the Sabres score four goals for their fourth consecutive home game, it would be the longest stretch since the start of the 2007-08 season. … Jason Pominville has points in four straight against L.A., recording five assists and six points. … Los Angeles has outscored its opponents, 73-38, during third periods.

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