THE AFTERMATH: SABRES 4, KINGS 2
Sabres open the season with a pair of wins in Europe
BERLIN (AP) -- The Buffalo Sabres were in no hurry to leave Europe after sweeping their first two games.
"The only tough part about coming over here is now we've got to go back," coach Lindy Ruff said.
Luke Adam scored twice in a 2:20 span early in the second period to help the Sabres beat the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Saturday night in the first NHL game in Germany.
Paul Gaustad and Drew Stafford also scored for Buffalo, coming off a 4-1 victory over Anaheim on Friday night in Helsinki. Ryan Miller made 31 saves, and Austrian star Thomas Vanek had two assists, giving him two goals and three assists in the two games in Europe.
"It's been great," Vanek said. "We came here with the goal of playing good hockey and winning two games and we did. But it's only two games in a year, there's a lot of work left." ...MORE.
After a scoreless first period, the Sabres jumped out to a 1-0 lead at 2:40 of the second period using some good fashioned hard work. Jason Pominville took a hit along the sideboards to keep the puck in, and it then gets chipped behind the net. Thomas Vanek picks up the puck and begins to slide around the net when he’s tackled from behind by a Kings defender. Vanek somehow maintains possession of the puck and sweeps it out front to Luke Adam, who bangs him his first of two on the night.
- The sell-out crowd of 14,300 was very tilted in favor of the Sabres, with most of the fans cheering for Thomas Vanek and Christian Ehrhoff. The Sabres players came together on the ice to salute the fans with a traditional post-game German cheer following the game, and Ehrhoff also tossed three of sticks to fans in the crowd.
- Ehrhoff left the ice after being crumpled in the corner by a hit from Dustin Brown at 14:09 of the first period. Brown was assessed a roughing penalty on the play. Ehrhoff missed the remainder of the first period, but returned at the start of the second, and still managed to play a team-high 23:57 of TOI.
- Ryan Miller has now allowed just 3 goals on 63 shots through the first two games. He turned away 31 of 33 Kings shooters tonight, and made a late glove save that would’ve brought the Kings within one.
- One night after combining for 8 points, the line of Vanek-Adam-Pominville collected another five of Buffalo’s 11 points.
- Robyn Regehr increased his league-leading blocked shots total to nine with three more tonight.
- Patrick Kaleta thought he had scored Buffalo’s fifth goal of the night in the third period, but a video review determined the puck had been initially knocked down by Cody McCormick’s high stick in front of the net.
- Paul Gaustad’s 11 faceoff wins were second only to Jarett Stoll’s 12.
- The Sabres have now been outshot 22-4 in the third period this season. Anaheim shut them out 11-0 on Friday, and the Kings had the same total in an 11-4 count tonight.
- Tonight’s game gave Buffalo a sweep of their opening weekend back-to-back games in Europe. The Sabres will play a league-high 21 sets of back-to-back games in 2011-12. The Sabres also led the league with 22 back-to-back sets last season: they were 12-8-2 in the first game, and 11-8-3 in game two.
- This was the only meeting of the season between the Sabres and Kings; Buffalo now leads the all-time series vs. LA with a record of 55-39-19
The Sabres return to practice Monday to prepare for their home opener at the First Niagara Center this Friday against Carolina. Game time is 7:30 p.m. ET. They are back out on the road the next night for a game in Pittsburgh on October 15. That is followed by a three-game trip to Montreal (Oct. 18), Florida (Oct. 20) and Tampa Bay (Oct. 22).