The LA Kings losers of two straight visit HSBC Arena to take on the Buffalo Sabres at 7:30 pm on this cold Friday evening.  The Kings bring a record of 12-5-1 and a 2nd place conference standing into tonight's game.  The Sabres are 7-10-3 which is good for 12th place in the Eastern Conference.  Craig Rivet returns to the lineup tonight after a bout with food poisoning.  Patrick Kaleta returns from a bruised sternum. 

Watching a handful of Kings games this year, they're an exciting physical team with tons of young likable players.  Jonathan Bernier will be in net for LA tonight.  Ryan Miller will get the start in net for Buffalo.  I'm liking the moustaches the guys are sporting for Men's health awareness.  Once Tyler Myers starts shaving, he'll be able to join in on the moustache fun.

I’d like to take a moment to mention two sad events in the hockey world this week.  Ottawa assistant Luke Richardson’s teenage daughter took her own life earlier this week; a tragedy that goes beyond team allegiances.  The hockey world mourns for the Richardson family.  Former Sabre, Gary Galley served as the MC at the funeral which was attended by many former players and coaches.

Stanley Cup winning coach, Pat Burns died today of Lung cancer.  Burns won The Cup with the Devils in 2003.  It was Burn’s third fight with cancer.  He had previously fought off colon and liver cancer.  Burns, a three time Jack Adams winner was 58.   

Period One:

The Grier-Niedermayer-McCormick line is out to start the game.  I’m not sure why this line always starts, but Lindy must have his reasons.  Kopitar with a shot right off the bat, Save Miller.  Welcome back Craig Rivet; now go sit in the box for tripping the player who just burned you.  Michael Handzus gets hit in the left handzus by his own teammate’s point shot and skates off wincing in pain.  Power play is over, but Dustin Brown gets his 9th goal of the season at 4:57 of period one.  The Ithaca native got some space wide of Shaone Morrisonn and wristed a shot under the armpit of Ryan Miller.  1-0 Kings. 

Nathan Gerbe is getting roughed up after the whistle and Paul Gaustad comes in to police the situation. Gaustad and Kevin Westgarth drop the mits and dance.  Gaustad gets in a few body shots and an upper cut, but takes one right in the kisser and goes down to end the fight.    

Why do I get a burlesque video when I search for ‘Cody McCormick’ on Youtube?

Tyler Myers puts an athletic spin move on Dustin Brown, who falls down on the forecheck.  Drew Doughty trips up Thomas Vanek to put the Sabres on the power play.  LA has one of the NHL’s top Penalty kill units and we all know that Buffalo’s power play stinks.  Connolly to Roy to Pommer for the one timer; Just wide!  Sekera a point shot also just misses.  The puck is cleared by LA 4 times during the man advantage.  The penalty expires but Tyler Ennis drives the net and draws another 2 minute penalty on a hold by Rob Scuderi.  Derek Roy promptly tries to take on the entire Kings team by himself and has the puck cleared.  There is no flow to our power play, no nice passing, just players trying to do too much individually.

Jordan Leopold takes down his man in the corner and gets a free 2 minute rest in the penalty box.  Paul Gaustad is so darn good at face-offs as he wins another.  He was only 8 for 15 tonight, but I swear he won every one where I was paying attention.  Tyler Myers takes a weak interference call to make it a 45 second 5 on 3 advantage for LA.  Shaone Morrisonn with a nice shot block.  Sabres kill off the power play.  Tyler Ennis buzzes down the wing and whips a pass thru the crease.  Vanek is unable to connect as time expires on the first 20 minutes.