Quick, Kings shut out Sabres
LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Quick made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season, and Jarome Iginla and Adrian Kempe scored third-period goals to lift the Los Angeles Kings to a 2-0 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center on Thursday.
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Iginla and Kempe both joined the Kings since mid-February. Kempe was called up from AHL Ontario, while Iginla arrived in a trade with the Colorado Avalanche.
Los Angeles (34-29-7) was unable to gain ground on the St. Louis Blues for the final Western Conference wild card. The Blues defeated the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Thursday night to remain four points ahead of the Kings with 12 games left apiece.
The Sabres (28-31-12) have been shut out in each of their past four games at Staples Center. The latest loss was their 10th in 12 games ahead of a Friday night contest against the Ducks at Anaheim.
The first scoring play began when Kings right winger Dustin Brown carried the puck behind the Buffalo net and his ensuing shot attempt was saved by Sabres goalie Robin Lehner.
The puck rebounded to Kings center Anze Kopitar, and he spotted Iginla open near the far post. Kopitar slid the pass to Iginla, and the 39-year-old swiped it into the net 36 seconds into the third period for his third goal in seven games some coming to Los Angeles.
Brown received a secondary assist on the goal for his 500th career point.
Kempe made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 14:40 of the third.
Lehner finished with 34 saves, including 15 in a scoreless first period. The Sabres managed only two shots on Quick during the opening 20 minutes.
NOTES: Kings D Brayden McNabb was a healthy scratch for the third time in the past four games. McNabb, a third-round pick of the Sabres in 2009 who spent his first two NHL seasons with the team, is a combined minus-3 in his last 10 games. ... Buffalo RW Hudson Fasching entered the lineup in place of RW Justin Bailey, who sustained a foot injury blocking a shot Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks. ... Buffalo D Justin Falk also sat out with a calf injury, and D Taylor Fedun was recalled from Rochester of the AHL. Fedun played 14:18 and finished with an even rating.