Forty-four minutes of waiting … waiting for something, really, anything, to happen.
Eventually, it did — in the form of a mistake by veteran
The miscue came with the
One power play, one mistake and the Sabres came away with a 1-0 victory on Tuesday night at
Buffalo's power-play goal came after Kings defenseman
"It's a bad play by Mike Richards," Sutter said. "You can't drop off. It's a set play for us. You can't drop off in the corner unless we have full control.
"You've got to cover the middle of the ice."
Sutter's words can cut with sarcasm, of course. But this was blunt and unusually specific about Richards.
The coach also repeated a familiar refrain about forward
"I think his game conditioning is an issue as the game goes along, clearly," Sutter said.
The script is becoming painfully familiar for the Kings in Buffalo. The Sabres have lost once to the Kings in their last 11 games in Buffalo, and the last time the Kings won in Buffalo was in 2003.
Buffalo looked to be in defense-first mode. The Kings have been getting plenty of shots on goal — a lot like they did in their loss to Philadelphia on Saturday — but are still searching for that next level. They outshot the Sabres, 34-16.
"It's a combination of everything," said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who has not scored in 10 games. "We thought we had some pretty good chances around the net and we didn't cash in and we've got to do that."
"We're playing all right hockey," Greene said. "We're not playing well enough to win. We've got to sharpen up.
"A lot of guys games are there but not at the level they need to be, the next level. That's everybody, myself included. We need to make crisp plays and doing it right for the full 60. Right now we're not doing that."
This was not an indication the Kings are getting close to that level.
"We are still a ways off from how we need to play," Greene said. "We want to get our game going and play the way we can. There's no positives."