Andreas Athanasiou, Cal Petersen team up in Kings’ win over Sabres
Andreas Athanasiou scored twice, including the 100th of his career, Cal Petersen stopped 19 shots and the Kings defeated the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 on Sunday.
After Athanasiou opening the scoring with 3:05 left in the second period, he and Dustin Brown sealed the win by scoring into an empty net in the final minute. Petersen earned his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career, while facing the team that initially drafted him.
Los Angeles, which rallied from a 3-1 third-period deficit for a 4-3 overtime win at Columbus on Friday, has won seven of nine and improved to 10-1-2 over its last 13 road games. At 31-19-7, the Kings have the most victories through 57 games since 2015-16, when they were 33-20-4.
Buffalo’s injury list grew lengthier when top-line forward Alex Tuch did not return after crashing head-first into the post during a short-handed rush with 8:55 remaining.
After his initial shot was stopped, Tuch tapped the rebound toward the net only to be stopped by Petersen. Tuch, however, couldn’t stop his momentum and crashed into the net, appearing to strike the post with his right shoulder.
He was on the ice for a few moments before getting up on his own and heading straight up the tunnel for examination. The team had no immediate update on Tuch’s status.
The Sabres, coming off wins over Minnesota and Toronto, squandered a chance to win three straight for just the second time after opening the season 3-0. Dustin Tokarski stopped 29 shots in dropping to 1-4-1 since missing nearly two months battling COVID-19.
Sprung by a long pass from Mikey Anderson, Athanasiou broke up the left wing on a 2-on-1 break. He fired a shot from the left circle, which appeared to tip off the stick of Buffalo defender Casey Fitzgerald and sailed in over Tokarksi’s left shoulder.
Viktor Arvidsson scores three goals, the last coming in overtime, to lift the Kings to their eighth win in 11 games.
The Kings, who entered the game allowing the fewest shots per game in the league, then clamped down in outshooting the Sabres 10-5 over the final 23 minutes and 32-19 overall.
Petersen’s best stops came in the closing minute of the first period. With 25 seconds remaining, he got his blocker up to get a piece of Jeff Skinner’s shot from the slot. Some 15 seconds later, Petersen got his glove up to foil Tage Thompson’s backhand while driving alone to the net.
Selected by Buffalo in the fifth round of the 2013 draft, Petersen never played for the Sabres after declining to sign his rookie deal. He instead became a free agent and signed with the Kings in July 2017. He improved to 1-0-1 against Buffalo following a 43-save outing in a 4-3 OT loss on Dec. 11, 2018.
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