Kings blow two-goal lead and lose to Buffalo on night Anze Kopitar is honored

Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) passes the puck asLos Angeles Kings defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov (84) and goaltender Cam Talbot, center, defend during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Buffalo left wing Jeff Skinner passes the puck as Kings defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goaltender Cam Talbot defend. (Alex Gallardo / Associated Press)

JJ Peterka had two goals and an assist, Alex Tuch scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period and the Buffalo Sabres rallied to beat the Kings 5-3 on Wednesday night.

Jack Quinn had a goal and two assists and Dylan Cozens had a goal and an assist for the Sabres, who trailed 3-1 midway through the first period. Devon Levi stopped 37 shots.

It was Buffalo’s first win in 14 games this season when trailing by at least two goals after the first period.

The Kings’ Anze Kopitar had a goal and reached the 40-point mark for the 18th straight season. The Kings captain was honored before the game for becoming the franchise leader in games played and assists as well as reaching 400 career goals this season.

Adrian Kempe had a goal and an assist while Pierre-Luc Dubois also scored for the Kings. Cam Talbot had 33 saves.

Tuch gave the Sabres their first lead of the game at 5:49 of the third with a snap shot from the edge of the right faceoff circle for his 13th of the season. Cozens put it out of reach at 8:54 with his ninth on a wrist shot.

Kopitar registered his 15th goal and 40th point of season at 2:55 of the first period, when he tipped in Kempe’s shot on a rush to the net. Kopitar is the 25th skater in NHL history to record 18 or more 40-point seasons. Pittsburgh‘s Sidney Crosby and Washington’s Alex Ovechkin, who also have done it 18 times, are the only other active skaters on the list.

Peterka evened it at 5:01 when he put in a rebound of Cozens’ shot after Talbot made a pad save.

Kempe gave the Kings a 2-1 lead 23 seconds later on a snap shot from the left faceoff circle, his 16th of the season, and Dubois made it a two-goal advantage at 9:44 on a wrist shot from just outside of the slot while on the power play.

Peterka got the first multigoal game of his career when he scored on a breakaway 8:22 into the second for his 16th. Quinn evened it at 10:30 when he went top shelf from the slot and beat Talbot on his blocker side for his fifth.

Up next

The Kings begin a three-game trip at Colorado on Friday.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.