Sabres rout Kings 7-0 in Hiller’s second game as interim coach

The Kings’ hopes of building on their fresh start under interim coach Jim Hiller were dashed by a dismal performance against the Buffalo Sabres, who handed them a 7-0 defeat on Tuesday night.

The Kings came into the game with some optimism after shutting out the Edmonton Oilers 3-0 on Saturday in Hiller’s debut, following the firing of Todd McLellan. They had a chance to climb back into the playoff race in the Pacific Division with a win over the Sabres, who were near the bottom of the Atlantic Division.

However, the Kings failed to capitalize on their opportunities in the first period, when they outshot the Sabres 15-3 but could not beat goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. The Kings hit the post twice and missed the net on several occasions, while Luukkonen made some key saves to keep the game scoreless.

Sabres explode for four goals in second period

The Sabres turned the game around in the second period, when they scored four goals on 12 shots and chased Kings goalie David Rittich from the net. The Sabres took advantage of the Kings’ mistakes and penalties, and showed their offensive firepower with some quick and precise passing.

JJ Peterka opened the scoring at 4:25, when he followed up his own rebound and wrapped it around the net. Jordan Greenway doubled the lead at 16:25, when he intercepted Drew Doughty’s pass in the Kings’ zone and fired a wrist shot past Rittich. Kyle Okposo made it 3-0 with a power-play goal at 19:25, when he deflected Dylan Cozens’ shot from the point. Rasmus Dahlin capped the scoring spree with another power-play goal at 19:55, when he blasted a one-timer from the left circle.

Kings collapse in third period, Sabres add three more goals

The Kings showed no signs of life in the third period, as they allowed three more goals and were outshot 16-8. The Sabres continued to dominate the game with their speed and skill, and Luukkonen preserved his shutout with some solid stops.

Alex Tuch scored his 20th goal of the season at 5:21, when he finished a 2-on-1 rush with Cozens. Greenway scored his second of the night at 9:56, when he tipped in Dahlin’s shot from the blue line. Zach Benson completed the scoring at 14:21, when he converted a rebound after a scramble in front of the net.

The Sabres celebrated their biggest win of the season, while the Kings skated off the ice with their heads down, facing boos from the crowd.

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