Adam Creighton capitalized on a major penalty to Dave (Tiger) Williams by scoring with 7:02 left Wednesday night, lifting the Buffalo Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Kings at the Forum.
Referee Dan Marouelli assessed Williams a five-minute high-sticking penalty after he drew blood when he checked Don Lever. After taking five shots at goalie Roland Melanson, the Sabres scored with just 14 seconds left in the penalty when Creighton stuffed in his 14th goal of the season.
Mark Napier, acquired March 6 from Edmonton, had kicked the puck from behind the net to Creighton on the right side.
Playing without Marcel Dionne on the roster for the first time in 12 years--he was traded Tuesday to the New York Rangers--the Kings were outshot, 43-19. It was the most attempts surrendered by Los Angeles this season and its fewest shots as well.
Buffalo continued to thrive under new coach Ted Sator, pulling into a fourth-place tie with idle Quebec in the Adams Division. Since Sator took over in late December, the Sabres are 19-13-3. Quebec and Buffalo each have 12 games remaining in the battle for the division's final playoff berth.
With his team a man short, Phil Sykes put the Kings ahead, 1-0, just 2:30 after the opening face-off. Sykes carried the puck around the left side of the net, eluded defenseman Phil Housley and rammed a five-foot shot between the pads of goalie Tom Barrasso.
The Sabres, who outshot Los Angeles, 19-8, in the first period, then tied it with 5:01 remaining in the session when Jim Korn set up Ken Priestlay for a breakaway goal. The 19-year-old rookie skated down the right side and tucked a five-footer under Melanson's left elbow for his eighth goal of the season.
Former King Doug Smith took just 20 seconds of the second period to give the Sabres a 2-1 advantage. His 13th goal of the season ricocheted off the back of Melanson's left skate.
But Los Angeles bounced back with rookie Jimmy Carson's 28th goal of the season on a power play with 6:54 left in the period.
Bobby Carpenter and Tom Laidlaw, acquired in the Dionne trade, did not dress for the Kings.