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Buffalo's offense finally slowed down on Wednesday, and the Sabres are hoping it isn't a sign of things to come.
One night later, the Sabres will try to bounce back when they visit the struggling Los Angeles Kings in a matchup of last-place teams.
The Sabres (12-12-1) entered Wednesday's game ranked fourth in the NHL with 3.13 goals per game, but lost 4-1 to Anaheim. Buffalo failed to score more than three goals for the first time in eight games.
The Sabres, who are at the bottom of the Northeast Division, lost for the second time in three games following a five-game winning streak. Prior to that winning streak, however, they dropped six of seven, failing to score more than two goals in all but one contest over that span.
Jochen Hecht scored the lone goal Wednesday for Buffalo, which did manage to score first for the eighth consecutive game. Prior to their current streak, the Sabres had given up the first goal in each of their previous 14 contests.
Goalie Ryan Miller allowed four goals for the second time in three starts. Still, he owns a 2.15 goals-against average over his last seven games.
Miller played against his brother Drew, an Anaheim left wing, for the first time professionally.
"It was a unique experience," Ryan said. "You don't ever grow up expecting to play in the NHL. We shared that dream and we both have seen it come true."
A game against the Kings (10-15-2) could help the Sabres get their offense back in gear. Buffalo has won its last three games against Los Angeles since a 4-1 home loss on Feb. 21, 2003 and scored 23 goals in those three victories.
The Sabres pounded the Kings 10-1 on Jan. 14, 2006 in the last meeting between the teams. Hecht had three goals and an assist and Jason Pominville added three goals.
Hecht is tied with Derek Roy for the team lead with nine goals this season, while Pominville is one of three Sabres with seven.
The Kings have dropped nine of their last 11 and fell into last place in the Western Conference with Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Phoenix. Michael Cammalleri scored the lone goal for Los Angeles in the matchup between the teams with the fewest points in the conference.
"We need more run support than that for our goalie," said Cammalleri, who leads the team with 13 goals.
The Kings have averaged just 1.4 goals over their last nine games and are averaging just 2.6 for the season.
"Our best chances were probably missed chances in and around the net," coach Marc Crawford said.
Left wing Alexander Frolov missed his sixth straight game with a groin injury for Los Angeles, which has lost four straight at home.