Alex Tuch looks like keeper for Sabres ahead of Kings matchup

Alex Tuch looks like keeper for Sabres ahead of Kings matchup

The Los Angeles Kings and Sabres each notched one-goal wins ahead of the finale of their season series in Buffalo on Sunday afternoon.And the Sabres might have found their centerpiece who is willing to call western New York home for a long time — winger Alex Tuch.Former Buffalo superstars Ryan O’Reilly, Taylor Hall and Jack Eichel all either lost interest in the city or the organization or grew tired of the futile seasons and eventually moved on — some voicing their displeasure emphatically.Seemingly the Sabres’ future core piece, Eichel was named the club’s captain in 2018 but grew sullen and disinterested. The organization stripped the center of his captaincy after he failed a physical as this season’s training camp opened.A Nov. 4 trade of Eichel to Vegas returned a package including Tuch, 25, and the Sabres are glad to have the Syracuse native back in the Empire State.”He brings a lot of different things. The biggest unique thing is that he’s from upstate New York and he grew up a Sabres fan,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said.A 2014 first-round pick (18th overall) by Minnesota, Tuch has produced 23 points (seven goals, 16 assists) in 24 games since the transaction that sent him home.”He has that passion,” the coach added. “When he puts that jersey on and goes out there, there’s a lot of meaning to him. And that’s nice to have in your locker room, especially with a guy who other players look up to and admire.”Buffalo opened its five-game homestand Friday by holding on to defeat the Minnesota Wild for the second time this season, 5-4.Victor Olofsson’s empty-net goal with 1:06 remaining was the game-winner after Minnesota’s Kirill Kaprizov tallied with 34 seconds left.In their first meeting with Buffalo, the Kings won 3-2 in Los Angeles on Oct. 31.Trailing 2-0 in the second period, the Kings got goals from Carl Grundstrom and Anze Kopitar before Alex Iafallo chipped in the game-winning goal from the low slot with 6:19 left in the third. Jonathan Quick posted 22 saves to record his first win of the season.

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