Sabres come up empty despite 45-shot barrage on Coyotes
The Buffalo Sabres matched their season high with 45 shots on goal, but it wasn’t enough on this night. Paul Bissonnette’s goal at 9:41 of the second period proved to be the game winner as the Phoenix Coyotes defeated Buffalo 4-2 at First Niagara Center. The Sabres are 12-8-0, but just 5-6-0 at home through the first 20 games of the season.
Even after playing last night in Carolina, the Sabres had some early jump with 16 first period shots on Coyotes netminder Mike Smith. Only Luke Adam found the back of the net for Buffalo in the first, and he knows the score should’ve been tilted more in the Sabres favor.
“We had some point blank opportunities in the first period that unfortunately didn’t go our way,” said Adam. “It would’ve been nice to get those. We could’ve been up 2 or 3-0 there early. It didn’t go our way. A couple of rough minutes in the second period and it cost us the game.”
CLICK TO HEAR LINDY RUFF'S POST-GAME COMMENTS
Patrick Kaleta’s goal 51 seconds into the second period gave Buffalo a 2-1 lead, but there were unable to get any better than that. Radim Vrbata and Bissonnette scored 1:06 apart midway through the second to give Phoenix the lead for good. Vrbata added an empty net goal to close out the scoring.
“We started off well and that’s our job. We can’t get aggravated,” said Kaleta. “We can’t let that creep into our game. We gotta keep going and like I said, we’ve gotta bury our chances. That’s the bottom line. When we need to put some home, we need to put them home.”
Buffalo got some more bad news when Lindy Ruff said afterwards that Tyler Myers suffered an upper body injury in the game. Myers played 12:41 through the first two periods but remained in the Sabres locker room for the entire third period. He will be evaluated further on Sunday.
6:49 - Good evening! Welcome to tonight's live game blog from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.
6:51 - We expect tonight's starting lineups shortly.
6:52 - Since Philadelphia lost to Winnipeg this afternoon, a Buffalo win tonight moves them into first overall in the East.
6:55 - Tonight's game is the only meeting of the season between the Sabres and Coyotes
6:56 - Buffalo leads the all-time series 39-20-8
7:03 - BUF starting lineup: Leopold/Ehrhoff ... Leino/Boyes/Stafford ... Enroth
7:03 - BUF scratches: McCormick, Miller
7:04 - PHX starters: Schlemko/Klesla ... Whitney/Gordon/Doan ... Smith
7:04 - PHX scratches: O'Sullivan, Langkow
7:10 - Game on!
7:12 - We have the rare pleasure tonight of seeing Phoenix's Paul Bissonnette -- AKA @BizNasty2point0
7:14 - Boyes with a spin move and quick shot that catches Smith right in the chest
7:15 - Pominville and Vanek BOTH fan on empty net shots -- and then come close yet again when a puck grazes the post
7:16 - Adam bangs a blast right off the iron. Is that a horseshoe I see on the Coyotes net?
7:18 - PHX 1-0: Doan steps into a slapshot from just inside the Sabres blueline that beats Enroth on the far side. You don't see longshots like that anymore. (7:09)
7:19 - Former Sabre Raffi Torres joins the post club, firing one off the right post behind Enroth
7:22 - 10:02 left in the 1st. Both teams with good chances early. If the defense doesn't settle down, we could have a shootout on our hands.
7:25 - The snakebitten Stafford was all alone in front but couldn't get good wood on his shot.
7:28 - Nice little toe drag move there by noted sniper Matt Ellis. His shot doesn't fool Smith though.
7:30 - 1-1: After winning the faceoff cleanly, Adam heads to the slot and tips Leopold's point shot past Smith (11:57)
7:30 - Goal being reviewed for possible high stick. Looked good from up here - granted I am not far from the rafters of the arena
7:31 - I'm right as always - good goal.
7:34 - Pominville goes cross ice to Vanek who tips the shot right into Smith's pads.
7:37 - 5:41 left. We're knotted at 1-1, and the Sabres lead 12-7 in shots
7:41 - Congrats to another former Sabre Taylor Pyatt, playing in his 700th NHL game tonight
7:43 - Leino slides through the Coyotes defenders and lifts a shot over the net
7:47 - End of 1: Sabres and Yotes are tied 1-1. But the Sabres have a commanding 16-8 lead in shots. phoenix didn't have a shot in the second half of the period.
8:06 - Game on!
8:07 - Gaustad and Leopold with the helpers, at the 51 second mark.
8:11 - Sloppy puckhandling by Smith nearly leads to another Sabres goal
8:12 - Sabres with 9 shots already in the first 7 minutes
8:13 - 12:48 left - Sabres up 2-1; also lead 9-3 in shots
8:17 - Enroth gets all twisted up in the net, but still manages to glove Vrbata's shot from the corner.
8:19 - 2-2: Vrbata drives in from the left side and tucks a shot past Enroth (8:35)
8:21 - PHX 3-2: Bissonnette grabs the rebound off to the left of Enroth, and stuffs a shot between his legs.
8:27 - 5:48 left in the 2nd. PHX suddenly with all the momentum. They've closed the shot gap to 13-10
8:33 - Another post for Phoenix, followed by a glove stop by Enroth. Sabres hanging on right now
8:39 - End of 2: Coyotes score twice to take a 3-2 lead. Shots on goal: BUF 30 - PHX 23
8:57 - Game on!
9:00 - Regehr and Torres drop the gloves, after Torres runs Ehrhoff behind the net.
9:01 - Torres gets the extra 2 for charging. Guess he'll never learn
9:01 - Regehr went to the Sabres dressing room immediately after the fight
9:02 - Hanzal with the shorthanded chance, but Enroth stops him cold
9:06 - Klesla on the ice after blocking Kaleta's shot. Hard to tell where that caught him - looked like shoulder area
9:08 - Sekera may have saved a goal with his hook on Doan, but it'll cost him 2 mins in the box.
9:15 - 8:07 remaining. Sabres leading 6-5 in shots -- 36-28 overall
9:21 - Another good shift by Leino and Boyes - but Smith stands tall in the Phoenix net yet again.
9:24 - No sign of Myers on the Sabres bench. He played 12:41 after 2 periods, but nothing since.
9:25 - 3:31 left - Coyotes take their timeout
9:29 - Enroth out for the extra attacker with 1:21 left
9:31 - 4-2: Vrbata finds the empty net with a shot from the Sabres blueline
9:32 - FINAL SCORE: Phoenix wins 4-2