NHL Game Summary - Phoenix at Buffalo
(Thursday, October 8th)
Final Score: Buffalo 2, Phoenix 1
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Thomas Vanek's late power-play goal helped the Buffalo Sabres take a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes at HSBC Arena.
Clarke MacArthur had a goal and an assist, while Ryan Miller made 23 saves in the win for the Sabres, who lost a 2-1 overtime decision to Montreal in their opener last Saturday.
"We had some excellent chances tonight," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "You could sense a little frustration coming into the game, but we stuck with it and Vanek scored a great goal for us."
Matthew Lombardi scored the lone goal, while Jason LaBarbera made 37 saves in the loss for the Coyotes, who had won their first two games of the season.
"Our goaltender gave us a chance to win it tonight," said Phoenix coach Dave Tippett. "But we took six more minutes in penalties. That's disgusting. That's giving games away and it's bad discipline on our part. You gotta find ways to win, but we found a way to lose tonight."
With no score in the third period, the Coyotes took the lead as Adrian Aucoin's shot from the high slot went off Lombardi in front for a power-play goal and a 1-0 lead at the 2:37 mark.
However, Buffalo answered 1:37 later as Tyler Myers kept in a clearing attempt in the high slot and dished it to the low left side for MacArthur, who charged to the front and fired home a backhander.
The Sabres then took a 2-1 lead with 3:53 to play. On the power play, a tic- tac-toe play resulted in the puck coming to Vanek out front for the one-timer and a 2-1 lead.
Phoenix pulled LaBarbera in the final minute of play, but Miller came up with a couple of big saves to hold on for the win.
The first period passed scoreless as LaBarbera made 13 saves in the first period while Miller countered with eight saves.
After 40 minutes of play the game still had no score as LaBarbera was brilliant in net during the period, making 17 saves, while Miller was equally up to the challenge with 10 saves.
Buffalo plays its first road game of the season on Saturday at Nashville...Phoenix has its home-opener on Saturday against Columbus...Buffalo took both games against Phoenix last season...Phoenix went 1-for-3 on the power play while Buffalo finished the game 1-for-7.
10/08 22:57:58 ET