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Game Recap

Sabres top Coyotes, 5-2

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Recap

After a slow first period, the Sabres picked up the pace in the second to propel them to a 5-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes at the First Niagara Center on Friday night.

The first period exemplified what happens when a team doesn’t respect the speed that Arizona can bring to a game. Shots were equal at seven, but the Sabres ended the period down 1-0 on a breakaway goal by Max Domi.

It didn’t take long in the second for the young Sabres to turn up the heat with another strong performance by Sam Reinhart. Reinhart’s great 2nd effort down low resulted in a turnover and a quick goal as he stuffed the puck passed Arizona’s Mike Smith.

Eichel’s beautifully executed flip pass to  Jamie McGinn six minutes later in the second gave the Sabres the lead for good.

A wild 3rd period began with the Sabres doing their best to wear down the Coyotes as they played their second game in two nights. Kane’s explosive shorthanded goal 2:40 into the 3rd upped the score to 3-1. His 5th career shorthanded goal had Smith standing still as he rifled the wrist shot stick side, top shelf.

Arizona rookie Domi netted his 2nd of the night at 6:42 of the 3rd while catching Johnson sleeping. Buffalo had a quick response thanks to Marcus Foligno. A great backchecking effort by Foligno led to a quick breakout. He was then able to set himself up in the slot and send a sizzling wrist shot by Smith.

Thanks to a well-played review (goaltender interference) called by Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma, the Sabres were able to maintain their two goal lead heading into the final minutes of the game.

Evander Kane added an empty net goal after the Coyotes pulled Smith for the extra attacker. A well-deserved reward for a strong performance by Kane who made his presence known throughout the game.

With the offense clicking for the Sabres, it marks the first time the Sabres have scored at least four goals in each of their last four games. That’s something they haven’t done since the 2007 season. Buffalo has now totaled 17 goals in the past four games and are 3-0-1 over that span. 

Chad Johnson received the start in net and stopped 18 of 20 shots, earning his seventh win of the season. Smith fell to 10-8-1 after allowing four goals on 27 shots.

Buffalo will be heading out west for a three game road trip against the Oilers, Canucks and the Kings.

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NHL Standings

DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
A4631-12-365
A4527-10-862
A4826-17-557
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
M4828-15-561
M4524-13-856
M4726-18-355
Wild Card leaders:
M4723-16-854
M4824-19-553
-----------------------------------------
M4925-21-353
M4824-20-452
M4721-18-850
A4519-20-644
A4719-22-644
A4518-20-743
A4415-20-939
A4611-26-931
DIVTEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
C4828-13-763
C4528-11-662
C4928-18-359
Pacific Division Leaders:
P4631-11-466
P4626-14-658
P4625-16-555
Wild Card leaders:
C4827-17-458
C4526-16-355
-----------------------------------------
P4725-17-555
C4725-17-555
P4822-17-953
C4622-18-650
P4721-23-343
P4718-23-642
P4811-28-929