Sabres fall to last place after loss to Arizona


Jordan Nolan scored the lone goal in a 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes Wednesday night at KeyBank Center. It was a big night for a few players on each team; Coyotes’ Clayton Keller set the franchise record for most points by a rookie and had two assists, while Jack Eichel showed improvement in his 200th career game. Linus Ullmark took over for Chad Johnson early in the second as the two of the league’s worst teams battled it out on the ice, which left Buffalo dead last overall, falling to 23-38-12.

Ullmark saved 12 of 13 shots he faced, following Johnson’s two-goal allowance on 15 shots, just six minutes into the secondCoyotes’ Antti Raanta stopped 29 shots as Arizona improved to 13-5-2 over its’ last 20 games.

“It’s not the response we were looking for, and it’s disappointing…We’re the last team in the league, and that’s what’s hard to swallow. It’s unacceptable.” – Phil Housley

Dylan Strome scored his first goal since being called up, banking it in the net off Johnson.

Nolan battled it out in front of the Coyotes net, one of the few players to do so the whole game, tapping one in to tie it up at 1 in the first. It was his first goal in 49 games. Ullmark made a beautiful save on a 1-on-1 rush in the second, and let in 1 goal on 15 shots total in that period. Nolan delivered a big hit on Arizona defenseman Luke Schenn, which set off a small battle between the two.

Sam Reinhart thankfully returned to the bench late in the second, following an injury scare earlier on.

Evan Rodrigues, a player mentioned by coach Phil Housely prior to this game that needed to get more shots on goal, was again, able to capitalize on opportunities, something of a hopeful note.

The Sabres outshot the Coyotes in the second, but the game remained tied going into the third. 21-year-old Brendan Guhle was interviewed during the intermission stating, 

¨I think when we get those chances, we gotta capitalize, then we’ll be in good shape.”

The Coyotes came out strong in the third, taking swift advantage of power play opportunities to create goals. The Sabres had only seven minutes of offensive zone puck possession in the third, and a mere four shots on goal by the end of the game. 

Derek Stepan, Scott Wilson and Richard Panik all ensured a Coyotes win with a goal. Arizona will go into Thursday night’s game in Carolina with some confidence, especially on the power play.

The Sabres will close out their six game homestand on Friday as they play the Montreal Canadiens. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.



Stephanie Dugan
Stephanie Dugan
"Your Buffalove Writer/Editor!" MS. Ed. Literacy from Medaille College in Buffalo, New York. BS. Ed Education from Buffalo State College in Buffalo, New York. Momma of a hockey-loving two-year old, Connor Jonathan.
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