Sabres Look To Head Into The Holiday Break On A Good Note When They Host The Coyotes

@ 7:00 PM



Last Game:

Buffalo: December 21 at Bruins Loss 4-1



Phoenix: December 21 at Senators Win(OT) 4-3




Buffalo: 9-24-3


Phoenix: 19-10-6



Buffalo: 21


Phoenix: 44

Rank In Conference:


Buffalo: 16th(8th in Atlantic)


Phoenix: 9th(5th in Pacific)

Goals For:


Buffalo: 60(30th)


Phoenix: 106(7th)

Goals Against:


Buffalo: 104(T-21st)


Phoenix: 105(23rd)

Power Play Rankings:


Buffalo: 12.3%(28th)


Phoenix: 20.7%(8th)

Penalty Kill Rankings:


Buffalo: 80.5%(22nd)


Phoenix: 78.3%(25th)

Shots For:


Buffalo: 949(30th)


Phoenix: 1122(10th)

Shots Against:


Buffalo: 1229(27th)


Phoenix: 1163(25th)

Face-Off Percentage:


Buffalo: 46.6%(26th)


Phoenix: 52.6%(5th)



Buffalo: 923(9th)


Phoenix: 957(7th)

Blocked Shots:


Buffalo: 501(15th)


Phoenix: 490(17th)

Team Leaders:




Buffalo: Moulson(12), Hodgson(8), Ennis(7), Foligno(5)


Phoenix: Doan and Vermette(12), Vrbata and Boedker(10), Riberio and Hanzal(9), Klinkhammer and Stone(7)



Buffalo: Hodgson and Moulson(11), Ehrhoff(10), Stafford(9), Girgensons(8)


Phoenix: Yandle(18), Vrbata, Ekman-Larsson, and Riberio(17), Hanzal(15), Boedker(14)



Buffalo: Moulson(23), Hodgson(19), Ennis(14), Ehrhoff, Stafford, and Girgensons(12)


Phoenix: Vrbata(27), Riberio(26), Boedker and Hanzal(24), Doan(23)



Buffalo: Sulzer(+1), Ellis, Adam and McNabb(EV), Kaleta, D’Agostini, and Omark(-1), Moulson and Larsson(-2)


Phoenix: Klinkhammer(+14), Michalek(+10), Ekman-Larsson(+7), Vermette(+6)

Penalty Minutes:


Buffalo: Scott and Myers(44), McCormick(43), Ott(41), Foligno(38)


Phoenix: Hanzal(43), Ekman-Larsson(28), Yandle(26), Chipchura(25)



Buffalo: Stafford(86), Moulson(84), Hodgson(80), Ennis(75)


Phoenix: Vrbata(115), Yandle(94), Hanzal(92), Doan(80)

Face-Off Wins:


Buffalo: Hodgson(259), Ott(200), Foligno(119), Ennis(71)


Phoenix: Vermette(463), Hanzal(294), Riberio(178), Halpern(100)



Buffalo: Ott(119), Foligno(91), Girgensons(70), Weber(68)


Phoenix: Hanzal(106), Klinkhammer(86), Ekman-Larsson(63), Stone(58)

Blocked Shots:


Buffalo: Ehrhoff(56), Myers(51), Weber(43), Tallinder(41)


Phoenix: Michalek(72), Yandle(45), Schlemko(41), Ekman-Larsson and Stone(40)

Tonight’s Starting Goaltending Matchup:


Buffalo: Ryan Miller 8-17-0 2.83 GAA .922 SV% 0 SO


Phoenix: Mike Smith 15-8-6 2.87 GAA .913 SV% 0 SO



Last Meeting: November 19, 2011 Coyotes Won 4-2



Season Series: Coyotes Won 1-0-0


All-Time: Sabres Lead 39-21-8


All-Time vs PHX: Sabres Lead 22-7-6

Upcoming Matchups:


January 30 at Coyotes 9:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)

Last Game Recap:

Sabres Missed Opportunities On Power Play Prove Costly In Loss To Bruins

Special teams can make you or break you.

The Buffalo Sabres were unable to convert on any of their six power play opportunities Saturday night against the Boston Bruins in their 4-1 loss at TD Garden.

In a 2-1 game, Buffalo found themselves with 4:11 of power-play time. First, Patrice Bergeron took a cross-checking penalty at the 9:28 mark of the second period and 11 seconds later, Gregory Campbell got his stick up on Sabres defenseman Jamie McBain and drew blood. The Bruins killed off both penalties and allowed only three shots on goal.

Maybe Buffalo’s best chance in that stretch involved Ville Leino hitting the post just as the 5-on-3 expired.

Minutes later, Milan Lucic scored to make it 3-1.

“It just wasn’t there. We had a couple 5-on-3s, a 4-on-3,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said. “We had a couple chances and we just didn’t put any kind of energy to get anything going.”

Buffalo had another chance on special teams in the third period when it was 3-1. The Sabres again found themselves on a 5-on-3 penalty, but Sabres captain Steve Ott was called for slashing 30 seconds into the two-man advantage.

“That would’ve been a 5-on-2 basically with [Bruins captain Zdeno] Chara without a stick,” Ott said. “Good chances are you’re going to score in this League with a 5-on-2 to make it a 3-2 game and be right in it with a few minutes to go.

“Obviously that didn’t happen. Calls happen, breaks happen. We didn’t get the break and still no excuse, but I don’t think we were totally good enough tonight. I thought they played pretty solid.”

Sabres rookie Zemgus Girgensons scored his fourth goal of the season and Jhonas Enroth made 35 saves.

Reilly Smith scored twice for Boston, including an empty netter with 21.4 seconds left in the game. David Krejci also scored. Tuukka Rask turned aside 34 shots.

“I think we made some really bad decisions at the wrong times,” Nolan said. “I thought we started off OK for a road game, kept it pretty quiet. Then we took a bad penalty. Again, it cost us. We had guys rushing up on the play, trying to make it a 4-on-4 rush. But just bad decision overall.”

Those missed power-play chances are what stood out to Sabres right wing Drew Stafford. The Sabres were coming off back-to-back wins, including one over the Bruins on home ice Thursday.

“If you want to pinpoint one thing we missed out on tonight was the special teams battle,” Stafford said. “Bottom line is, it’s something we know we can practice now come whenever we regroup and it’s back to the drawing board again. But we expected them to respond compared to last game. Unfortunately, the better team won tonight.”

Linus Omark made his debut for the Sabres. He started on a line with center Matt Ellis and right wing Kevin Porter. He committed a hooking penalty that was called at the 9:07 mark of the first and the Bruins scored the game’s opening goal on the power play 32 seconds later.

Tonight’s Preview:

Coyotes after important two points against Sabres

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Phoenix Coyotes and Buffalo Sabres. They face off for the first time since Nov. 19, 2011, when Mike Smith stopped 43 shots, Radim Vrbata scored a pair of goals and Paul Bissonnette had the game-winner as Phoenix won 4-2 in Buffalo.

Big story: Currently the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference, the Coyotes are after an important two points Monday and can’t afford to overlook a Sabres team that despite having the fewest points in the NHL has made strides of late and won consecutive games before dropping the back end of a home-and-home Saturday to the Boston Bruins.

Team Scope:

Coyotes: This is the finale of a four-game road trip for Phoenix, which snapped a three-game losing streak Saturday afternoon with a come-from-behind 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators. The Coyotes had scored just a single goal in each of those defeats, but found an offensive spark in the form of Antoine Vermette.

The veteran forward, a longtime Senator, recorded a hat trick as the Coyotes erased a two-goal deficit. Vermette’s power-play goal with 2:13 left in regulation knotted the score and he struck again at 2:23 of the extra period. Vrbata also scored and Smith made 37 saves.

“When you’re in a little bit of a slide it’s a character win when you’re down,” defenseman Keith Yandle said. “Everyone did a good job getting into it and trying to get the win. There was a lot of desperation in the third when we were trying to find ourselves a goal and get back into the game. When it’s crunch time it amps up a little bit but it’s fun.”

Sabres: Not only did Buffalo’s 4-2 win against Boston at First Niagara Center on Thursday give the Sabres consecutive victories for only the second time this season, it was a huge statement knocking off the top team in the Atlantic Division.

Going for the sweep Saturday in Boston and a three-game winning streak, the Sabres were undone by an inability to convert on six power-play opportunities, including a 5-on-3 for 1:49 midway through the second period and another two-man advantage in the third negated by a Buffalo penalty.

“It’s disappointing,” forward Ville Leino told the Buffalo News, “because we’ve been playing so good and we didn’t give our best.”

Who’s hot: Mikkel Boedker has three goals and three assists in the past six games for the Coyotes. … Matt Moulson has two goals and one assist in the past four games for the Sabres.

Injury Report:


Buffalo: McCormick Upper Body(IR/Out), Hodgson Upper Body(Out), Porter Lower Body(Out)


Phoenix: Korpikoski Upper Body(IR/Out), Doan Illness(IR/Out), Michalek Lower Body(IR/Out)

Next 5 Games:


December 27 at Toronto Maple Leafs 7:30 PM(MSG HD/TSN HD)


December 29 vs Washington Capitals 5:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)


December 31 at Winnipeg Jets 7:00 PM(MSG HD/TSN HD)


January 2 at Minnesota Wild 8:00 PM(MSG HD/Bell TV HD)


January 4 vs New Jersey Devils 7:00 PM(MSG HD)


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