Dave Vest | Anthony Perez
- After Friday's practice, Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett told reporters he was disappointed in his team's overtime record (2-8) after its first 40 games. The Coyotes added a ninth OT loss on Saturday night at Jobing.com Arena as they officially reached the midway point of the 2010-11 campaign.
Drew Stafford scored a goal 3:12 into overtime (see KEY MOMENT
below) to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 2-1 win over Phoenix.
“Last year, we were finding ways to win (in overtime)," Tippett said after the game. "I remember a game when (Ed) Jovanovski was in the crease and the puck hit him in the shaft of the stick and the puck went in, and games were just falling our way. This year, the odds seem to be against us. And those are valuable points we're missing out on."
He added, "We've had major hiccups in some games and penalties in some, but others have just been timely goals by the other side.”
The goaltenders stole the show as Buffalo’s Ryan Miller stopped 33 of the 34 shots he faced to pick up his 16th win of the season. Coyotes backup Jason LaBarbera
, who was a late substitute for Ilya Bryzgalov
(flu), turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced in his first start on home ice this season.
Tied 0-0, Phoenix’s Wojtek Wolski
was sent to the penalty box for tripping at the 6:26 mark of the second period. While on the ensuing power play, Buffalo's Jordan Leopold ripped a slap shot past LaBarbera to give the Sabres (18-18-5) a 1-0 lead.
|Photo by Getty Images.
Shortly after that goal, the Coyotes (19-13-9) started to apply more offensive-zone pressure and it paid off at the 12:31 mark of the second period when Scottie Upshall
fired a rebound by Miller to tie the score 1-1.
The Coyotes continued to pressure, launching a total of 18 shots on goal in the second period, but, thanks to Miller, the score remained tied going into the second intermission.
The Coyotes had more opportunities to take the lead in the third period. Leopold was called for hooking with 6:48 left in the period, and defenseman Chris Butler was called for hi-sticking with just 2:36 left in regulation, but the Coyotes were unable to score on either power play.
"We had a couple of plays we could have executed better, but that's kind of the way the game was," Tippett said. "There were shots bouncing around and I thought Miller played very well for them."
Phoenix finished the game 0 for 4 with a man advantage and is 0 for 14 in the past five games.
|Photo by Getty Images.
• The Coyotes officially honored defenseman Ed Jovanovski
before the game for playing in his 1,000th NHL game on Dec. 26. Click here
to watch a video of the pre-game ceremony.
• Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
was supposed to start the game but didn't because of the flu. He dressed as the backup and is expected to play on Monday vs. St. Louis.
• Phoenix dropped to 2-9 in games decided beyond regulation this season - 0-6 in overtime and 2-3 in shootouts.
• The Coyotes have lost five consecutive games to the Sabres.
• Center Martin Hanzal
quietly had a strong game. He finished with four shots on goal, five hits, and two takeaways, and he won 10 of 15 faceoffs.
• Center Kyle Turris
, who suffered an upper-body injury in Tuesday's 4-2 win over Columbus, returned to the lineup after missing Thursday's game at Colorado.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette
and David Schlemko
. Both players are healthy.
• The Coyotes' next game is Monday vs. St. Louis at the Scottrade Center. The puck drops at 7 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).