Coyotes 4, Sabres 2
BUFFALO -- Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette is better known for his Twitter account than his scoring ability. He sure picked a perfect time to score his first goal of the season.
Bissonnette, playing in front of his mother for the first time as an NHL player, scored a key goal in the Coyotes' 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday night at First Niagara Center.
Bissonnette turned a rebound into a goal to give Phoenix a 3-2 lead with 10:19 left in the second period (see KEY MOMENT below). The goal came just 66 seconds after teammate Radim Vrbata tied the score with a wrist shot from the left circle.
With the win, the Coyotes (10-5-3) snapped a five-game losing streak vs. Buffalo dating to 2008.
Vrbata added an empty-net goal with 1:11 to play, and Shane Doan also scored for Phoenix.
Mike Smith made 43 saves for the Coyotes but only faced 15 shots after Bissonnette's goal.
Luke Adam and Patrick Kaleta scored for Buffalo (12-8-0), which has lost two of its last three games while goaltender Ryan Miller is sidelined with a concussion. Jhonas Enroth, fresh from a 34-save shutout on Friday at Carolina, made 25 stops in his fourth straight start since Miller's injury.
|Photo by Getty Images
Doan opened the scoring seven minutes in, connecting on a slap shot from above the right circle.
Adam tied the score five minutes later, winning a faceoff and then tipping in a point shot by Jordan Leopold.
Kaleta provided Buffalo with its only lead in the opening minute of the second period, batting in a rebound.
After Vrbata and Bissonnette posted their goals, Buffalo was unable to regain momentum.
"That's when the game turned," Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said. "They pushed hard early, but when we got those two quick ones that was the push back we needed. We carried play from the second half of the second period."
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com compiled this recap.
Coyotes Forward Paul Bissonnette
, who was a healthy scratch for seven straight games before this game, scored his first goal of the season at 9:41 of the second period.
The goal, which put Phoenix ahead 3-2, turned out to be the game-winner.
) put a shot on the pad and it kicked out right to me," Bissonnette said. "I just tried to get it on net and luckily it went through the wickets."
Bissonnette, who grew up in nearby Welland, Ontario, had many friends and family members in the crowd, including his mom who was watching him play in an NHL game for the first time. Bissonnette said his mother, Yolande, has been ill the last two years. She sat along the glass with his grandparents.
"My grandpa can't hear very much, so to get him out of the house to do anything is special," he said. "It's a good day."
About 50 more family and friends bought their own tickets and gave Bissonnette a rousing cheer when he paid a postgame visit to the stands.
As for his Twitter account, which has over 172,000 followers, Bissonnette cracked: "It's probably blowing up big time."
► Click here
to watch the KEY MOMENT
• Forward Radim Vrbata
has three two-goal games so far in 2011-12 and has scored a team-high eight goals.
• Captain Shane Doan
's goal at 7:09 of the first period was the 750th point of his NHL career.
• Forward Taylor Pyatt
, who logged 230 games for the Sabres from 2001-06, played in his 700th NHL game. He took a team-high five shots on goal.
• From the NHL re: Luke Adam's goal in the first period: "At 11:57 of the first period in the Coyotes/Sabres game, video review upheld the referee's call on the ice that Buffalo forward Luke Adam deflected the puck into the net with his stick below the crossbar. According to rule 60.5 "If the puck makes contact with the stick below the level of the crossbar and enters the goal, this goal shall be allowed."
• The Coyotes were 0 for 2 on power plays. Phoenix has scored just one power-play goal in its past 21 tries over the last nine games.
• Defenseman Keith Yandle
, who was held to zero points in the first three games of this lengthy trip, notched two assists. It was his fourth multi-point game of the season.
• The Coyotes played minus center Daymond Langkow
for a fifth straight game. Langkow has been granted a leave of absence from the team because of a death in his family.
• The Coyotes scratched Daymond Langkow
and Patrick O'Sullivan
• The Coyotes' next game is Monday vs. Washington at the Verizon Center. The puck drops at 5 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be seen on Fox Sports Arizona and can be heard on Money Radio 1510 (AM).
||"It feels good... especially to share it with family. It's a pretty special thing. I had a lot of friends here, too. I'm just happy the boys battled hard and ended up pulling out the win."
||"We didn't play exactly the way we wanted but when it really mattered we found ways to score goals... That was really the difference."
||"We missed too many opportunities. Point blank. We missed empty nets. We hit a few posts. It isn't good enough. If you want to win a game and come out with that much energy, you have to put those chances away."
|Three star selections