By Dave Vest BUFFALO -- The Coyotes will attempt to stay unbeaten tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at the HSBC Arena. The puck drops at 4 p.m. (Arizona time).
Phoenix has started the season 2-0-0. Its most recent victory came Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Ilya Bryzgalov made 24 saves to key a 3-0 triumph.
"When you win you feel great about yourself and you want to play again (right away)," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said Thursday morning. "After last night's win we want to play again and keep playing. It's one of those things where we want to see if we can do some things better. ... Our PK was able to not get scored on, but we gave (Pittsburgh) a lot of good chances. We can't afford to do that, especially tonight."
Backup goalie Jason LaBarbera will make his Coyotes debut against the Sabres.
Tonight’s game will be only Buffalo’s second game of the season. The Sabres lost, 2-1, to Montreal in overtime at home on Oct. 3, despite dominating play and outshooting the Canadiens, 35-17.
The Coyotes and Sabres played twice last season. Buffalo won both games. They will play twice this season, too. The rematch is Jan. 18 at Jobing.com Arena.
The Sabres won both meetings last season by a 7-1 margin, with forward Tim Connolly notching three goals and two assists.
Coyotes forward Radim Vrbata assisted on Petr Prucha's power-play goal and scored an empty-netter vs. Pittsburgh to give him four points after two games.
Sabres forward Thomas Vanek didn't score in the season-opening loss to Montreal, but he had three goals in the preseason, including two on power plays.
• LaBarbera will be making his first start in goal for Phoenix since signing with the Coyotes as an unrestricted free agent in the off-season. LaBarbera is 37-44-10 in his NHL career. After signing him, General Manager Don Maloney said he expected LaBarbera to play between 20-25 games this season.
• Coyotes captain Shane Doan, and forwards Scottie Upshall and Matthew Lombardi all played for Sabres Head Coach Lindy Ruff for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championship in Switzerland last May. Canada won the silver medal.
• The Coyotes are looking to start a season 3-0-0 for the first time since they did it in 2003-04. They also did it in 1987-88 when they were the Winnipeg Jets.
"It's important for us to stay focused and come out with a good start and continue to get pucks deep and penetrate their defense."