Dave Vest | Anthony Perez GLENDALE - 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.
After taking a pass from teammate Jordan Leopold, Buffalo's Drew Stafford used Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski as a screen and fired a wrist shot past goalie Jason LaBarbera from the right circle to win the game with 1:48 left in overtime.
• 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).
"I didn’t know (Ilya Bryzgalov was out of the lineup) until right before our meeting at 4:30, and that’s about 40 minutes before warmups. It’s funny, you come to the rink and you have to do a complete 180. I thought I could hang out and relax a little bit, but that wasn’t the case."
"I thought there was great goaltending tonight; that was a highlight of the evening. Both (Ryan) Miller and (Jason) LaBarbera were spectacular. He (LaBarbera) didn’t even know he was playing until before the game today, so great job by both those guys."
"I was just trying to get a screen shot through. I didn’t really see the goalie at all. I was trying to shoot it through a hole (and) get it on net, and it happened to sneak in. It feels pretty good. We had a couple good chances at the end of the third there, so it feels good."
• Jan. 8, 2011: BUF 2, PHX 1 (OT)
1 - 0 BUF