|PHX||0||2||1||(0 - 0)||3|
|BUF||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Branko Radivojevic just may have a new nickname after scoring another clutch goal for the Phoenix Coyotes.
Radivojevic scored with 4:03 remaining and Brian Boucher made 34 saves to help lift the Coyotes to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
The Coyotes, who have struggled all season on the road, almost let the game slip away after Buffalo's Daniel Briere tied the score at 2 with a power play goal at 11:52 of the third.
But Radivojevic was able to put home a rebound past goaltender Mika Noronen after a shot from the center of the blue line by Paul Mara just over four minutes later.
"I just went to the net," said Radivojevic, who also added an assist. "We're just trying to keep it simple."
Radivojevic scored his second game-winning goal and sixth overall of the season.
"I'm going to have to start to call him 'money' for all the big goals he's scored for us," Phoenix coach Bob Francis said. "It's uncanny how many big goals he has scored."
Of Radivojevic's 22 career goals, six have been game-winners.
"I don't think so," Radivojevic said regarding his proposed nickname. "It's a team game and we have to keep going. Tomorrow's a new day."
David Tanabe and Chris Gratton also scored for the Coyotes, who are unbeaten in their last four (3-0-1).
J.P. Dumont and Briere each scored their ninth goal of the season for Buffalo.
"It's frustrating losing a game by giving up a goal with less than five minutes left," Briere said.
The loss snapped the Sabres three-game home winning streak and dropped them to 3-4 in their last seven games.
Following Briere's goal, the stage was set for Radivojevic's dramatics.
Playing four-on-four, a delayed penalty was called on Buffalo, giving the Coyotes a short man advantage after Boucher went to the bench for an extra attacker. Shane Doan skated along the left boards and slid the puck to Mara, who was standing just inside the blue line.
Mara's shot was fluttering by the time it hit Noronen high in the chest. The puck bounced to Radivojevic, who was standing alone to the left of Noronen when he slapped the puck into the open net.
"You battle back and tie up the game and end up losing," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "There should be a lot of disappointment and frustration."
Gratton, who was acquired from the Sabres in exchange for Briere prior to the trade deadline in March, scored his fifth goal of the year in the second period, just 1:15 after Dumont tied the score at 1.
Taking a pass from Radivojevic, Gratton let go a quick wrist shot from the left circle that beat Noronen high to the stick side.
"It's just nice to score a goal, it doesn't matter who you are playing against," said Gratton, who has scored in three straight games. "I was just trying to get a good shot off and on the net."
Phoenix won for the second straight time on the road but are still just 2-5-5-1 away from home since winning its first two road games of the season.
"I think we're playing a full 60 minutes now," said Doan, who has eight points during a five-game point streak. "Early on in the season we weren't."
Tanabe opened the scoring at 3:55 of the second with his second goal in as many games and fourth of the year.
Dumont tied it with less than seven minutes remaining in the period, beating Boucher with a hard shot from the top of the left circle.
The Sabres were looking for their first three-game winning streak since Oct. 23-26.
Boucher was making just his fourth start of the season and first since a 1-0 loss at Atlanta on Nov. 23. Boucher improved his career mark against Buffalo to 2-4.
"It felt good tonight," Boucher said. "I felt strong and we played a good, solid road game."
Noronen finished with 28 saves.
|David Tanabe (4) Snap shot - ASST: Mike Sillinger (4), Shane Doan (15)|
1 - 0 PHX
|J-P Dumont (9) Slapshot - ASST: Jochen Hecht (3)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Chris Gratton (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Branko Radivojevic (4), Brian Savage (4)|
2 - 1 PHX
|PPG - Daniel Briere (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Jochen Hecht (4), J-P Dumont (13)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Branko Radivojevic (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Paul Mara (13), Shane Doan (16)|
3 - 2 PHX
|Daniel Cleary Hooking against J-P Dumont|
|Andrei Nazarov Instigator against Andrew Peters|
|Andrei Nazarov Fighting (maj) against Andrew Peters|
|Andrei Nazarov Game misconduct against Andrew Peters|
|Andrei Nazarov Instigator - Misconduct against Andrew Peters|
|Cale Hulse Slashing against Jochen Hecht|
|Jochen Hecht Slashing against Cale Hulse|
|Jochen Hecht Tripping against Radoslav Suchy|
|Matthew Spiller Fighting (maj) against Adam Mair|
|Matthew Spiller Slashing against Adam Mair|
|Adam Mair Fighting (maj) against Matthew Spiller|
|Adam Mair Slashing against Matthew Spiller|
|Ossi Vaananen Hi-sticking against Daniel Briere|
|Brian Savage Too many men/ice - bench|
|Adam Mair Cross checking against Ladislav Nagy|
|Curtis Brown Holding against Shane Doan|
|Dmitri Kalinin Hooking against Brian Savage|
|Matthew Spiller Holding against Jochen Hecht|
|J-P Dumont Roughing against Chris Gratton|
|Chris Gratton Roughing against J-P Dumont|