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Final Look: Coyotes Persevere for Two Points in Buffalo

Arizona overcomes an early deficit to hand Buffalo its first home loss of the season

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES PERSEVERE FOR TWO POINTS IN BUFFALO

For the second straight game, the Coyotes clawed back from a two-goal deficit to earn a win, topping the Buffalo Sabres by a 3-2 score Monday night at KeyBank Center in a tightly contested affair that extended to a shootout.

Triumphant again, Arizona finished its road trip with a 3-1-0 record to earn six of a possible eight points.

The Coyotes handed the Sabres their first loss of the season on home ice; Buffalo entered the night as the NHL's only team to remain unbeaten at home.

The Sabres scored twice in the opening 11:16 of play to build a 2-0 lead.

The first shift in momentum to fall in the Coyotes' favor came during the final moments of the first period, when Conor Garland found the back of the net to score his team-leading sixth goal of the season with 1:10 remaining in the opening frame, slicing Arizona's deficit in half.

Carl Soderberg tied the game, 2-2, with 3:26 remaining in the second period when he redirected a Garland shot that caromed up and over Carter Hutton, netting his third goal of the year.

The Coyotes out-shot the Sabres by a 15-6 count in the third period but were unable to find the go-ahead goal.

Neither team scored in overtime, leading the Coyotes to their first shootout of the season.

Nick Schmaltz was the only player to score in the shootout, doing so in the bottom half of the second round, electing for a snap shot that caromed off the right post and past Hutton.

Darcy Kuemper turned away all three of Buffalo's shootout attempts and made a total of 24 saves to earn his fifth win of the season.

The Coyotes registered 44 shots in the win, a new season-high, surpassing their previous mark of 36 set on October 12 against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Coyotes have now won consecutive contests when trailing by multiple goals for the first time since February 21 & 23, 2012. It is just the third time in franchise history they have done so; the first instance coming on March 18 & 20, 2010.

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TRACKING IT

GAME #11: ARIZONA (3) at BUFFALO (2) F/SO

  • SOG: ARI - 44, BUF - 26
  • PP: ARI - 1/2, BUF - 1/2

ARIZONA SCORING:

BUFFALO SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"A lot of character. Going down two early, especially at the end of the trip, it takes a lot of character to put your heels down and start moving forward. It started shift-by-shift, the forecheck got going, and slowly we took over the game."

Darcy Kuemper, on what drove the team's comeback victory

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes trailing 2-0 with 1:10 to play in the first period.

For the second straight game, the Coyotes struck to score a big goal in the waning moments of the first period while trailing by two goals.

With just over a minute remaining in the opening frame, Oliver Ekman-Larsson held the zone, chipped to Barrett Hayton , who then found Conor Garland down low. From a difficult angle, Garland banked a shot off of Carter Hutton's pads and into the net.

Garland's goal got the Coyotes to within one at the first intermission, providing a huge shift in momentum heading into the second period.

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes trailing 2-1 with 8:49 to play in the second period.

Like he's done on so many occasions this year, Darcy Kuemper came up with a game-saving stop to keep the Coyotes to within a goal, denying Johan Larsson's point-blank back-door bid with 8:49 to play in the second period.

Quick to react upon being forced into a trying situation following a Coyotes turnover, Kuemper stayed square to a threatening Kyle Okposo, forcing the Sabres forward to pass.

Kuemper kept the Coyotes' deficit at one with his right pad save, and though he was shaken up following the play, he remained perfect throughout the remainder of the game.

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PHOTO FINISH

The puck from Nick Schmaltz's shot in the bottom half of the second round of the shootout clears past Carter Hutton and the goal-line en route to the back of the net after deflecting off the right post. (Photo: Bill Wippert / Getty Images)

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