GLENDALE – Louis Domingue returned to the Coyotes net after a one-game rest and stopped 26 of 28 shots in a 2-1 defeat to the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night at Gila River Arena.
For Domingue, it was his first regulation loss in 11 starts this season. His record is 7-1-3.
“I felt good going into the game and all the way throughout the end,” Domingue said. “I wish the result were different, but all in all I felt good out there.”
Both of Buffalo’s goals were power-play goals and the second came when a shot by Buffalo’s Jamie McGinn bounced off one of defenseman Michael Stone’s legs.
• Center Antoine Vermette scored Arizona’s goal at 8:04 of the third period. It ended the team’s scoring drought at 132:06.
“We are a little bit off on our shooting,” Head Coach Dave Tippett said regarding the team’s lack of scoring lately. “Lots of shots are getting blocked. They are tight games. The second half (of the season) gets tighter. People are scrambling for points and we are no different… Tonight I liked the way we pushed in the third. We pushed hard in the third and couldn’t get the equalizer.”
The goal was Vermette’s seventh of the season. He has scored all but one on home ice.
• Shane Doan assisted on Vermette’s goal for his 922nd career point. He is just seven points away from tying Dale Hawerchuk for the franchise record.
• Buffalo scored its first goal just after a 5-on-3 power play expired. The key to the goal was a face-off win by the Sabres in Arizona’s zone after Coyotes center Boyd Gordon was bumped from the circle by the linesman and Stone had to take his place.
“That’s the first faceoff I’ve taken in probably 15 years,” said Stone, who lost the draw.
• The Coyotes were 0 for 5 on the power play, including a 4:00 man advantage in the first period.
“I thought we generated some good chances,” Vermette said. “You want to score every time you go out there, but as a group we look at a few things and we will discuss. We were attacking from on top and those few rebounds were all around there.”
• Defenseman Zbynek Michalek was struck in the face by a puck less than two minutes into the game and needed to be helped off the ice while bleeding profusely. He returned with 6:00 left in the first period sporting multiple stitches above his upper lip.
Michalek played just 9:49 – about seven minutes less than normal.
“His mouth is a mess but he’s OK,” Tippett said. “For ‘Z’, that’s OK.”
• The Coyotes assigned forward Steve Downie to the American Hockey League on Monday. Downie notched three goals and three assists in 25 games with Arizona this season, but he had been a healthy scratch lately.
“Early on he played alright (and) then he got injured, missed some time,” Tippett said. “So it’s kind of been up and down a little bit. He hasn’t played much lately. He needs to get up to speed a little bit. (We) just felt like we need to get him playing a little more.”
• Defenseman Jarred Tinordi skated with his new teammates for the first time on Monday morning but he did not play in Monday’s game.
The Coyotes acquired him on Friday via a trade with the Montreal Canadiens.
“He hasn't skated for a few days so he did some extra work today," Tippett said. "He's a young, big, hard defender that we think there's some upside on. Hopefully the change of scenery helps him and we can get him up and going.”