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
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
"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
"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
"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.
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
"It felt good tonight," Boucher said. "I felt strong and we played a
good, solid road game."
Noronen finished with 28 saves.