For the fourth time in six home games, 60 minutes wasn't enough for the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo was able to win the first three in either overtime or the shootout, but on Monday night at KeyBank Center, the Arizona Coyotes came away with two points.
The Sabres fell 3-2 in the shootout to Arizona and are now 5-0-1 on home ice to start the season.
Captain Jack Eichel, celebrating his 23rd birthday, scored while Jeff Skinner recorded a goal and an assist. Carter Hutton made 42 saves in net.
Even with the loss, the Sabres ended up with one of their most successul Octobers in team history.
How it happened
Buffalo got on the board right away on the strength of its power play. At the 3:31 mark of the first period, and 3 seconds into Buffalo's first man advantage, Eichel netted a wrist shot top corner for his seventh goal of the year.
The goal moved Eichel into a tie for the NHL lead with nine power-play points this season (4+5).
Eichel has totaled 12 points (4+8) in nine career games against Arizona, including six points (2+4) in five home games. It's his second-best per-game output against any opponent, trailing only his 19 points in 13 career meetings with the Ottawa Senators.
Skinner made it 2-0 with a pretty passing play with Marcus Johnasson with 8:44 remaining in the opening period.
Jeff Skinner has totaled 10 points (5+5) in his last eight games against the Coyotes, including points in each of the last four (5+3).
With 1:10 to play in the first, Connor Garland found daylight on the short side to beat Hutton and make it a 2-1 game. Garland leads the Coyotes with six goals.
Buffalo controlled play for long stretches of the second period, but couldn't beat Darcy Kuemper. Arizona ended up scoring with 3:28 left to tie the game thanks to a strange bounce. Carl Soderberg was credited with the marker.
The two teams were calculated in overtime with Arizona registering the only shot on goal. The Sabre hit the crossbar twice. First, Sam Reinhart cranked one off the pipe 14 seconds in and then with about 38 seconds to go, Casey Mittelstadt hit iron. Mittelstadt also had another chance in tight with less than 5 seconds remaining.
Nick Schmaltz scored the only goal in the shootut.
What it means
The Sabres wrap up the month of October with 20 points and a record of 9-2-2. They entered the game with the second-highest point total in the opening month of a season in franchise history and fall one point shy of the team record: 21 points in October 2006 (10-0-1).
Eichel has found some early success at KeyBank Center. He's recorded 14 of his 17 points (6+8) in six home games this season.
Skinner's goal was his seventh of the season and he's scored all seven at even strength. He's tied for second in the NHL in even-strength goals.
Roll the highlight film
Skinner's goal is worth a second look:
Video: ARI@BUF: Skinner nets one-timer off Johansson's feed
Buffalo heads to Washington for a game on Friday against the Captials.
Then they're back home on Saturday for '70s Night against the Islanders. After that, they're off to Sweden to play the Tampa Bay Lightning for two games in the NHL Global Series on Nov. 8 and 9.