Quick Hits: Coyotes 3, Sabres 2 - The Buffalo News

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Quick Hits: Coyotes 3, Sabres 2

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Valley of the Sun, always a home away from home, turned sour for the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.

The Arizona Coyotes got three goals in the third period to wipe out a 2-0 deficit, including Radim Vrbata's slapshot with 18.9 seconds left, to stun Buffalo, 3-2, in Gila River Arena.

Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist as Buffalo built a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes but the lead didn't hold up.

Buffalo fell to to 10-2-1 in its last 13 games against Arizona, including 5-1-1 since the start of the 2013-14 season.

Back to backs: The Sabres are 6-4-2 in the first set of back-to-back games and fell to 4-7-1 in the second set. They have wrapped up 12 of their NHL-high 19 sets.

Tough third period: The Sabres took a 2-0 lead into the third period and watched it go away on goals by Max Domi and Jamie McGinn, the former Buffalo winger. McGinn got the 100th goal of his career with 6:19 to play to forge a 2-2 tie.

Road is taken: While goalie Anders Nilsson has been excellent at home (7-1-1, 2.07/.941), he's been struggling on the road all season (2-6-3, 3.20/.904) and had gone 0-4-1 in his last five. His last win on the road was Jan. 3 against the New York Rangers. Perhaps his best save came in the first 90 seconds as Domi sped around Rasmus Ristolainen and got in alone, only to be turned away by the Buffalo goalie.

Domi's revenge: Domi got the Coyotes on the board at 6:42 of the third period, taking the puck from Ristolainen and beating Nilsson with a spinning wrist shot on the glove side.

Opening the scoring: Eichel did the honors at 18:01 of the first period with a wicked wrist shot past Arizona backup goalie Louis Domingue. It was Eichel's first goal in eight games.

Taking control: Eichel took a high-sticking penalty at 7:37 of the second period but was in perfect position to come out of the penalty box and set up a 4-on-2 break. Eichel fed Jake McCabe, who passed to Evan Rodrigues in the slot. Rodrigues, Eichel's former college teammate at Boston University, made no mistake and netted his second of the year.

Fourth-line forays: Rodrigues scored goals in back-to-back games for the first time in his NHL career. The line of Rodrigues between Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis had several shifts of sustained offensive pressure Saturday in Colorado and kept the puck moving again Sunday.

"It's what we need from everybody in our lineup if we're going to win hockey games," coach Dn Bylsma said before the game. "And they gave us those chances."

Sealing the deal: The Sabres were 15-0-4 when leading after two periods, so this was their first regulation loss of the season in that spot. Arizona is just 4-25-1 when trailing after two.

Up next: The Sabres made the long cross-country trek home immediately after the game and will host Nashville Tuesday night in KeyBank Center. It will be the final game before Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.

 

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