Sabres top Coyotes in shootout, 2-1

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Buffalo Sabres goalie Dustin Tokarski (31) celebrates a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes following a shootout in an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Three periods and overtime weren’t enough to decide Saturday’s matchup between the Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes. They were able to beat the visiting Coyotes in a shootout, scoring 2-1 to take their second victory of the season.

It wasn’t a perfect offensive performance, as the Sabres missed several opportunities to get one past the rookie goaltender Karel Vejmelka, but they held strong on the other end by only allowing one goal in regulation.

“We had great momentum,” defenseman Rasmus Dahlin said. “The only thing that was missing were the goals, but we worked hard and we did everything we could and we got two points so that’s all that matters right?”

Arizona scored first on Andrew Ladd’s goal late in the opening period. The Sabres responded early in the second period when Cody Eakin netted a power play goal, evening the score at 1-1.

“For the most part we played a pretty solid game,” Eakins aid. “There was a stretch there in a second where we had some tired D, the tide turned a little bit. We had a tired D and trid to make a couple of cross-ice passes and ended up in penalties and stuff but other than that I thought it was good we stuck to our disciplined game and at the end of the day got the two points.”

The 1-1 tie remained in the third, and they went to overtime. Neither team scored in the five-minute OT despite the fact that the Sabres once again had multiple chances to score. Buffalo won the shootout 2-1 to ultimately take the win.

Despite the difficulty they had on offense, they were able to keep their composure. Don Granato talked about avoiding the frustration.

“You definitely want your guys to score when you see effort like that, when you see them making plays, but you just got to stay on it,” Granato said. “Just can’t get frustrated and that’s what we talked about after the second, no frustration play.”

Dustin Tokarski had a solid game as well, stopping 32 of the 33 shots he saw, and also held strong in two of the three shootout attempts from Arizona.

“The team was just outstanding all night,” Tokarski said. “Didn’t give up much, had a ton of chances. [Arizona’s] goalie played awesome and made it a closer game than it maybe should have been but that’s hockey and still found a way and got it in a shoot out.”

The Sabres are 2-0-0 for just the fourth time in the last decade. Up next they face the Vancouver Canucks at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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