Sabres snap four game skid with 6-3 win over Arizona
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Evander Kane scored the go-ahead goal with 5:36 remaining, and the Buffalo Sabres were finally able to preserve a third-period lead in a 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
Ryan O'Reilly had a goal and two assists, including a no-look backhand pass to set up Kane's goal. Marcus Foligno scored twice, including an empty-netter, and Jack Eichel had a goal and two assists in helping Buffalo snap an 0-3-1 skid.
Robin Lehner finished with 19 saves in a game the Sabres outshot Arizona 31-10 through two periods and 41-22 overall. Sam Reinhart capped the scoring with an empty-netter in the final seconds.
Newly acquired forward Teemu Pulkkinen, Tobias Rieder and Alex Goligoski scored for the Coyotes, who lost for the fourth time in five games, and fourth straight on the road. Radim Vrbata had a career-best 10-game point streak end, and Mike Smith stopped 35 shots.
The Sabres were in jeopardy of blowing their third consecutive third period lead before Kane scored his team-leading 23rd of the season.
O'Reilly started the play by bursting over the Coyotes' blue line and driving to the left circle. Faking a shot, he made a behind-the-back pass to Kane, who one-timed the shot from the slot.
Kane's goal was scored a little over six minutes after Goligoski tied the game by threading a shot through a crowd from just inside the blue line.
Buffalo's third-period struggles began with a 3-2 loss at Arizona on Sunday, when Vrbata capped a three-goal third-period surge by scoring with 19 seconds left. The Sabres followed that up by squandering a 4-2 lead in a 5-4 overtime loss to Nashville on Tuesday.
The Sabres built a 3-2 lead on Eichel's power-play goal 11:08 into the second period.
With Arizona's Brendan Perlini serving a tripping penalty, Okposo fanned on his initial shot from the high slot. The puck dribbled onto the stick of teammate Reinhart, who immediately fed a pass to Eichel, who one-timed a shot in from the left circle.
Eichel had set up O'Reilly for a one-timer on a power-play to 57 seconds into the period to put Buffalo ahead 2-1.
The Coyotes got that one back on Rieder's short-handed breakaway goal 68 seconds later. Eichel misplayed the puck in the Coyotes zone, and Rieder cut back O'Reilly along the right boards, cut across the middle and eluded Lehner's diving poke check before wrapping it into the open left side.
Pulkkinen opened the scoring in making his Coyotes debut since being acquired in a trade with Minnesota on Monday. He scored 7:54 in by converting a give-and-go with Max Domi to cap a 2-on-1 break.
Foligno tied it with a short-handed goal 4 minutes later. O'Reilly set it up by beating Coyotes defenders Brendan Perlini and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to the puck along the left boards and feeding a wide-open Foligno in front.
Eichel extended his career-best point streak to eight games, in which he has combined for two goals and nine assists. ... Coyotes C Alexander Burmistrov did not play after being carted off the ice on a stretcher after being leveled by a hit from Bruins defenseman Colin Miller in the second period of Arizona's 4-1 loss at Boston on Tuesday. Burmistrov was briefly hospitalized, but was cleared in time to travel with the team to Buffalo. ... Coyotes LW Anthony Duclair was a healthy scratch after being recalled from the minors, where he spent the past six weeks.
Coyotes: Close three-game road trip at Carolina on Friday.
Sabres: Host Tampa Bay on Saturday.