Vrbata's late goal lifts Coyotes past SabresPosted: Updated:
Radim Vrbata scored with 18.9 seconds left to cap a three-goal third period and lift the Arizona Coyotes over the Buffalo Sabres 3-2 on Sunday night.
Vrbata took a pass from Alex Goligoski to the left of the Buffalo net, skated halfway between the blue line and the left faceoff circle, hesitated for a second and fired a shot through traffic and past goaltender Anders Nilsson.
Vrbata also had an assist, and Max Domi and Jamie McGinn also scored for the trade-depleted Coyotes, who snapped a two-game skid. Louis Domingue made 31 saves.
Jack Eichel had a goal and an assist, and Evan Rodrigues also scored for the Sabres, who have lost three straight. Nilsson stopped 26 shots.
Less than two hours before the game, the Coyotes traded their leading scorer, center Martin Hanzal, along with center Ryan White and a 2017 fourth-round draft pick to Minnesota for the Wild's first-round pick this June, a second-round pick next year, a 2019 conditional pick and a minor leaguer.
Buffalo dominated the action over the first two periods.
Eichel opened the scoring at 18:01 of the first period, carrying the puck through center ice into the Arizona zone, stopping at the top of the left faceoff circle and beating Domingue with a hard wrist shot.
Rodrigues made it 2-0 at 9:53 of the second, taking a pass from Jake McCabe between the circles and scoring to cap a 3-on-1 break. Eichel, who had just served a two-minute minor for high sticking, started the break moments after stepping out of the penalty box. Rodrigues got his second career goal a night earlier against Colorado.
Domi cut the lead to 2-1 with 13:18 left, pouncing on an errant clearing pass that bounced off Vrbata, turning and one-timing the puck between Nillson's pads.
Arizona tied the game with 6:19 to go. Joe Jooris centered the puck from the right side of the net and it rolled untouched through the crease to the waiting stick of McGinn on the left doorstep for his first goal in 14 games.
NOTES: Hanzal, who had a team-best 16 goals this season, leaves the Coyotes ranking third on the franchise's lists in games played (608) and fifth in goals (117), assists (196) and points (313). White had seven goals, six points and 70 penalty minutes in 46 games. "This was the best deal out there on the market for Martin Hanzal," Arizona general manager John Chayka said. "The facts are the facts. He's a 30-year-old (unrestricted free agent) and we're 29th in the league right now." ... Eichel extended his point scoring streak to six games. ... Vrbata's assist extended his point streak to nine games, the longest active streak in the league. His goal also was his 600th career point. ... McGinn's goal was the 100th of his career.
Sabres: Host Nashville on Tuesday night.
Coyotes: Begin a three-game trip at Boston on Tuesday night.
© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.