ARIZONA COYOTES

Coyotes defeat Sabres in 2nd-straight shutout victory

Dec 16, 2023, 9:34 PM | Updated: 10:34 pm

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka...

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, bottom left, makes a diving save on a shot by Buffalo Sabres right wing Tage Thompson (72) as Coyotes center Logan Cooley (92) and left wing Matias Maccelli (63) arrive to help during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

TEMPE (AP) — Karel Vejmelka had 28 saves for his first shutout of the season, Clayton Keller scored his 10th goal of the year and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Saturday night.

Arizona has won two straight after losing four in a row. The Coyotes also got a bit of revenge after falling to the Sabres 5-2 on Monday in Buffalo.

It was Vejmelka’s first win since Oct. 21 and he improved to 3-7-2 for the season.

“Obviously, it was kind of tough for me, especially mentally,” Vejmelka said. “I tried to stay positive and stay sharp, but it wasn’t easy. It’s part of the game. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

“This feeling is amazing for me right now.”

Keller opened the scoring with 4:48 left in the second period. Alex Kerfoot stole the puck from Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen behind the net and fed Keller for the goal. It was Kerfoot’s 14th assist.

“It was great awareness by him,” Keller said of Kerfoot. “I saw him press on one side and I tried to stay patient, put a little pressure on the other guy. He stripped (the goalie), hit me right on the tape. Those are the ones you like to score.”

The Sabres were dominating the second period until Luukkonen’s costly mistake and never recovered. Vejmelka made two impressive short-handed saves late in the second to keep the Coyotes ahead.

It was the goalie’s fifth shutout of his NHL career and first since Jan. 26 of last season.

“He’s a proud athlete and you want to get on a good stretch,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said of Vejmelka. “That’s a step in the right direction.”

Liam O’Brien made it 2-0 with 10:24 left in the third, scoring his third goal of the season on a breakaway, going high to get the puck past Luukkonen, who finished with 21 saves.

Buffalo killed one penalty in a scoreless first period and outshot Arizona 10-9.

Both teams were playing their second game in two nights, with both winning on Friday. The Coyotes edged the Sharks 1-0 while the Sabres beat the Golden Knights 5-2.

Vejmelka and Connor Ingram accomplished a rare feat in franchise history with their shutouts.

The Coyotes host the Senators on Tuesday.

Arizona Coyotes

Arizona Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny...

Vincent DeAngelis

Tourigny: Coyotes must focus amidst losing streak, doubts over future arena

Arizona Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny spoke about the Coyotes' 10-game losing streak and how future arena plans are a "distraction"

18 hours ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Arizona Coyotes’ André Tourigny on rebuilding, distractions caused by comments on future arena

Arizona Coyotes head coach André Tourigny join Dan Bickley and Vince Marotta in studio for the first day of Newsmakers Week and reflected on the current state of the team, urgency to rebuild and distractions caused by comments on the future arena. Video: Felisa Cárdenas and Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports Photo: Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports

1 day ago

Nick Bjugstad #17 of the Arizona Coyotes shoots to score a goal past Mattias Ekholm #14 of the Edmo...

Tom Kuebel

Lapses in the 3rd period doom the Coyotes in loss to Oilers

The Arizona Coyotes allowed four Edmonton Oilers goals in the third period to squander a chance at snapping their 10-game losing streak.

2 days ago

Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba...

Associated Press

Coyotes surrender go-ahead goal in 3rd period vs. Avalanche to drop 9th straight game

Lawson Crouse and Logan Cooley scored, but the Arizona Coyotes dropped their ninth straight game Sunday at the Avalanche.

3 days ago

Karel Vejmelka...

Alex Weiner

Coyotes’ spiral reaches 8 games with loss to Hurricanes: ‘We need to be more detailed’

Missed chances and a costly turnover doomed the Coyotes to their eighth consecutive loss on Friday at Mullett Arena. 

5 days ago

Logan Cooley #92 of the Arizona Coyotes celebrates a goal against the Minnesota Wild during the thi...

David Veenstra

Arizona Coyotes launch ‘Coyotes Central’ streaming package for local residents

The Arizona Coyotes launched a new streaming package called Coyotes Central for Arizona residents on Friday.

5 days ago

Coyotes defeat Sabres in 2nd-straight shutout victory