The Buffalo Sabres are the lowest-scoring team in the NHL, but they beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 Monday night after two empty-net goals in the final two minutes.
Mike Smith stopped 32 shots and Connor Murphy put one in for the Coyotes, but the Sabres broke a five-game losing streak in Glendale — and handed Arizona its eighth home loss in a row.
According to reports, it was a strange atmosphere. Some fans in attendance taped pictures of the opposing team’s logo over their own team sweaters, making it obvious they were rooting for “the tank” over the win.
It wasn’t much better in the first battle for last place according to the Associated Press, when the Coyotes played the Sabres last week:
“Sabres fans made it clear that their team has the best chance to draft Connor McDavid, considered one of the top prospects in years, booing when Buffalo scored, cheering when the Coyotes won in overtime.
The Sabres called it a low point in a difficult season, almost at a loss for words at their fans’ lack of support as the team tries to finish on some kind of positive note.”
Coyotes fans did not follow Buffalo’s lead.
What were the numbers?
The game was Coyotes captain Shane Doan’s 1,390th of his career.
Arizona is just one home loss away from tying a franchise home-losing-streak record set earlier this season.
Buffalo peppered Smith in the first two periods with 31 combined shots on goal to Arizona’s 18.
The Sabres would ultimately outshoot the Coyotes 36-29.
Perhaps the most frustrating part of the night for the Coyotes were the two goals scored in the final minutes despite Arizona’s 5-4 power play advantage.
This is the fifth straight victory in Glendale, Ariz. for the Sabres.