Sports Outside the Beltway

Coming apart?- Buffalo routs Phoenix 7-2

The Sabres have beaten the Coyotes the last four times the teams have met. From AP-

Jason Pominville scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season and the Buffalo Sabres routed the Phoenix Coyotes 7-2 on Monday night to move into a tie with Washington atop the Eastern Conference standings.Buff-Phe

Thomas Vanek had a goal and two assists as the Sabres improved to 8-0-3 in their last 11 games, 2-0-1 on their season-high, seven-game road trip.

The Sabres scored three goals on 13 shots before Phoenix coach Dave Tippett lifted goalie Ilya Bryzgalov 4:01 into the second period. Bryzgalov has allowed 26 goals in his last seven starts.

Buffalo and Washington each have 66 points, but the Sabres have played one fewer game.

It was a season high in goals scored for Buffalo and allowed by Phoenix.


The Coyotes had only four shots in the first period.

Butler’s shot dribbled off Bryzgalov into the net 2:24 into the second period. The shot from the middle of the left circle came after a brilliant pass from Vanek, who spun around and with his back to the net sent the puck across the ice to Butler.

A few weeks ago, I was pessimistic about Phoenix staying in the Western Conference playoff picture. I know better than to read too much into short streaks of games, but Bryzgalov’s play of late is troubling. Phoenix doesn’t have a chance unless this Goalie overacheives like he did early in the season.

Note- The Coyotes are in 5th place in the Western Conference. It is hardly panic time for the team’s fans.

On the other hand, Buffalo is riding Goalie Ryan Miller to the top in the East. Miller’s Goal against average is 2.01 and he has a .936 save percentage. No individual Sabre scares you offensively, but almost make good contributions. Other than Miller, Buffalo has no stars. If Washington doesn’t win the Eastern Conference, Buffalo would be my next choice.

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