Vejmelka sharp in goal, Coyotes beat Sabres 4-1

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Karel Vejmelka made 32 saves to lead the Arizona Coyotes to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

Lawson Crouse, Matias Maccelli, Clayton Keller and Liam O’Brien scored for Arizona.

Tage Thompson scored for Buffalo. Eric Comrie made 20 saves.

Crouse opened the scoring just 23 seconds into the game following a mix-up by Buffalo defensemen Kale Clague and Owen Power. Maccelli quickly found Crouse for an easy goal from short range.

Thompson put Buffalo on the board with a power-play goal with 5:34 left in the first. Inside the left circle, Thompson cut further inside before ripping a shot high into the far corner. It was his eighth goal of the season.

Maccelli was credited with Arizona’s second goal with 3:30 left in the first after his pass ricocheted off Sabres center Dylan Cozens’ skate into the Buffalo net.

Arizona took a 3-1 lead 2:24 into the third off another deflection off Cozens. O’Brien’s long shot from the point was deflected by the Sabres center on its way to the net.

Vejmelka’s best save of the night came with 3:22 left when he stopped Buffalo’s Rasmus Asplund from close range.

Keller added an empty-net goal with 2:10 remaining.


There was a 20-minute delay before the start of the third period due to a Zamboni malfunction. The Sabres kept the hometown crowd engaged by playing music and showing dancing fans on the Jumbotron. One of the loudest ovations of the entire evening came when the Sabres showed Buffalo Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins on the Jumbotron during the delay.


Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin returned after missing one game with an upper-body injury. The Sabres are beginning to get healthier on the blue line; Ilya Lyubushkin returned on Saturday after missing four games.


This was the second game in a 14-game road trip for the Coyotes. They opened the long trip with a 3-2 win over Washington on Saturday. Their next home game isn’t until Dec. 9 against Boston.


Coyotes: At the New York Islanders on Thursday.

Sabres: Former Sabres captain Jack Eichel and the Las Vegas Golden Knights come to Buffalo on Thursday.

Mark Ludwiczak, The Associated Press