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Amonte scores first goal for Coyotes

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -- Tony Amonte and Sean Burke finally have
something positive to show for the season.

Amonte scored his first goal for Phoenix and Burke made 28 saves
for his first victory of the season as the Coyotes beat Buffalo 3-2
on Saturday night to snap a two-game losing streak.

Amonte broke a 1-1 tie at 5:10 of the third period. His shot
deflected off Buffalo's Denis Hamel and past goalie Mika Noronen.

''I had a couple of good chances early, including a one-timer in
the slot,'' Amonte said. ''It didn't seem like the good ones were
going in. I'm just glad my first was the one that got us going.''

Amonte signed a four-year, $26 million free-agent contract with
Phoenix in July after scoring 27 goals last season for Chicago.

''I wasn't worried at all. I talked to (Coyotes GM) Mike Barnett
this morning and he wasn't worried either. You know it's coming and
the points will be there.''

Daymond Langkow and Mike Johnson also scored for the Coyotes.
Chris Gratton and Taylor Pyatt scored for Buffalo.

Phoenix, playing its fourth road game in six nights, came out
flat for the first two periods. It took a crucial 5-on-3 penalty
kill at the start of third to get the Coyotes going. Amonte's goal
came just 31 seconds after the Coyotes were back at full strength.

''I like to call it situational awareness where you have to know
when the important shifts are,'' Phoenix coach Bob Francis said.
''It's usually the first and last shifts of each period, the shifts
right after a goal is scored for and against, and the shifts after
special teams.''

Gratton continued his good start for the Sabres, picking up his
third goal at 8:37 of the first period. Pyatt started the play with
some hard work along the boards before hitting Miroslav Satan with
a cross-ice pass. Satan passed to Gratton, who banged a one-timer
past Burke.

The Coyotes drew even with 3:15 left in the second period when
Langkow scored on a power play. Noronen made the initial save on
Johnson, but Langkow put in the rebound.

Johnson made it 3-1 midway through the final period when he
fired a wrist shot to the top corner.

Noronen looked sharp, turning aside 27 shots in his first start
for Buffalo. He admitted he completely misplayed Johnson's goal.

''I was reading pass and I was mistaken,'' Noronen said. ''I
should have played the puck. (Jason) Woolley played it great. He
did his job, I didn't do mine.''

Pyatt pulled the Sabres within a goal with 4:25 to go, but
Coyotes' forward Shane Doan did a tremendous job of forechecking in
the final minute to preserve the win.

Woolley picked up an uncharacteristic 19 minutes in penalties,
including 17 in a first-period fight with Langkow. Woolley only had
34 penalty minutes in 59 games last season.

Game notes
Buffalo recalled Hamel from Rochester of the AHL to replace
Jochen Hecht, who injured his knee Thursday night against the New
York Rangers. Sabres' coach Lindy Ruff said Hecht is expected to be
out for at least one week. ... Amonte has played an NHL-best 416
consecutive games. He last missed a game on April 13, 1997. ...
Buffalo defensemen Dmitri Kalinin and Brian Campbell were healthy
scratches for the fifth game in a row.