Final

Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: Saturday, October 19th
Coyotes3Final
Sabres2
Game 2: Saturday, January 18th
Sabres1Final
Coyotes0

Coyotes 3

(2-4-0, 4 pts)

Sabres 2

(2-2-0, 5 pts)

7:00 PM ET, October 19, 2002

First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

1 2 3 T
ARI 0 1 23
BUF 1 0 12

D. Langkow (Coyotes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

C. Gratton (Sabres - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

S. Burke (Coyotes - G): Saves: 28, Save Pct.: .933

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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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