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Buffalo Sabres Earn Early Christmas Present Against Phoenix Coyotes

December 23rd, 2013 at 10:31 PM
By Anthony Custode Jr

In a game that featured two controversial goals and plenty of tough calls, the Buffalo Sabres edged the Phoenix Coyotes 2-1 in overtime in front of a buzzing crowd at the First Niagara Center.

'086-001 / Ryan Miller' photo (c) 2012, grilled cheese - license:

The Sabres fell behind early in the second period when Martin Hanzal deflected a puck with what seemed to be a high stick past Ryan Miller. The play went to review, but was upheld. However, Miller still isn't convinced that it should have counted.

"Yeah, absolutely high," Miller said after the game. "It hit the top of his blade, his blade was up high. The puck wasn't rising. It was already above the crossbar in my mind. I think Toronto got it absolutely wrong."

For a while, it looked like that goal was going to stand as the game-winner, until Tyler Ennis buried a breakaway chance in the third period. Ennis' goal made up for one that he missed earlier in the game, where he shot the puck wide of an open net.

The game would go into overtime, where things would get weird. A shot deflected high in the air and Phoenix goalie Mike Smith tried to slide back toward the net to cover it. Instead, the puck went into the seat of his pants, and he carried it into the net. An official review would confirm the goal, and a Sabres victory.

Buffalo can enjoy this victory through the holiday, as their next game isn't until Friday when they travel to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs. That game is a 7:30 pm start.

Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, NHL

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