Coyotes And Sabres Brawl After The Final Whistle
Last season, the Buffalo Sabres and the Arizona Coyotes finished with the worst two records in the NHL. Thanks to the lottery, however, the Edmonton Oilers ended with up with the first overall pick (Connor McDavid), bumping the Sabres and Coyotes down to second and third, respectively. On Monday night, Jack Eichel showed the Coyotes what they could have had, as he scored his 14th goal of the season in a 2-1 Sabres win.
Eichel also picked up an assist on the night, bringing his point total to 29 in 46 games. “It was in the back of your mind,” he said when asked if he thought he might end up in Arizona. “I knew the whole situation would take care of itself. … And I was fortunate enough to go to Buffalo.”
Other then Eichel, goalie Chad Johnson starred for the Sabres. He made 26 saves including 11 in the first period; Arizona had six minutes of power play time in that frame and failed to convert on any of their extra-man opportunities.
“We’re a little bit off on our shooting. A lot of shots being blocked,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “The second half (of the season), it gets tighter.”
After the game’s final whistle, though, Coyote frustrations boiled over, with a battle in front of the net developing into a brawl. When everything was said and done, 61 penalty minutes were handed out.
“A little bit of old-school hockey,” Buffalo head coach Dan Bylsma said. “Guys coming together and sticking together. It was good to see.”
Photo: Shane Doan #19, Oliver Ekman-Larsson #23 and Anthony Duclair #10 of the Arizona Coyotes come together in a post game scrum with Sam Reinhart #23 and Zach Bogosian #47 of the Buffalo Sabres following the NHL game at Gila River Arena on January 18, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Sabres defeated the Coyotes 2-1. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)