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Michael Stone ,  Mike Smith , Matt Moulson
Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Michael Stone (26) and goaltender Mike Smith (41) defend as Buffalo Sabres left winger Matt Moulson (26) shoots on-goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Buffalo, N.Y., Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

Shorthanded Sabres Stun Phoenix 2-1 in OT

Down five skaters on Monday, the flu-ravaged Sabres shocked the Coyotes 2-1 in overtime courtesy of one of the strangest goals the First Niagara Center has ever seen. Mark Pysyk was credited with the game-winner at 3:47 of the extra frame when his shot popped into the air, landed on Phoenix netminder Mike Smith's back and settled in the back of his pants. Smith slid into the net and over the line and the goal was allowed to stand, giving Buffalo its third victory in four games.

Thanks to an illness going around the Sabres dressing room, Buffalo played this game without the help of Marcus Foligno, Ville Leino, Linus Omark, Alexander Sulzer and also Cody Hodgson (upper-body injury).

The Coyotes opened the scoring only 19 seconds into the second period on Martin Hanzal's 10th. The goal stood following a lengthy review. Off-ice officials determined that Hanzal's stick was not higher than the crossbar when it deflected Connor Murphy's shot into the net.

Later in the period, the Sabres -- already down five players -- lost Drew Stafford after he elbowed Phoenix defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. About halfway through the second, the two skaters headed into the corner and Stafford flung his elbow behind him, making contact with Ekman-Larsson's head. The Buffalo forward was given a five-minute major and a game misconduct.

Tyler Ennis tied things up at 14:01 of the third, taking a beautiful feed from Zemgus Girgensons, beating Mike Smith stick-side. Girgensons fought through a pair of Coyotes to move the puck to Ennis, who deked Smith for his 8th of the year. The goal capped off a flurry of activity for the Ennis-Girgensons-Matt Moulson line, which had been buzzing around Smith for much of the final period.

Moulson contributed in overtime as well, picking up an assist on Pysyk's winner. Girgensons led all Sabres skaters with seven shots on goal and also provided three hits over 22:01 of ice time. Miller picked up the win, making 36 saves.

The Sabres return to action Friday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto to face the Maple Leafs at 7:30 p.m.

1st Period


8:09 - BUF - John Scott (2 min., interference)
8:47 - PHX - Mike Ribeiro (2 min., hooking)
14:28 - BUF - Matt Moulson (2 min., tripping)

2nd Period

0:19 - PHX - Martin Hanzal (10) (Connor Murphy, Tim Kennedy)

11:16 - BUF - Drew Stafford (5 min. major, elbowing)
11:16 - BUF - Drew Stafford (10 minute game misconduct)
13:47 - PHX - Martin Hanzal (2 min., roughing)

3rd Period

14:01 - BUF - Tyler Ennis (8) (Zemgus Girgensons)

0:22 - BUF - Matt Moulson (2 min., slashing)
11:53 - PHX - Michael Stone (2 min., high-sticking)
16:00 - PHX - Derek Morris (2 min., tripping)


3:47 - BUF - Mark Pysyk (1) (Matt Moulson, Christian Ehrhoff)


PHX - Mike Smith (30 saves, 32 shots)
BUF - Ryan Miller (36 saves, 37 shots)

Power Plays
PHX - 0 of 5
BUF - 0 of 3

Three Stars
1.) BUF - Zemgus Girgensons (0 G, 1 A, 7 SOG)
2.) BUF - Ryan Miller (36 saves)
3.) BUF - Tyler Ennis (1 G, 0 A)

Which is tougher?
  THe Bills winning at Oakland and at New England
  The Bills getting all the help they need over the final 2 weekends
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