How Buffalo fared against the Coyotes in 2023/2024

Buffalo Sabres v Arizona Coyotes
Buffalo Sabres v Arizona Coyotes / Zac BonDurant/GettyImages

Before departing for Utah, the Arizona Coyotes would play the Buffalo Sabres two more times in 2023/2024, marking the final season series between the two. Both matchups this year took place in December, not even a week apart. How did the Sabres fare against the Coyotes?

The first game was in Buffalo 10 days before Christmas. There was only one goal scored in the period and that was from former Sabres captain Kyle Okposo as he gave Buffalo a 1-0 lead early in the first. Just like the Sabres, Arizona tied the game up with an early goal of their own in the second period. For the rest of the period, it was all Buffalo.

Eric Robinson, Peyton Krebs and JJ Peterka scored three straight goals, and the Sabres headed into the final frame with a 4-1 lead. The Coyotes would get within two, but Rasmus Dahlin sealed the deal with an empty net goal as Buffalo won 5-2.

Five days later, the two teams faced off in Arizona. After a scoreless first period, there were two goals scored in the second and third period combined by the Coyotes. Clayton Keller broke the tie in the second period after a costly mistake from Buffalo goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen. Arizona would add one more tally on their way to a 2-0 victory.

In hindsight, there are no excuses why the Sabres couldn't sweep their season series with the Coyotes. There is no easy win in the NHL, but when you are a team trying to break the longest playoff drought, you have to find a way and win.

Buffalo played an inconsistent brand of hockey during the year, and the second game is a perfect example. Next time the Sabres see this team, they will be in Utah. Depending on what they do in the offseason, Utah might be a little better with the young talent they have.