TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Karel Vejmelka has been a goalie in the NHL long enough to know that wins are hard to earn.

Still, nearly two months without a victory has seemed like an eternity.

Vejmelka had 28 saves for his first shutout of the season, Clayton Keller scored his 10th goal of the year and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-0 on Saturday night.

“I really enjoyed this game," Vejmelka said, accepting multiple congratulations from teammates after the game in the locker room. “My teammates played great defensively and did a really good job in front of the net.”

Arizona has won two straight after losing four in a row. The Coyotes also got a bit of revenge after falling to the Sabres 5-2 on Monday in Buffalo.

It was Vejmelka's first win since Oct. 21 and he improved to 3-7-2 for the season. He had gone eight games without a win.

“Obviously, it was kind of tough for me, especially mentally,” Vejmelka said. “I tried to stay positive and stay sharp, but it wasn't easy. It's part of the game. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.

“This feeling is amazing for me right now.”

Keller opened the scoring with 4:48 left in the second period. Alex Kerfoot stole the puck from Sabres goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen behind the net and fed Keller for the goal. It was Kerfoot's 14th assist.

“It was great awareness by him,” Keller said of Kerfoot. “I saw him press on one side and I tried to stay patient, put a little pressure on the other guy. He stripped (the goalie), hit me right on the tape. Those are the ones you like to score.”

The Sabres were dominating the second period until Luukkonen's costly mistake and never recovered. Vejmelka made two impressive short-handed saves late in the second to keep the Coyotes ahead.

It was the goalie's fifth shutout of his NHL career and first since Jan. 26 of last season.

“He's a proud athlete and you want to get on a good stretch,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said of Vejmelka. “That's a step in the right direction.”

Liam O'Brien made it 2-0 with 10:24 left in the third, scoring his third goal of the season on a breakaway, going high to get the puck past Luukkonen, who finished with 20 saves.

Buffalo killed one penalty in a scoreless first period and outshot Arizona 10-9.

Both teams were playing their second game in two nights, with both winning on Friday. The Coyotes edged the Sharks 1-0 while the Sabres beat the Golden Knights 5-2.

It's just the second time in franchise history that the Coyotes have shutout an opponent in two straight games on back-to-back nights. The Sabres were held scoreless for just the second time this season.

“We missed the net on some really, good quality opportunities,” Sabres coach Don Granato said. “That was the difference. We had more than enough good looks. Very frustrating - especially factoring how the first goal was scored.”


Sabres: Host the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

Coyotes: Host the Senators on Tuesday.


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