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Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Sabres score 4-3 comeback win over Winnipeg

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- The Buffalo Sabres scored three unanswered goals in the third period, capped by Brian Gionta's eighth of the season, to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at KeyBank Center. 

First Period

15:12 - JETS GOAL. Robin Lehner is out of position on the shot, and the Sabres defense allows the puck to go across the ice and just like that Buffalo trails by a goal. Soft defense is nothing new Nikolaj Ehlers is the benficiary and gets his 14th goal of the year. 1-0 WPG.

8:09 - Josh Gorges was supposed to be in the lineup today, but has been battling a hip injury lately. He was a late scratch and both Taylor Fedun and Justin Falk are in the lineup. That came as a surprise as all three were on the ice for warmups, but Gorges was the scratch today.

6:43 - Shots on goal are 9-5 in favor of Winnipeg. They have had the better of the chances, and Lehner has had to be on his toes to keep this just a one-goal game. I was looking for Buffalo to show some fire today after "giving away" a point in Chicago on Thursday. Not sure that I have seen that yet in this game.

:23.4 SABRES GOAL. You want to talk about threading the needle, Ryan O'Reilly did just that to tie the game. For as bad of a period as Buffalo played, they get the game-tying goal from a bad angle. The puck went in between the legs of Tobias Enstrom and Connor Hellebuyck on the way into the net. 1-1 tie.

End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: 19:36 - Ryan O'Reilly (8) (Sam Reinhart)
WPG: 4:48 - Nikolaj Ehlers (14) (Patrick Laine, Mark Schilfele)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 5:32 - Cody Franson (2 min., holding)
WPG: none

Shots on Goal

BUF - 10, WPG - 15

Second Period

18:46 - Not a good start to the period as Cody Franson takes his second penalty, and only the second total, of the game as he is called for interference. He has not been good and it could cost Buffalo.

17:30 - JETS GOAL. Again Buffalo allows Winnipeg to establish a body in front of the net, and Drew Stafford is able to slam the chance at the top of the crease home to give Winnipeg their second lead of the game. Buffalo had all of the momentum after O'Reill's late goal last period. Now it has swung back to the Jets. 2-1 WPG.

12:47 - Justin Falk sat for two minutes, but the team was able to kill off the minor penalty thanks to some good pressure of the Winnipeg power play units. There was one scoring chance, but beyond that nothing in tight.

12:09 - JETS GOAL. I simply do not undestand what Marcus Foligno was doing as Joel Armia is able to skate through the slot and corral a rebound off of a bad angle shot and double the Winnipeg lead. This is some of the worst team defense I have seen the blue and gold play in a while. 3-1 WPG.

8:08 - The Sabres finally record a shot on goal this period, and the crowd gives them a "Bronx cheer" for their efforts. To say this period, and game in general, has been disappointing would be fair. I expected this team to play with passion today, and I have seen very little of it. The jury is still out on what this team really is, but the longer we wait for the answer, the closer we are to knowing they are not a playoff contender.

6:18 - Buffalo goes to the power play for the first time today with Nic Petan being called for the minor. Let's see if the blue and gold can get themselves right back into this game with a special teams goal. 
End of Period

Goal Summary

BUF: none
WPG: 2:30 - Drew Stafford (3) PPG (Blake Wheeler, Mathieu Perreault). 7:51 - Joel Armia (2) (Adam Lowry, Josh Morrissey)

Penalty Summary

BUF: 0:40 - Cody Franson (interference). 5:08 - Justin Falk (2 min., holding)
WPG: 13:42 - Nic Petan (2 min., slashing). 15:34 - Andrew Copp (2 min., hooking). 18:42 - Dustin Byfuglien (2 min., tripping)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 10 (20), WPG - 15 (30)

Third Period

16:02 - This has not been a banner day for Lehner. He is sliding all throughout his crease with no sense of control of his game. Sometimes you just do not have it, and it feels like that is one of those games for Robin. Still, we need to see if he can be "the guy" or not. If Dan Bylsma were to make Anders Nilsson his #1 goalie, then I think there is no going back. To be fair to all parties and with what was invested to get Lehner from Ottawa, we all need, the Sabres organization included, to see Lehner from start to finish this season.

14:48 - SABRES GOAL. It was close, but Marcus Foligno is able to muscle the puck across the goal line to get Buffalo back within a goal. He takes advantage of a Jets turnover and we'll see if this carries the blue and gold to some more offense. 3-2 WPG.

14:12 - SABRES GOAL. Some very good work along the wall between Ryan O'Reilly and Zemgus Girgensons allows Matt Moulson to pick up a nice pass and then feed to Girgensons, who is able to make a nifty move to slide the puck into an open goal. 3-3 tie

10:06 - SABRES GOAL. Buffalo's first lead of the night comes thanks to some brilliant passing in the offensive zone, and patience by the captain. Brian Gionta receives a nice pass from Ryan O'Reilly, then he waits for Connor Hellebuyck to pull himself out of position to shoot and score. This period has been all Buffalo. Where was this in the first forty minutes? 4-3 BUF.

5:02 - Shots this frame are 13-4 in favor of the Sabres. Not sure what was said in between periods, but the message was received loud and lear it would appear.

1:05 - Hellebuyck heads to the bench in favor of the extra attacker.

0:00 - A full on line brawl breaks out at the end of the game, capped by Lehner and Dustin Byfuglien getting into it as the fight started in the Sabres' crease. Love the passion from Buffalo, especially when they held on for the late lead for the win. 

End of Game
Buffalo 4, Winnipeg 3
Goal Summary

BUF: 5:12 - Marcus Foligno (7) (Cody Franson). 5:38 - Zemgus Girgensons (5) (Matt Moulson). 9:54 - Brian Gionta (8) (Ryan O'Reilly) 
WPG: none

Penalty Summary

BUF: 20:00 - Robin Lehner (2 min., roughing). 20:00 - Marcus Foligno (2 min., roughing)
WPG: 5:51 - Mark Scheifele (2 min., roughing). 20:00 - Dustin Byfuglien (2 min., roughing). 20:00 - Dustin Byfuglien (2 min., cross checking). 20:00 - Dustin Byfuglien
(2 min., unsportsmanlike conduct). 20:00 - Dustin Byfuglien (10 min., misconduct)

Shots on Goal

BUF - 16 (36), WPG - 5 (35)

Postgame Audio
Marcus Foligno

Brian Gionta

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01/07/2017 12:20PM
Gameday: Sabres and Jets scoreless in the first period
Please enter your comments below.
01/07/2017 2:37PM
Why ???
Why are these guys still coach and GM ?? This team is a disaster.
01/07/2017 2:49PM
Mathematics on Ice...
Not enough scoring from top 6 forwards No scoring from 3rd & 4th line forwards Slow and porous defense = Last place finish this year. Sum of the parts = Chance at the lottery Firing of of Bylsma and (should be) GMTM. Hopefully Mr. Pegula is ina firing mood.
01/07/2017 3:09PM
Time to start selling off parts of the cellar-dwelling destined team again. Wash, rinse, repeat. While we're at it, maybe Terry Pegula can throw some of his $$$ around to entice a PROVEN hockey expert like Stan Bowman to come home to Buffalo and construct a Stanley Cup winner here ... Lord knows Murray -- and especially Russ Brandon -- are incapable of such an accomplishment :(:(:(
01/07/2017 4:01PM
Good & Bad
Starting with the positive, gutsy comeback! Nice to see some secondary scoring for a change. What is worrisome is to see how this teams starts. Too many times, it looks like they're in a fog! This is on the Minion behind the bench to have them hitting the ice prepared! Pretty basic!
01/07/2017 4:39PM
Defense is AWFFUL!
Going no where unless the D is fixed,they stink...
01/07/2017 4:43PM
Debbie Downers
Wow, some of these comments are lame. Yeah not a great start, but they got it together and had a great comeback win! This will be great for their confidence, they have played well enough to win the last 3 including Rangers/Blackhawks, take it easy. They are getting it together and it was Bylsma who started the whole thing today with his timeout talk. What game did you all watch? Everyone is healthy now, just let them play together and I think we will see some good things out of this team.
01/07/2017 6:40PM
Defense...i mean lack there of
Bogosian and Franson are this season's verisons of Mezaros and Benoit. #SabresDareTurnstiles
01/07/2017 7:55PM
PATRIK LAINE did NOT look good exiting the team bus at the airport after the game. He looked like he was in a fog. Too bad - he's a great guy and a great player. Hope he can return soon
01/07/2017 9:41PM
Hate not to see credit where it is due. O'reilly not credited with an assist on Girgensons goal, and Zemgus same thing on the Gionta goal. Hope these guys get their points, hard enough to score as it is.
01/07/2017 11:18PM
Bad D
The fact that Risto has to play half the game is a direct indication that our defense is week beyond the first pair.
01/08/2017 1:49AM
anyone notice that...
Sabres seem to score around 4 goals every time Fedun plays, and like 1 when he doesn't? coach/GM sure don't. with Faulk, Franson, and Gorges playing ahead of him, it's like they're still tanking.
01/09/2017 8:08AM
Jumbo Tron
WHY did the Sabres not show Jake McCabes hit on the Jumbo Tron. I heard MSG showed it about a dozen times.
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