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Game Recap


Tuesday, 12.17.2013 / 10:45 PM

Chris Ryndak - (@chrisryndak)

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Winnipeg Jets 2, Buffalo Sabres 4
Three Stars of the Game
Matt Moulson
G: 1Shots: 5
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 19:34
Mike Weber
G: 0Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 4
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 16:25
Matt Ellis
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 9:27

The chances have been there the past few games, but Tuesday night, the Buffalo Sabres finally capitalized on them.

The Sabres scored four unanswered goals to rally back to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 at First Niagara Center. Buffalo had been held to two or fewer goals in each of their past six games.

Marcus Foligno, Matt Moulson and Matt Ellis scored in the third period to help Buffalo claw back into the game and earn two points. Captain Steve Ott scored late in the second period following two quick goals by Jets rookie Mark Schiefele.

For the first time this season, the Sabres won a game in which they trailed after two periods.

Ellis, who was recalled from the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League on Saturday, sees the victory as something they can really build off of.

“It’s a real big step for this hockey club,” he said. “Obviously I haven’t been here that long. It’s been a couple days, but as part of the organization, you kind of follow what goes on. To be able to dig ourselves out, that’s a great character win.”

The Sabres had 12 different player record points in a single game for the first time since their 6-2 win against Pittsburgh on Feb. 19, 2012.

Ryan Miller stopped 25 shots for Buffalo and Winnipeg goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves. The Jets had beaten the Blue Jackets in Columbus the night before and were playing their fifth game in eight nights.

“We knew they were going to be a little bit tired in that third period as well and if we didn’t come, we would’ve been mailing in a game and that would’ve been completely disappointing,” Ott said. “That’s not what happened. We came out strong, took control of the third period like we did at the start of the game and we finished right through the end of it.”

The Sabres did not score in the first period, but managed 19 shots on goal and 16 more attempts that either missed or were blocked. Five times this season, Buffalo had 19 shots or fewer all game.

“When you throw 19 shots on a ’tender in the first period, you can see how shaky they were and how tired they were from the road trip,” Sabres defenseman Mike Weber said. “You know something’s going to break. Sticking with it and finally wore them down to the point where we’re putting some in the net. But we have to take this and move on. We have a big opponent next.”

They have now outshot or tied its opponents in five consecutive games. It’s the first time that’s happened since they outshot their opponents in six straight from Nov. 6 to Nov. 17, 2010.

With two power plays in the first period, they managed to maintain pressure in the Jets zone and limited Winnipeg to 14 total shot attempts. Cody Hodgson, in his first game back after missing a pair with an injury, alone had five shots on net.

That changed in the second period when Scheifele broke out with two goals in the opening 1:38. Scheifele, who now has six goals this season, scored his first of the game 1:02 into the period and then again 36 seconds later.

“Our second period was horrendous,” Ott said. “We had turnovers after turnovers and they capitalized twice on it. It simply wasn’t good enough.”

Ott tallied at the 10:16 mark of the second after Pavelec knocked a Drew Stafford shot over to him on the left wing. Ott had two other quality chances in the period to bookend the goal.

Weber forced a turnover that set up Ott’s goal. He earned the secondary assist on the goal, his first point of the season.

Winnipeg outshot the Sabres 12-5 in the second.

“I just raised my voice a little bit louder than I usually do,” Sabres interim coach Ted Nolan said when asked about his message to the team during the second intermission. “We have to compete. When we compete, we’re good and we can’t compete for 55 minutes. We have to compete for 60 minutes. That little lapse we had, it wasn’t necessary, but the guys really found a way to come back.”

Buffalo came into the third period with the mindset of playing more like they did in the first period.

Foligno scored 50 seconds into the period as he drove to the net accept a feed from Hodgson. Myers sprung Hodgson on a break down the right wing and Foligno was able to knock the puck in past Pavelec.

Then, 2:31 into the third, Moulson deflected in a point shot by Christian Ehrhoff on the power play to give the Sabres a 3-2 lead.

“We knew they were going to be a little bit tired in that third period as well and if we didn’t come, we would’ve been mailing in a game and that would’ve been completely disappointing,” Ott said. “That’s not what happened. We came out strong, took control of the third period like we did at the start of the game and we finished right through the end of it.”

Ellis scored his first goal since Jan. 13, 2012 with 6:22 remaining in regulation. Kevin Porter, who was recalled Tuesday morning, assisted on the goal as did their linemate Brian Flynn.

“That so-called fourth line,” Nolan said. “They’re one of four for us. One thing we want to do is try to create a balanced attack and tonight, with Flynn, Ellis and Porter, they did a great job for us tonight.”

Buffalo hosts the Boston Bruins on Thursday at 7 p.m. at First Niagara Center.

scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
Mark Scheifele (5) ASST: Grant Clitsome (10)
1 - 0 WPG
Mark Scheifele (6) ASST: NONE
2 - 0 WPG
Steve Ott (4) ASST: Drew Stafford (9), Mike Weber (1)
2 - 1 WPG
3rd Period
Marcus Foligno (4) ASST: Cody Hodgson (11), Tyler Myers (7)
2 - 2 Tie
PPG - Matt Moulson (12) ASST: Christian Ehrhoff (9), Tyler Ennis (7)
3 - 2 BUF
Matt Ellis (1) ASST: Kevin Porter (1), Brian Flynn (2)
4 - 2 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
Chris Thorburn  Interference against  Steve Ott
Toby Enstrom  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Drew Stafford  Tripping against  Adam Pardy
2nd Period
Bryan Little  Illegal Check To Head against  Matt D'Agostini
3rd Period
Eric O'Dell  Hooking against  Matt Moulson
Drew Stafford  Roughing against  Grant Clitsome
Grant Clitsome  Roughing against  Drew Stafford
Grant Clitsome  Roughing against  Drew Stafford
goalie stats
Ondrej Pavelec
Ondrej Pavelec
SA: 31TOI: 58:52
Saves: 27EV: 22 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .871SH: 0 - 0
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller
SA: 27TOI: 60:00
Saves: 25EV: 23 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .926SH: 1 - 1 is the official Web site of The Buffalo Sabres. The Buffalo Sabres and are trademarks of The Hockey Western New York, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 The Hockey Western New York, LLC and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.