Sabres score 3 in 3rd to beat Jets 4-3
Buffalo Sabres forward Zemgus Girgensons (28) puts the puck past Winnipeg Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck (37) during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
Jonah Bronstein, The Associated Press
Published Saturday, January 7, 2017 4:34PM CST
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Brian Gionta scored midway in the third period and the Buffalo Sabres rallied to defeat the Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Saturday.
Ryan O'Reilly added a goal and an assist and has four points in two games since returning from an appendectomy. Marcus Foligno and Zemgus Girgensons had third-period goals and Robin Lehner made 32 saves.
Buffalo has won two of three.
Nikolaj Ehlers, Drew Stafford and Joel Armia scored for the Jets, who had won the first two on a three-game road trip. Connor Hellebuyck stopped 32 shots. Patrik Laine, the NHL's rookie scoring leader, was escorted to the dressing room after taking an open-ice hit from Buffalo's Jake McCabe 13 seconds after the Sabres had tied the game.
After getting booed off the ice at the end of the second period, the Sabres scored three goals in a 4:46 span of the third. Gionta gave Buffalo its first lead when he skated to the left side of the crease and lifted a wrist shot over a diving Hellebuyck for his eighth goal of the season.
Foligno and Girgensons scored 26 seconds apart earlier in the period to bring the Sabres back from a 3-1 deficit. Foligno got his seventh goal on a breakaway at 5:12. Girgensons tipped Matt Moulson's shot from the boards and then backhanded in the rebound for his fifth goal.
Laine was looking down at the puck when McCabe hit him with his right shoulder. McCabe was not penalized for the hit. Laine appeared to hit the back of his head on the ice as he fell and was down for several minutes before being helped to his feet.
Mark Scheifele immediately went after McCabe, leading to a brawl involving all of the skaters on the ice except Laine. Scheifele was penalized for roughing.
After the final horn, Lehner got involved in a 6-on-6 fight in front of the Buffalo net.
Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead when Laine set up Ehlers on a 2-on-1 for his 14th goal. Scheifele had the secondary assist. All three players on the Jets' top line have a point in four straight games.
Buffalo tied the game with 23 seconds left in the first period. O'Reilly received a crossing pass from Sam Reinhart in the left circle, faked a pass and flicked a wrist shot between Hellebuyck's pads for his eighth of the season. Reinhart has nine points in his last nine games.
The Jets outshot the Sabres 11-0 over the first 11:42 of the second period and went up 3-1 on goals from former Sabres first-round picks Stafford and Armia.
Stafford took three shots from in front to score on a power play, Stafford's third of the season. Armia knocked in the rebound from Adam Lowry's shot for his second goal.
The Sabres could not convert on three power plays in the final 6:18 of the second period.