Sabres topple Jets 4-2

Matt Moulson is sensing something different around the Buffalo

Sabres after their first third-period comeback win of the

season.

”We had a great first period, an awful second period,” Moulson

said.

”Maybe before we would’ve folded it in then but (interim coach

Ted Nolan) had some good words in between periods for us and that

helped jump start us a bit.”

Buffalo is 1-21 when trailing at the start of the third period

after Moulson, Marcus Foligno and Matt Ellis scored to lift the

Buffalo Sabres to a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday

night.

It was Buffalo’s first regulation win since Nov. 15 against

Toronto, when Nolan took over for the fired Ron Rolston.

”I love playing for him and a lot of guys go through the wall

for him,” Moulson said of Nolan. ”That’s what you want from your

coach, a leader like that. He’s probably one of the best in that

position.”

Mark Scheifele scored two goals in 36 seconds to build a 2-0

second-period lead for the Jets, who have lost four of their past

five games.

”Let’s be honest, our second period was horrendous,” said

Sabres captain Steve Ott, who also scored. ”We had turnovers after

turnovers and they capitalized twice on it. It simply wasn’t good

enough.”

What Nolan say after two periods that made such an impression on

Moulson and the Sabres?

”I just raised my voice a little bit longer than I usually

do,” Nolan said, ”But I just said we gotta compete. If we

compete, we’re good and we can’t compete for 55 minutes, we have to

compete for 60 minutes.”

The Jets were playing their third game in four nights and got

through a scoreless first period that saw Buffalo outshoot them

19-7.

”I never really liked the game even from the onset,” Jets

coach Claude Noel said.

At the 1:02 mark of the second period, Scheifele moved between

two stick-checking Sabres into the slot, scoring on a point-blank

wrist shot over Ryan Miller’s right shoulder.

Thirty-six seconds later, he carried the puck down the right

side of the Sabres zone before taking a step toward the net and

beating Miller over the same shoulder to give the Jets a two-goal

lead.

Scheifele has five goals and five assists in his past 12 games

after getting just five points in his first 24 games.

”I think we thought that the opponent would fold up and play

and obviously that wasn’t the case,” Noel said.

Ott put the Sabres on the scoreboard at the 10:16 of the second.

Drew Stafford took a shot that Ondrej Pavelec redirected to Ott.

The Sabres’ captain scored his fourth goal of the season and his

first since Nov. 15.

Stafford and Ott paired up on their next shift, but Pavelec was

able to cover up Ott’s one-timer.

The Sabres broke through 50 seconds into the third period when

Foligno went to the net and tapped in a pass from Cody Hodgson to

tie the score at 2.

Less than two minutes later, with Eric O’Dell in the penalty box

for hooking, Moulson deflected Christian Ehrhoff’s shot past

Pavelec to give the Sabres their first lead of the night.

The power-play goal relieved a unit that had scored on just two

of its previous 30 opportunities.

”Our momentum took over like we played in the first period and

that was the difference,” Ott said.

Buffalo added a fourth goal when Kevin Porter, recalled earlier

in the day from Rochester of the American Hockey League, stole the

puck from Eric Tangradi in the slot. His high backhand shot was

batted out of the air by Ellis and past Pavelec.

Buffalo hadn’t scored more than three goals in its previous 16

games.

”You have to play the percentages, I’m a strong believer in

that,” Moulson said. ”Eventually, they gotta go in. We’ve been

getting a lot of shots recently, a lot more than we were getting

before. We eventually gotta find the back of the net at some

point.”

The Sabres had a 3-on-1 break during a first-period power play,

but Pavelec pushed Hodgson’s shot wide of the net.

Buffalo outshot Winnipeg 31-27 for the game as 12 different

Sabres recorded points.

Miller made 25 saves in the win.

NOTES: The Sabres recalled Porter and D Chad Ruhwedel from

Rochester before the game, sending D Mark Pysyk, D Brayden McNabb

and LW Luke Adam down to the Americans. … C James Wright was

scratched for Winnipeg, making way for C Eric O’Dell. … The

Sabres next play Thursday at home against Boston.