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Recap: Sabres mount crazy comeback, beat Jets 4-3, Laine injured

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A phenomenal third period gave the Sabres a fun, come-from-behind win against Winnipeg.

Winnipeg Jets v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

If you were watching the game - or Twitter - after two periods, you would have thought the Sabres had laid yet another egg at home against the Winnipeg Jets.

But if you watched the third period, you saw the Sabres mount an incredible comeback, sending the Jets home with a 4-3 loss, and without one of their best players.

Buffalo started the game like they did the last two, coming out like a house afire. Unfortunately, thanks to a complete team brainfart, they gave up the first goal. Zemgus Girgensons went for a big hit, taking himself out of the play, giving the Jets a 2-on-1. Rasmus Ristolainen’s controller disconnected and he didn’t take either the shooter or the passer, and Lehner dove rather than slid and the Jets opened the scoring with a Laine-to-Ehlers conversion.

But the Sabres would not go quietly into the intermission - Ryan O’Reilly took a sweet pass from Sam Reinhart and buried it with 23 seconds left to tie the game at one. O’Reilly would later add two assists to give him four points in the two games he’s been back.

The second period was an absolute trainwreck for the Sabres. They started the period getting outshot 11-0, allowed the Jets to score twice in five minutes - from former Sabres Drew Stafford and Joel Armia - played horrendous defense and generally looked awful.

And then, during a TV timeout, Dan Bylsma lit his team up on the bench. The Sabres were sleep walking and their coach did everything he could to wake them up.

After that, the Sabres dominated the rest of the game, mounting an incredible third period comeback while outshooting the Jets by almost 20 shots.

Five minutes into the third, Marcus Foligno and Zemgus Girgensons gave the Sabres some much needed secondary scoring just 26 seconds apart to tie the game at three. And four minutes later, Brian Gionta would holllllllllllllllllld the puck forever before finding the back of the net off a bad angle to give the Sabres a 4-3 win.

The Sabres held strong at the end of the game, including the final whistle, where a scrum would develop in the Sabres crease. Dustin Byfuglien ripped Lehner’s mask off in the kerfuffle, and Lehner (and his teammates) went nuts, grabbing and smacking anyone in the area until the refs broke things up.

That scrum was a perfect microcosm of the game, with the Jets throwing their best punch, and the Sabres firing back and coming out on top.

Also of note, Patrik Laine was laid out by Jake McCabe on a huge, but clean, open-ice hit in the third period. McCabe had a massive cut under his eye after the game, but Laine laid on the ice for a while before wobbling off; he would not return. For the sake of the league, we hope the taleneted rookie is OK. (Ed note: Laine was seen walking to the team bus, which was nice to see.)

Three Questions

1. Can Jack Eichel channel his frustration?

Eichel didn’t get himself on the scoresheet tonight, but he made plenty of nice plays to set his teammates up, and hit the post along the way. It was Dan Bylsma who channeled his anger tonight, turning the game around thanks to a second period rant during a TV timeout. The Sabres were a different team after that.

2. Will the Jets’ #Bust show why he’s been so lethal?

Laine was involved in the opening goal, throwing a 2-on-1 pass to Ehlers for the Jets first goal. Unfortunately, he left the game after getting blown up by McCabe, and did not return. There was no update on his status after the game.

3. Will the point streaks continue?

Eichel and Okposo would both see point streaks end today, but Sam Reinhart had an assist for nine points in his last nine games, and O’Reilly scored three points tonight to give him four in two since returning from surgery.

Comment of the Game

The comment thread today is hilarious

It was like folks were commenting on a funeral then the dead guy did a sit up out of his coffin

Posted by bennydabeata