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Sabres score four unanswered to defeat Jets

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Despite going behind 2-0 early in the second period, the Buffalo Sabres were able to battle back with four goals of their own to defeat the Winnipeg Jets by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

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After a scoreless first period in which the Sabres outshot the Jets 19-7, the Jets came out of the gate in the second period with two quick goals by rookie Mark Scheifele.

The first of Scheifele’s goals came 1:02 into the second period when he beat Sabres goalie Ryan Miller with a wrist shot from the slot after deking out Sabres defenseman Christian Ehrhoff on his way into the offensive zone.

Scheifele’s second goal came merely 36 seconds later after he stole the puck from Sabres forward Matt D’Agostini in the neutral zone, skated into the offensive zone along the right wing boards, and snapped a shot from the right faceoff dot that eluded Ryan Miller high on the far side.

That goal however would be the end of the scoring for the Jets in the game, as the Sabres scored the next four goals, starting with one by captain Steve Ott a little under nine minutes later. After an unsuccessful attempt by Jets forward Devin Setoguchi to exit his own zone with the puck, Sabres defenseman Mike Weber sent a pass from the blue line to Drew Stafford all alone at the bottom of the right faceoff circle. Stafford redirected the pass right on net and Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec was able to make the initial save, but his rebound kicked out to Ott just inside the left faceoff circle, who then quickly snapped a shot into the net before Pavalec was able to get back into position to cut the Jets lead to one with 9:44 remaining in the second period.

With the rest of the second period going scoreless, the Sabres eventually evened the score 50 seconds into the third period on a goal by Marcus Foligno. Cody Hodgson received a cross-ice pass from Foligno at center ice and then fought his way into the offensive zone around Jets defenseman Grant Clitsome to the bottom of the right faceoff circle along the right wing wall. Hodgson then sent a pass back to Foligno, who was cutting to the net. Folgino then made no mistake, tipping the puck into the net from just inside the goal crease to tie the score at two apiece.

Matt Moulson would then give the Sabres the lead only a minute and 41 seconds later while on a power play with Jets forward Eric O'Dell in the box for hooking. Christian Ehrhoff took a slap shot from the point that Moulson was able to redirect past Ondrej Pavalec from just in front of the net to put the Sabres up 3-2 with 17:29 remaining in the third period.

The Sabres eventually got some insurance with a goal by Matt Ellis a little over 11 minutes later, giving them a two goal lead. Kevin Porter sent a backhand on net from the slot while falling to the ice, and Ellis was able to redirect it out of midair into the net past Pavalec to put the Sabres up 4-2 with 6:22 left to play. The goal would be reviewed to determine if Ellis redirected it with a high stick, but it would ultimately count. It was Ellis' first goal since being recalled from the Rochester Americans on Saturday, Dec. 14, and first in a Sabres uniform since Jan. 13, 2012.

The Sabres were then able to hold on for a 4-2 victory, their third regulation win of the season, and eighth win overall. Their last regulation win came with a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs back on Nov. 15.

Ryan Miller made 25 saves for the Sabres in the win, while Ondrej Pavalec stopped 27 shots for the Jets. With the win, Miller is now 7-17-0 on the season with a .921 save percentage and a 2.87 goals against average.

The Sabres are now 8-23-3 on the season, and with 19 points in the standings remain in last place in the entire NHL. Their next game will come on Thursday night at home against the Boston Bruins at 7 p.m. Eastern.


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