For the first time this season, the Sabres lost a game in which they led after two periods. Including Game 1, Buffalo was 31-0-0 when leading through 40 minutes.
Zdeno Chara scored the game-winning goal at 7:23 of the third. Mark Recchi added an empty-net goal at 19:40.
“I don’t think anybody was down,” said Claude Julien of the second-intermission mood. “I think everyone understood the urgency of what this game meant to our hockey club and hopefully going back home with a split. In the third period, I think our guys were determined to give it their best.”
* Thomas Vanek (left leg) skated only six shifts. No word on the extent of his injury. Lindy Ruff said he anticipates Vanek will travel to Boston tomorrow.
* On Michael Ryder’s game-tying goal, Blake Wheeler’s pass was intended for Andrew Ference, who was providing middle drive. But the puck skipped through and found Ryder at the far post. Just minutes before, Ryder had wiped out Ference at the offensive blue line. “As good a hit as I’ve taken in a while,” Ference said.
* Milan Lucic was dropped to the fourth line, replaced by Daniel Paille. Lucic said he was at fault for the first and third Buffalo goals.