The Sabres seemed to be done like dinner when they trailed Tampa Bay, 4-1. The crowd in HSBC Arena was booing in the second period, and even the Buffalo coach thought his team deserved it.
"I thought the boos were a little shallow, as a matter of fact," coach Lindy Ruff said to The News' John Vogl.
Then everything changed. The Sabres scored the last six goals of the game -- in 15 minutes no less -- to stun the Lightning, 7-4.
It was a big win for a team that needed one in its fight for a playoff spot. The Sabres pulled within a point of Philadelphia in the race for the final Eastern Conference spot in the postseason.
"If we would have dropped that one tonight, maybe three weeks from now we might have looked back at this game and been like, 'Oh, wow, this really cost us,' " said left wing Thomas Vanek, who had a hat trick that included the game-winner. "But we took care of business. Not the pretty way, but it counts as two points."
There weren't enough nights like this, as the Sabres missed the playoffs by four points.
-- Budd Bailey
Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs