That's when they turned it on — in a big way.
Jamie McGinn, Johan Larsson and Brian Gionta all scored in the final period and the Sabres rallied for a 4-2 comeback victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
"We just stuck with it," McGinn said. "We stayed positive. "We got shots to the net and fortunately we found the back of the net."
Marcus Foligno also scored for Buffalo, which played its first game since the All-Star break and led 2-1 heading into the final period. The Sabres, who moved out of last place in the Atlantic Division, are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games
Foligno's goal was his fourth of the season, and Larsson's was just his second in 48 games.
"It plays a big role in our wins when we get that secondary scoring going," Gionta said. "Foligno early on, Larsson with a big one to go ahead. Stuff like that is key."
Dale Weise and Alex Galchenyuk scored for Montreal, which has lost four in a row and is 1-8-1 in its last 10. The Canadiens opened the season 19-4-3, but are 5-20-1 since.
The Canadiens were coming off a 4-2 loss Tuesday night in Philadelphia, so fatigue may have been a factor in surrendering a rare third-period lead.
"I don't know what to say," Weise said. "It's the same thing every game. We made a lot of turnovers. There's no excuse for that. But we've got to find a way."
Weise understands that fans who thought the Canadiens would contend for a Stanley Cup this season grow angrier with each loss as the team struggles without injured star goalie Carey Price.
"We feel bad for them," Weise said. "We're laying it on the line out there. It's not from a lack of effort. The fans pay a lot of money to come and watch games and we respect them if they want to boo or not. That's their prerogative. But we're trying our best out there."
The Canadiens had the early chances and didn't score, but Buffalo got one on its first shot when Zemgus Girgensons stole a puck from Jeff Petry and fed it in front to a wide-open Foligno for his fourth of the season at 5:10.
Weise tied it on a power play 3:19 into the second when he was at the edge of the crease to take a feed from Max Pacioretty and tap in his 12th of the season.
Tomas Plekanec won a faceoff and Galchenyuk wove his way in from the boards to beat Robin Lehner with a backhander at 11:04.
McGinn tied it at 2 on a power play 7:34 into the third period when he was at the edge of the crease to tip in a diagonal feed from Rasmus Ristolainen.
Larsson, with only his second goal of the season, got between two defensemen and tipped Jake McCabe's pass past Mike Condon at 11:46.
Gionta capped the scoring with an empty-net goal with 13 seconds left.
NOTES: Normally, the first home game of February sees the Canadiens award a player of the month honor for January, but three players tied for the top spot: Lars Eller, Brendan Gallagher and Max Pacioretty. A tiebreaking system couldn't settle it, so their points will carry over to next month. That they went 3-7-1 in January meant fewer than usual stars were awarded. ... Buffalo had San Reinhart, Josh Gorges and Nicolas Deslauriers back from injuries.