BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Sabres finally got the big finish -- and victory -- that they've been searching for.

Buffalo scored three unanswered goals in the third period on its way to a 4-3 comeback win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. It was a critical victory for the Sabres (15-15-9), who had a sluggish start and have struggled late in games all season.

"It has the feel of a turnaround game," Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said. "It feels like a big game for us."

Brian Gionta scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period. Ryan O'Reilly, Marcus Foligno and Zemgus Girgensons also scored for Buffalo. Robin Lehner made 31 saves.

"The way this game ended, it's nice to finish this one out and be on the opposing side of something like that instead of giving up the lead," Sabres center Jack Eichel said.

Nikolaj Ehlers, Drew Stafford and Joel Armia scored for the Jets (19-20-3), who were unable to end their road trip with a third straight win and suffered an even bigger loss when rookie sensation Patrik Laine left with an injury.

Laine was injured with 5:51 remaining in the second period following a hard hit in the middle of the ice by Sabres defenseman Jake McCabe and did not return. Laine remained motionless on the ice afterwards and was eventually helped back to the locker room by Jets trainers.

"It's our best player arguably," Stafford said. "It's not good any time you see a guy in that kind of a position on the ice with his helmet and the way he was. I've been there before, it's not a good feeling. ... I just hope Patty's OK. It's just unfortunate."

Jets head coach Paul Maurice said he had no issues with the nature of the hit.

"It was a straight-on hit," Maurice said.

The second overall pick in this year's draft, Laine has been having an outstanding campaign and was tied for the team lead with 36 points (21 goals, 15 assists) heading into Saturday's game.

Buffalo's comeback began 5:12 into the third period on a breakaway goal by Foligno. Foligno's forehand deke cut Winnipeg's lead to 3-2.

Girgensons hit the post shortly after the ensuing faceoff and evened the score only 26 seconds later. The forward took a pass from Matt Moulson and deposited a backhand shot from close range.

Gionta finished off the comeback at 9:54 of the third. Gionta skated through the crease and waited for Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck to commit to the ice before placing a wrist shot into the net.

"If we can do that for 60 minutes, that's when things are going to take off for us, Gionta said.

Early on, it was all Winnipeg. Ehlers opened the scoring 4:48 into the first period on a 2-on-1 rush. It was his ninth goal in the past nine games.

O'Reilly evened the score just before the end of the first following a cross-ice pass by Sam Reinhart.

Stafford made it 2-1 only 2:30 into the second period. The former Sabre drove to the net and had several quick chances in succession from short range before putting the puck home for his third goal of the year.

Winnipeg's second-period burst continued six minutes later when Armia increased its lead to 3-1. After center Adam Lowry flung the puck at the net from a hard angle, Armia buried the rebound at 7:51.

The goal came on Winnipeg's 11th shot of the period, and the Jets had an 11-0 edge in shots at the time.

That was all before things fell apart for the Jets in a span of 4:42 in the third.

"We weren't able to hang on," Stafford said. "It would have been nice for us to finish off the road trip with an extra two points but we'll take what we can from this overall."

NOTES: D Josh Gorges (hip), LW Johan Larsson and LW William Carrier were scratched for the Sabres. Gorges sustained the injury on Dec. 31 against Boston and played against Chicago on Thursday before sitting out again Saturday. ... D Mark Stuart and RW Chris Thorburn were scratched for the Jets. Thorburn was originally a draft pick of the Sabres and played in his first NHL game for the Sabres in December 2005. ... This was the second and final meeting between the teams this season. ... It was the fifth of eight afternoon games for the Sabres this season. Buffalo was 6-3-2 in afternoon gameSs last season.