BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Alexandre Burrows gave the Vancouver Canucks the spark they were looking for on Sunday night.

Burrows started a skirmish in the first period and later scored the game-winner in a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

"We came out on top and that's the most important thing," Burrows said.

Michael Chaput scored twice for Vancouver (25-25-6), and Bo Horvat also scored. Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves.

Burrows stirred things up 7:15 into the game. After a play in the Sabres zone, Burrows slashed Sabres goalie Robin Lehner, who responded accordingly. Sabres defenseman Justin Falk then leveled Burrows; all three players were given roughing penalties, which resulted in a

Vancouver power play.

Horvat scored on the ensuing man advantage and the Canucks had the edge in all areas on the ice from there on out.

"He probably thought I got too close to him or I gave him a whack and he wasn't too happy about it," Burrows said. "But for our group, we responded well ... that might have been what really changed it up."

Tyler Ennis and Kyle Okposo scored for the Sabres (23-23-10). Lehner made 27 saves and went on a lengthy rant in the Sabres locker room afterward.

"It's not even disappointing any more, it's starting to get angry," Lehner said. "This is all talk. We've got to look ourselves in the mirror here. I think it's disrespectful when we have a game plan, we're going through things, the last few days we've just been going through on how to play our second period. Coach brought it up there, coming up with a good game plan. We do the exact opposite. We don't do what he said and that gets me angry, I think it gets a lot of guys angry. Disrespectful is the word."

Buffalo has had some positive momentum since the start of the new year but has been unable to turn the corner for good. The Sabres have followed each of their last three wins -- impressive victories over Ottawa, San Jose and Toronto -- with losses. They currently sit two points out of last place in the Eastern Conference and five points out of the final wild-card spot.

"We've got to stop thinking after we win a game we're Chicago or Boston or who we think we are, I don't know. But it's time," Lehner said. "It's time to realize that we're a grinding hockey team that's got to follow the structure and start listening to our coach and start respecting this team and respecting our coach."

Ennis opened the scoring 4:58 into the first period after a turnover by Markus Grankund in the Vancouver end. Evan Rodrigues found Ennis on his left, who had an easy finish for his fourth goal of the season.

After Burrows' incident with Lehner, Horvat evened the score with a power-play goal 9:07 into the first period by redirecting a shot from the point. It was his 17th goal of the season.

Chaput made it 2-1 just after another Sabres penalty expired. As Evander Kane exited the box for elbowing, Chaput buried a quick shot from the slot for his second goal of the season.

Buffalo evened the score before the first period was over, finding the back of the net with 15.6 seconds remaining. Defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen spotted Kyle Okposo beside the net with a terrific feed and Okposo guided the puck home for his team-best 18th goal of the

season.

Burrows made it 3-2 five minutes into the second period on a quick shot after a feed from defenseman Troy Stecher. It was Burrows' ninth goal of the season.

Chaput picked up his second goal of the evening with 4:27 left in the second period just after another Sabres penalty ended. Defenseman Alexander Edler's shot-fake fooled the Sabres, and Edler followed with a quick cross-ice pass to Chaput to set up a one-timer.

"They were timely goals on the road in a tough situation in a game we needed," Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said. "It was important for us to get it."

NOTES: D Cody Franson (foot), C Zemgus Girgensons (middle body) and LW Nicolas Deslauriers were scratched for the Sabres. Franson is expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks with a bone bruise in the foot. He suffered the injury Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks. ... Specifics regarding Girgensons' injury have yet to be revealed, but he is expected to miss at least a couple of games. ... D Alex Biega and D Philip Larsen were scratched for the Canucks. ... This was the second and final meeting between the teams this season. Vancouver won the first meeting 2-1 at home on Oct. 20.