Nashville, TN – The Nashville Predators defeated the Buffalo Sabres, the hottest team in the NHL, at the Bridgestone Arena tonight, 2-1. Buffalo had won ten straight games before dropping their last two before coming into Nashville. The Sabres are coached by former Nashville assistant coach, Phil Housley.
The Predators are still without some of their front line players with Kyle Turris, Viktor Arvidsson and P.K Subban out of the lineup. Other players have seen their ice time extended and have stepped up to fill the void during their absence.Ryan Ellis put the Predators on the scoreboard first at 16:25 of the first period, taking a Roman Josi pass and slamming the one timer past Buffalo goaltender Carter Hutton. Hutton was a former backup goalie for the Predators. Nashville led 1-0.
The second period began with the Sabres pressing the Predators offensively and putting more pressure on Pekka Rinne who was in goal for Nashville. The second period has also been the period where visiting teams have had success against the Predators.
At 5:20 of that period, Buffalo’s Stacy Reinhart was able to slide the puck past Rinne into the net for the 1-1 tie. The scramble in front of the Nashville goal left the puck laying helpless waiting to slip into a wide open net and Buffalo obliged.
Kevin Fiala, one of the key players stepping up during this time of being without so many key players, managed to get on the scoreboard at 16:34 of the second period, blasting a wrist shot past Hutton for the 2-1 lead, and the games final score. Fiala was assisted on the goal by Craig Smith.
The Predators outshot the Sabres 25-22 on the night. Nashville also outhit the Sabres 24-17. Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 21 shots on the night, while Carter Hutton stopped 23.
This is the third loss in a row for Buffalo after winning ten straight.
Nashville wraps up their five game home stand and now will head to Vancouver for a Thursday night matchup. Puck drops at 9pm Central Time.