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Nashville Predators defeat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators got a big win tonight as they head into the NHL All-Star break, over the visiting Buffalo Sabres, 2-1.

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was absolutely superb in net, keeping his team in the game, until Craig Smith could score the game winner in the third period. 

This was a much needed victory for Nashville who desperately needs points to have any chance of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Predators got off to a blistering start in the first period, dominating the Sabres and out-shooting them at one point, 12-0, but it was Buffalo that drew first blood at18:58 when Sam Reinhart grabbed a cross-ice feed from Rasmus Dahlin and netting the opening goal for the early 1-0 Buffalo lead.

Nashville Predators defeat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1. (Michael Strasinger)

Nashville Predators defeat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1. (Michael Strasinger)

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Nashville Predators continue their slide with loss to the Anaheim Ducks 4-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators just can’t score goals as they continue to dig themselves a huge hole, trying to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, losing to the Anaheim Ducks tonight, 4-2.

Juuse Saros took the loss in goal for Nashville, while John Gibson gets the win in Smashville.  Saros faced 27 shots on goal, while Gibson took 35 on net.

Josh Manson got the scoring started for the Ducks, taking a cross-ice feed from Ondrej Kase at 10:01, for the wrist shot that beat Saros and the early 1-0 lead.

Nashville Predators fall to the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. (Michael Strasinger)

Nashville Predators fall to the Anaheim Ducks 4-2. (Michael Strasinger)

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Nashville Predators fall to the Edmonton Oilers 4-2

 

Nashville PredatorsEdmonton Alberta, Canada – The Nashville Predators lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the second game of their brief tour of Canada tonight, 4-2. 

The Predators are chasing points in their quest to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs and desperately needed a win against their conference rivals tonight.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins put Edmonton on the board first with a quick wrist shot following the face off in their offensive zone for the early marker and the 1-0 lead.  The score was at 9:01 of the opening period.

Nashville Predators fall to the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 (Michael Strasinger)

Nashville Predators fall to the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 (Michael Strasinger)

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Nashville Predators fall to the Buffalo Sabres 4-3

 

Nashville PredatorsBuffalo, NY – In a back and forth affair tonight, the Nashville Predators came up short against the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3.  Nashville held the lead twice tonight, only to lose it’s grip against the Sabres.

Matt Duchene got things started in the first minute of the game when he drove the puck into the zone and slipped a shot past Linus Ullmark for the early 1-0 lead. 

Jimmy Vesey then took a deflection off of a Rasmus Ristolainen shot on goal and slipped it past Juuse Saros in goal for the Predators and the game was tied, 1-1.

Nashville Predators Hockey

Nashville Predators fall to the Buffalo Sabres 4-3. (Michael Strasinger)

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Nashville Predators drop the Buffalo Sabres 3-2, move back into a tie for Central Division lead

 

Nashville PredatorsBuffalo, NY – The Nashville Predators move back atop the central division with a win tonight against the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2.

Ryan Johansen scored the game winner and the Predators now sit atop the division, tied with the Winnipeg Jets in what looks to be a real dogfight to the finish, with two games remaining on the schedule. 

At presstime, the Jets were trailing the Minnesota Wild, 4-1.  The Nashville win puts them two points up on the St. Louis Blues who have been breathing down Nashville’s back for the last week.

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) looks to make a save during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) looks to make a save during the second period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports)

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My Two Cents: The Nashville Predators race to a photo finish

 

My Two-Cents with Hank BonecutterClarksville, TN – The National Hockey League is racing to the finish line of their regular season schedule.  The “second” season begins next week with the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Nashville Predators have a spot in those playoffs, yet as of this writing, we don’t know who or where they will play.  It doesn’t matter, because Predators fans are RABID about their team even though their play of late hasn’t been too consistent.

Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) and Montreal Canadiens left wing Paul Byron (41) battle for the puck in front of goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the first period at Bell Centre. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators center Rocco Grimaldi (23) and Montreal Canadiens left wing Paul Byron (41) battle for the puck in front of goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the first period at Bell Centre. (Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators defeat Buffalo Sabres 2-1

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, 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. 

Buffalo Sabres center Johan Larsson (22) handles the puck away from Nashville Predators left wing Kevin Fiala (22) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Buffalo Sabres center Johan Larsson (22) handles the puck away from Nashville Predators left wing Kevin Fiala (22) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators destroy the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – The Nashville Predators started strong and never let up tonight against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks, winning 5-2.  Nashville got off to a 3-0 lead within the first five minutes of the game and Chicago could never recover.

After an embarrassing loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night, the Predators had a spirited practice session that lasted only thirty minutes to prepare for the Blackhawks.  Coach Peter Laviolette said that the leaders in his locker room “took care of business” to get this team ready to play Predators hockey, and it showed tonight.

Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on a shot during the first period. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville, TN, USA; Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35) makes a save on a shot during the first period. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators embarrassed at home by Buffalo Sabres 7-4

 

Nashville PredatorsClarksville, TN – The Nashville Predators fell to the visiting Buffalo Sabres at Bridgestone Arena tonight, 7-4.  To say this was an embarrassing loss would be an understatement.

Nashville still leads the central division of the Western Conference, but only by five points over Winnipeg, who beat the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight.

Buffalo’s Sam Reinhart tipped his hat to the Predators with his hat trick, while Jack Eichel had a career high five assists. 

This was a game that the Predators want to quickly forget.

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Viktor Antipin (93) is taken off the ice on a stretcher after being hit into the boards by Nashville Predators left wing Scott Hartnell (not pictured) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Viktor Antipin (93) is taken off the ice on a stretcher after being hit into the boards by Nashville Predators left wing Scott Hartnell (not pictured) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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Nashville Predators defeat San Jose Sharks 5-3

 

Nashville PredatorsNashville, TN – They don’t get any easier at this stage of the NHL season, but the Nashville Predators, behind goalie Juuse Saros, gutted out the win over the San Jose Sharks at Bridgestone Arena, 5-3 tonight. 

The win prevents the Sharks from clinching a playoff spot. 

Back up goalie Juuse Saros, who started in place of Pekka Rinne, put on a clinic in goal with 39 saves. 

The win gives Nashville 111 points on the season as their quest for the President’s Trophy continues.  Players and coaches have made no secret that they want that trophy and with it, home ice for the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros (74) blocks a shot by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

Nashville Predators goalie Juuse Saros (74) blocks a shot by San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski (8) during the second period at Bridgestone Arena. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

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