Nashville Predators 3, Buffalo Sabres 2: Preds Pick Up Two Points in Central Division Race

The Predators picked up two points in Buffalo tonight in their last road game of the regular season.

(Note: This recap is a joint effort because of Nashville traffic and inevitable crises at work.)

In Buffalo for the last road game of the regular season, the Predators came out with a rejuvenated lineup against a floundering Sabres squad. Austin Watson re-joined Nick Bonino and Colton Sissons on the third line, and Dante Fabbro started in his second NHL game.

The second line started the scoring for the Predators tonight. With Kyle Turris behind the net, a P.K. Subban slapshot was deflected on net by Craig Smith. The goal was reviewed but ultimately upheld. Buffalo answered with 3:56 remaining in the first period on a speedy rebound from Kyle Okposo.

Starting the second off with a vengeance, P.K. Subban gave the Predators their second goal of the game about 45 seconds into the period. In a strange sequence, Conor Sheary scored what looked to be a tying goal for Buffalo, but the referee blew the play dead. Ryan Johansen was sent to the box and Buffalo tried to score their second goal on the power play. The Sabres were unable to convert.

The Sabres returned to the power play on a double minor taken by Mattias Ekholm. The Predators penalty killers were successful and prevented the Sabres from setting up plays in front of Rinne. Right before the end of the period, Jeff Skinner popped a rebound in behind a diving Rinne for Buffalo’s second goal of the evening.

In the third, the Predators amped up the pressure on Buffalo. Viktor Arvidsson’s shot from the right circle was backhanded on net by Ryan Johansen for Nashville’s third goal of the evening.

With Carter Hutton on the bench, the Sabres tried valiantly to tie the game in the final minutes. Broken sticks and miscues spelled defeat for Buffalo. The Predators return home for the final two games of the season. This win puts Nashville back in second place over St. Louis in the Central Division.

Random Observations

  • Hi, Carter Hutton.
  • Hello Pekka...why are you starting tonight?
  • Dante Fabbro hitting Viktor Arvidsson with the nice pass!
  • I forgot Brandon Montour was traded to Buffalo.
  • Not many whistles early.
  • Ellis and Josi are...nowhere near the front of the net?
  • Kyle Turris looks engaged. (Eric hates this word.)
  • Nick Bonino: low-danger shot extraordinaire.
  • Fabbro looks good but Buffalo is passing to the high slot a lot with success.
  • The second line is clicking tonight.
  • Kyle’s gold chain at intermission is better than Craig shirtless
  • Hello, Pernell Karl Sylvester Subban!!!!
  • Did Buffalo get Sissons’d?
  • See above comment on the second line.
  • Rasmus Dahlin skates like he’s skating on satin ice. So smooth.
  • Double minor: kilt.
  • Meanwhile Pekka is rolling around in his net just stacking pads and probably giggling about it.
  • Jeff Skinner kills Predators.
  • WOW.
  • Mikael Granlund wishes he was a Finnish goaltender. He’s saving pucks out there like it’s his job.
  • Austin Watson just blocked a massive shot from Jack Eichel.
  • Empty net Buffalo.
  • Brandon Montour and Jack Eichel break sticks on the same shift. I’ve never seen that.
  • The boys needed that win. Ferda!/

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. P.K. Subban: The flashy defenseman played a very solid game in what’s been a rough season for him. 1 goal and 1 assist for Pernell Karl tonight.
  2. Ryan Johansen: What. A. Backhander.
  3. Craig Smith: His weird hand/stick goal opened up the scoring for Nashville tonight. He has 21 goals on the season.

Tweets of the Game

Game Video