The storyline coming into the game was the fact that the Sabres had dropped five straight and that Nashville hadn’t scored in over three games.
Well, that streak was snapped as the Predators hung on for a 3-2 win at the First Niagara Center on Wednesday night.
The Sabres controlled the play, outshooting Nashville, 8-0, for the first ten minutes of play.
However, it was the Predators that struck first. Mike Fisher knocked home a rebound to break Nashville’s scoreless streak, which ended at 227:39.
The Predators’ first goal must have got them going because they started the second with two quick ones. Craig Smith picked a corner and ripped a shot past Ullmark. Then, former Sabre Cody Hodgson put home a one-time to give Nashville a 3-0 lead.
Hodgson’s goal ended Ullmark’s night. Chad Johnson skated on the ice after Ullmark allowed three goals on eight shots.
The Sabres battled back, though. It took 22 shots until the Sabres finally solved Carter Hutton. Evander Kane got Buffalo on the board late in the second period after his shot rung off the post and went in.
Jack Eichel blasted a shot past Hutton in the final minutes to bring the Sabres within one, but that was as close as they would get.
Carter Hutton received the start in goal. Coming into the night, he had played three games against the Sabres, going 3-0 with a .960 save percentage. Those numbers improved after this win, although he paid a price as Marcus Foligno had two separate collisions with him.
The crowd at the First Niagara Center got back into the game during the third period, when the Sabres killed off a 5-on-3 and Marcus Foligno upended Hutton. The momentum began to turn, but it was too little, too late.
“I think we got to get more guys to the net and score on second and third chances. That would really help us if we are able to do that.” -Jack Eichel
Eichel had an earlier opportunity on a quick shot from the point that caught Hutton off guard as it trickled by him and went off the post, but was then cleared away.
Tyler Ennis was scratched with an upper-body injury. Dan Bylsma said there is no timetable for his return.
The Sabres stay home and will take on Carolina on Friday before heading to Nashville to face these same Predators on Saturday.