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Game Recap

Sabres light up the Music City

Reinhart records hat trick, Eichel tallies five assists

Recap

For the second and final time this season, the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators faced off against one another. After their first meeting at KeyBank Center in which the Predators won 4-0, the Sabres properly responded against the best team in the NHL.

Despite Nashville getting off to a strong start, the increasing momentum from the Sabres resulted in a convincing 7-4 win at Bridgestone Arena.

As a result of injuries sustained to goaltenders Robin Lehner (upper-body) and Linus Ullmark (lower-body), the Sabres recalled Ullmark’s backup in Rochester, Adam Wilcox, to fulfill similar duties in Buffalo. Chad Johnson earned the start, and struggled early, but earned 32 saves on 36 shots faced, but Buffalo’s scoring bailed him out of early trouble.

While Jack Eichel’s assist on the team’s first goal scored by Jason Pominville, an Okposo penalty resulted in Nashville’s P.K. Subban capitalizing with the man advantage to tie the game at 1 with just three minutes played. Austin Watson concluded the scoring in the opening period to give the Predators a 2-1 lead.

In the second period, Kyle Turris and Nick Bonino were responsible for Nashville’s two goals in the period in an effort to stall Buffalo’s momentum that grew as the period progressed.

However, following a severe hit delivered by Scott Hartnell on Victor Antipin, a five minute boarding penalty was issued as well as a game misconduct.

 

As a result, the Sabres overcame a 4-3 deficit and scored three goals during the five minute advantage to finish the period with a 6-4 lead. Sam Reinhart’s two goals and Kyle Okposo’s second of the night capped an impressive stretch of three goals in a five-minute power play, which has not been seen in years. Their impressive performance continued with Reinhart earning his third of the night to give the Sabres a 7-4 lead and earned his second career hat trick.

“It’s tough to see Victor go down like that…I think it was a good job by our team responding, special teams was the difference…I think that won us the game”- Jack Eichel.

Eichel was a prominent member of the scoresheet, tallying five assists and playing an important role in his team’s offensive production, along with Ristolainen and O’Reilly both earning three points. In what was a unique performance against the league’s best team, everyone got involved in helping the Sabres score 7 goals, and given the difficulty of consistently scoring at a high level, this was indeed a special game for the team in all aspects.

The Sabres look to continue this giant wave of momentum as they head to Toronto when they face the Maple Leafs for the final time this year on Monday at the Air Canada Centre. That game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. puck drop.

Scoring

Penalties

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NHL Standings

TEAMGPRECPTS
Atlantic Division Leaders:
P8262-16-4128
X8249-24-9107
X8246-28-8100
Metropolitan Division Leaders:
Y8248-26-8104
X8248-27-7103
X8244-26-12100
Wild Card leaders:
X8246-29-799
X8247-31-498
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8244-30-896
8236-32-1486
8237-37-882
8232-36-1478
8233-39-1076
8232-40-1074
8231-41-1072
8229-47-664
TEAMGPRECPTS
Central Division Leaders:
Y8247-29-6100
X8247-30-599
X8245-28-999
Pacific Division Leaders:
Z8250-25-7107
X8246-27-9101
X8243-32-793
Wild Card leaders:
X8243-32-793
X8238-30-1490
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8239-35-886
8236-34-1284
8237-36-983
8235-36-1181
8235-37-1080
8235-38-979
8231-42-971