Sabres fail to hold off Nashville, fall 2-1

Sam Reinhart scores Buffalo's lone goal, while Jack Eichel's nine-game point streak comes to an end

WGR 550
January 18, 2020 - 8:34 pm

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Sabres grabbed an early lead on the road on Saturday night, but they failed to hold on to the lead in a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.

Sam Reinhart gave Buffalo its only goal on the evening with his 17th goal of the season late in the first period, but Nashville managed to tie the game at 1-1 in the second, and eventually scored the game-winner on the power play with 6:29 to go in regulation.

In goal, Linus Ullmark stood on his head for most of the night, making 35 saves on 37 shots faced. However, both goals that beat him ended up taking favorable bounces for the Predators.

The first period was rather uneventful, especially for the Sabres, who failed to register their first shot on goal up until the 12-minute mark of the period.

However, Buffalo got on the scoreboard first with 1:02 remaining in the opening frame when Reinhart made sure to finish off a beautiful pass from Rasmus Dahlin. The young defenseman was able to feed a cross-ice pass to Reinhart camped to the left of the Nashville net, and while Reinhart had trouble handling it at first, Predators goalie Pekka Rinne gave Reinhart plenty of time to figure out what to do with the puck.

The period ended with Buffalo leading by a 1-0 score, but getting outshot 12-7.

The Sabres responded well to start the second period by putting up some pressure in the Predators zone, but Nashville ended up tying the game just six minutes into the period. Ullmark was able to make a heck of a save on defenseman Roman Josi just before the goal, but it was forward Ryan Johansen who was able to throw the puck to the net and have it bounce off Buffalo defenseman Zach Bogosian and in.

A little more than four minutes later, Ullmark attempted to play the puck in behind his own net when it jumped over his stick and went right to Predators forward Austin Watson. The puck then came out in front of the net to Johansen with a wide-open net, but Ullmark dove back into the crease to make a highlight reel glove save.

Buffalo ended up with the lead in shots for the second period, 17-14, but the team opened the door for Nashville to tie the game and eventually take the lead.

The Sabres thought they scored at the start of the third period when Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne ended up in the net with the puck underneath his left pad. However, the goal was  reviewed and while the puck did cross the goal line, forward Kyle Okposo pushed Rinne into the net, so the goal didn't count.

Nashville ended up taking the lead for good when Sabres captain Jack Eichel took a tripping penalty with 6:36 to go in regulation after an extended period of zone time for the Predators. It took Nashville just seven seconds to capitalize as forward Craig Smith was able to re-direct a shot from forward Kyle Turris, and the puck ended up going off the post, off the back of Ullmark's left leg and just over the goal line.

The Sabres put themselves in a bigger hole with 2:44 left to go in regulation when Dahlin took a slashing penalty to put Buffalo down a man while trailing. It ended up costing Buffalo the time needed for an attempted comeback as the Predators held on for the win.

Heading into the game, Eichel was riding a nine-game point streak for the Sabres. However, that came to an end after he failed to pick up a point on Buffalo's lone goal.




Goal Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 18:58 - Sam Reinhart (17) (Rasmus Dahlin, Jake McCabe)

Second Period:

NSH: 6:05 - Ryan Johansen (10) (Roman Josi)

Third Period:

NSH: 13:31 - Craig Smith (11) (Kyle Turris, Mattias Ekholm)


Penalty Summary:

First Period:

BUF: 7:14 - Rasmus Dahlin (Interference - 2 min.)
NSH: 2:42 - Colin Blackwell (Tripping - 2 min.)

Second Period:

NSH: 9:47 - Cal Jarnkrok (Cross Checking - 2 min.)

Third Period:

BUF: 13:24 - Jack Eichel (Tripping - 2 min.); 17:14 - Rasmus Dahlin (Slashing - 2 min.)
NSH: 0:44 - Yannick Weber (Tripping - 2 min.)


Strategic Financial Solutions Complete Stats Of The Game

Strategic Financial Solutions Stats of the Game:

Shots on Goal:

BUF: 31 (7, 17, 7)
NSH: 37 (12, 14, 11)


BUF: Linus Ullmark - 35 saves
NSH: Pekka Rinne - 30 saves

Power Plays:

BUF: 0 for 3 (0%)
NSH: 1 for 3 (33.3%)

Three Stars presented by Losi and Gangi:

  1. Pekka Rinne - NSH
  2. Craig Smith - NSH
  3. Ryan Johansen - NSH

What's Next:

The Sabres are off for the next eight days for their five-day bye week, immediately followed by the three-day NHL All-Star Break. Buffalo's next game will take place on Tuesday, Jan. 28 as they take on the Ottawa Senators at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. with the Paul William Beltz Pregame Show starting at 6 p.m. with Schopp and the Bulldog live from (716) Food and Sport.

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