Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Sabres, once again, failed to score first, and eventually fell to the Nashville Predators, 7-3, on Tuesday night at KeyBank Center.
The Predators struck first with a goal midway through the opening period for a 1-0 lead. Philip Tomasino's fourth goal of the season came off of a one-time attempt from a cross-ice pass by Matt Duchene.
Duchene was able to add his 20th goal of the season and his second point of the night that doubled Nashville's lead to 2-0 over the Sabres late in the first period. The goal came while Nashville forward Cody Glass was down on the ice after a Tage Thompson hit, but play continued before the goal.
Buffalo was able to trim the deficit in half early in the second period thanks to a rebound chance. Dylan Cozens was able to crash the front of the net and score his 27th goal of the season to make the score 2-1, Nashville.
However, Tommy Novak answered 24 seconds later to extend the Predators' lead to 3-1.
The Predators looked to have opened up a 4-1 lead thanks to Duchene again, but the Sabres successfully challenged for offside to negate the goal.
A pair of goals by Luke Evangelista ballooned the Predators' lead to 5-1 midway through the second frame. A Ryan McDonagh goal with just over four minutes left in the period forced a goaltender change for the Sabres. Craig Anderson was replaced by Ukko-Pekka Lukkonnen, as Nashville was able to go up 6-1 on Buffalo.
Thompson took advantage of a 5-on-3 man advantage late in the second stanza to trim the Sabres' deficit to 6-2. His 43rd goal of the season snapped an eight-game scoreless drought.
Jeff Skinner would not be denied and scored on a second rebound opportunity to bring the Sabres to within three goals, 6-3. The forward's 30th goal of the season came midway through the third period.
Duchene added his second goal of the game thanks to an empty net tally with just over two minutes remaining in the game. His 21st goal of the year extended the Nashville lead to 7-3.
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NSH: 11:45 - Philip Tomasino (4) (Matt Duchene); 18:43 - Matt Duchene (20) (Philip Tomasino, Jeremy Luazon)
BUF: 3:36 - Dylan Cozens (27) (JJ Peterka, Jack Quinn)
NSH: 4:00 - Tommy Novak (14) (Luke Evangelista, Tyson Barrie); 9:21 - Luke Evangelista (4) (Tommy Novak, Juuse Saros); 10:01 - Luke Evangelisa (5) (Kiefer Sherwood); 15:52 - Ryan McDonagh (2) (Luke Evangelista)
BUF: 7:45 - Jeff Skinner (30) (Alex Tuch)
NSH: 17:37 - Matt Duchene (21) ENG (Ryan McDonagh)
BUF: 14:42 - Tage Thompson (Holding - 2 min.)
NSH: 4:54 - Ryan McDonagh (Delay of game - 2 min.)
BUF: 4:02 - Tage Thompson (Fighting - 5 min.); 6:19 - Craig Anderson (Tripping - 2 min.)
NSH: 1:14 - Mark Jankowski (Hooking - 2 min.); 4:02 - Kiefer Sherwood (Fighting - 5 min.); 16:46 - Dante Fabbro (Hooking - 2 min.); 17:03 - Colton Sissons (Delay of game - 2 min.)
BUF: 4:31 - Henri Jokiharju (High sticking - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Luke Evangelista - NSH
2.) Philip Tomasino - NSH
3.) Tommy Novak - NSH
The Sabres will remain home to welcome the New Jersey Devils on Friday for a 7 p.m. ET faceoff on the flagship home of the Sabres Radio Network - WGR Sports Radio 550. Pregame coverage with Mike Schopp and the Bulldog starts at 6 p.m. ET.