Nashville, Tenn. (WGR 550) - The Buffalo Sabres put their three-game losing streak in the rearview mirror on Saturday night, as the blue and gold went to Bridgestone Arena in Nashville and beat the Predators, 5-3.
Both teams potted a single goal each in the first period of play with the Sabres striking first and the Predators answering four minutes later.
The blue and gold nabbed the 1-0 advantage when Tage Thompson found Jeff Skinner all alone behind the Nashville defense. Thompson's stretch pass connected with Skinner in the far end of the neutral zone, and the Sabres winger did the rest with a slick move on goalie Juuse Saros.
Later in the opening frame, Predators defenseman Roman Josi made it 1-1 when his shot beat Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen on a power play opportunity. It was the Predators captain's 11th goal of the season.
The teams mirrored each other once again the second period, this time with the Sabres ripping off a two-goal run before Nashville answered with two of their own.
The Sabres' second goal of the game came courtesy of Dylan Cozens, who skated up the middle and accepted a lead pass from JJ Peterka right through the defense of the Predators. His shot beat Saros just 2:05 into the period to give Buffalo the lead again.
The blue and gold extended the lead to 3-1 near the halfway mark of the frame with a power play tally. Victor Olofsson kept his shot white-hot, as he scored his 17th of the season from the right faceoff circle.
Nashville crashed the party before period's end, though, as it only took 40 seconds for the Predators to tie things up at 3-3. Defenseman Jeremy Lauzon made it 3-2, before veteran forward Ryan Johansen knotted things up for the home side.
The Sabres were then able to put things away with an impressive third period.
The game-winning tally came thanks to a shorthanded goal from captain Kyle Okposo, as he slid a puck through his legs and past Saros for his seventh goal of the campaign with 13:17 to play.
Then in the waning moments of the contest with Nashville dialing up the pressure, the "Kid" line of Peterka, Cozens and Jack Quinn went to work and created a handful of odd-man chances against a desperate Predators group.
The line finally cashed in on their hard work with a Quinn steal-and-score with less than four minutes to play.
With a two-goal edge, the Predators pulled Saros from his net and turned up the heat even more on Luukkonen and Co. However, the young goalie stood strong and got the victory to the finish line.
BUF: 11:37 - Jeff Skinner (18) (Tage Thompson, Rasmus Dahlin)
NSH: 15:23 - Roman Josi (11) PPG (Ryan Johansen, Juuso Parssinen)
BUF: 2:05 - Dylan Cozens (14) (JJ Peterka, Jack Quinn); 8:58 - Victor Olofsson (17) PPG (Owen Power, Casey Mittelstadt)
NSH: 15:10 - Jeremy Lauzon (3) (Cody Glass, Colton Sissons); 15:50 - Ryan Johansen (10) (Dante Fabbro, Mattias Ekholm)
BUF: 6:43 - Kyle Okposo (7) SHG (Ilya Lyubushkin, Mattias Samuelsson); 16:49 - Jack Quinn (7) (Unassisted)
BUF: 14:42 - Ilya Lyubushkin (Elbowing - 2 min.)
NSH: 8:10 - Roland McKeown (Tripping - 2 min.); 15:52 - Craig Smith (Goalie Interference - 2 min.)
BUF: 16:45 - Ilya Lyubushkin (Interference - 2 min.)
NSH: 8:19 - Filip Forsberg (Slashing - 2 min.); 19:47 - Roman Josi (Tripping - 2 min.)
BUF: 5:57 - Tyson Jost (Slashing - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Kyle Okposo - BUF
2.) Ryan Johansen - NSH
3.) Jeff Skinner - BUF
The blue and gold return home to host the Florida Panthers for a Monday afternoon tilt at KeyBank Center. Puck drop is set for 1 p.m. EST with pregame coverage starting at 12 p.m. EST on the radio home of the Sabres - WGR Sports Radio 550.