For the first time in nearly two calendar years, the Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators played a game against each other.
It was Jeff Skinner who stole the show on Thursday night to help the Sabres bust up a six-game winless skid. The Sabres went to Bridgestone Arena and took down the Predators, 4-1.
The Sabres grabbed the early edge in this one. 5:30 into the contest, Mark Pysyk teamed up with a fellow "Mark" in forward Mark Jankowski for a deflection goal, started by a Pysyk shot from the point.
The goal was Jankowski's first in a Sabres sweater, and the assist "mark"ed Pysyk's 100th point in the NHL.
That was the only scoring in the opening period of play.
In the second frame, the teams traded power play tallies. With 6:48 gone, Predators forward Matt Duchene capitalized for the home side to knot the game at 1-1.
Five minutes later, on a Sabres man advantage, Jeff Skinner potted his 12th goal of the season.
Aiding Skinner's tally were the likes of Dylan Cozens and Kyle Okposo.
Buffalo's lead swelled to two about eight minutes into the final period of regulation, when Skinner doubled down on an impressive night. His team-leading 13th goal of the season came via a breakaway after a slick puck pickup in the neutral zone, turning on the jets bearing down on the Nashville goal.
The game was iced for good with 74 seconds left in the game when Vinnie Hinostroza hit the Predators' empty net from center ice.
BUF: 5:30 - Mark Jankowski (1) (Mark Pysyk)
BUF: 18:18 - Jeff Skinner (12) PPG (Dylan Cozens, Kyle Okposo)
NSH: 13:12 - Matt Duchene (17) PPG (Ryan Johansen, Roman Josi)
BUF: 7:59 - Jeff Skinner (13) (Alex Tuch); 18:46 - Vinnie Hinostroza (8) ENG (Robert Hagg, Kyle Okposo)
BUF: 15:44 - Jeff Skinner (Tripping - 2 min.)
BUF: 0:28 - Jeff Skinner (Holding - 2 min.); 12:27 - Cody Eakin (Roughing - 2 min.); 19:35 - Aaron Dell (Interference - 2 min.)
NSH: 9:44 - Matt Benning (Interference - 2 min.); 16:42 - Colton Sissons (High sticking - 2 min.)
NSH: 3:47 - Michael McCarron (Tripping - 2 min.); 12:02 - Tanner Jeannot (Goaltender interference - 2 min.)
Losi and Gangi Three Stars of the Game:
1.) Jeff Skinner - BUF
2.) Matt Duchene - NSH
3.) Aaron Dell - BUF
The Sabres head to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Saturday at Little Caesars Arena. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m. EST with Sabres pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m. EST with Brian Koziol over on our sister station, The Bet 1520.