NASHVILLE — Kevin Fiala scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and the Nashville Predators beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Monday night.
Ryan Ellis also scored and Pekka Rinne stopped 20 shots to help the Predators win their second straight.
Sam Reinhart had a goal for Buffalo, which has lost three straight after a 10-game winning streak. Carter Hutton had 23 saves.
Rinne denied a slap shot from the Sabres’ Jack Eichel with 15.4 seconds remaining to preserve the victory.
On the Predators’ go-ahead goal, Craig Smith had the puck in the left corner and found Fiala at the left faceoff dot, where he snapped a quick wrist shot between Hutton’s pads with 3:26 left in the middle period. It gave Fiala six points in his last six games.
Reinhart had tied the score 1-1 earlier in the period. After a mad scramble in front, Reinhart’s backhand was turned aside by Rinne but Josi’s clearing attempt with his backhand went into the net, giving Reinhart his seventh of the season at 5:20.
Ellis scored the game’s first goal with 3:35 left in the first. With the Predators on a power play, Roman Josi sent a pass from the right point to Ellis at the top of the left faceoff circle, and Ellis fired a one-timer high to Hutton’s glove side.
NOTES: The home team has won the last seven matchups. … Nashville is 15-1-0 this season when scoring first. … Predators C Nick Bonino returned to the lineup after missing one game with an illness. … Reinhart has seven points (six goals, one assist) in seven career games against Nashville. … Hutton, who served as Rinne’s backup in Nashville for three seasons beginning in the 2013-14 season, dropped to 0-3-1 against his former team.
Sabres: Host Toronto on Tuesday night to open a stretch of four straight at home.
Predators: At Vancouver on Thursday night.
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Jim Diamond, The Associated Press