Recap: Sabres Blow Another Two-Goal Lead in Loss to Predators

The Buffalo Sabres continued their struggles with holding a lead tonight against the visiting Nashville Predators. They’ve fallen into a trap of not keeping the pressure on once they get ahead and going into a defensive shell. Not only did the Sabres blow one two-goal lead, but in fact they blew two of them to allow Nashville to leave Buffalo with two points.

The Predators came into tonight red-hot and continued their streaking as of late. Both teams head into the trade deadline with different objectives. The Sabres head in as definite sellers, losing four straight after getting within one point of a playoff spot, while the Predators are looking to add pieces for a playoff run starting in April.

First Period

The Sabres got off to a strong start after a poor finish in their last game against the Arizona Coyotes. They put the pressure on the Predators early and were aggressive in the offensive zone. Brian Gionta started the scoring with a nice play behind the goal line to hit the puck out of the air and in off of Pekka Rinne. Gionta’s goal snapped a 13-game goal drought.

Buffalo would continue the strong period, scoring less than two minutes later as Kyle Okposo snapped a scoreless drought of his own for his 19th of the season. The Sabres looked to be in control of the game, but Mike Fisher got the Predators back into the game just over a minute later. He beat Robin Lehner to a loose puck and was left with a wide-open net for his 16th of the season. The Sabres headed to the locker room with a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Second Period

Nashville tied the game quickly in the second period as Colin Wilson scored his 11th of the season on the power play. The Sabres blew a two-goal lead for the second straight game and in only a matter of five minutes of playing time.

The Predators were in control of the period, out-shooting the Sabres 8-0 in the first five minutes . However, Evander Kane would score his 22nd of the season on the club’s first shot of the period. He made a nice play at one end to disrupt a Nashville 2-on-1 and then finished a feed from Gionta on a 2-on-1 at the other end. Nashville was the better team in the period, but the Sabres headed into the third period with a lead for the second straight game.

Third Period

The home team jumped back out to a two-goal lead early in the third period as Jake McCabe scored his second of the season 56 seconds in. Buffalo had another chance to close out a game with a multi-goal lead, but again they fell into the habit that has cost them a lot of points this season.

The Sabres started to sit back and allowed Nashville to continually bring the pressure throughout the period. Ryan Johansen scored his 10th of the season to pull the Predators to within one with less than nine minutes remaining in the game. The visitors continued to press and with just over two minutes left, the red-hot Filip Forsberg scored his 25th of the game to tie it and send the game to overtime.


The Sabres had the opportunity to salvage the game with a power play to start the extra session. After some poor shot selection, they were unable to get one past Rinne and Nashville killed off the penalty. Not too much later, Forsberg got free after a Roman Josi shot was blocked, and made no mistake rifling one over the shoulder of Lehner to win the game. The Sabres sat back and got burned again by blowing another two-goal lead in the third period. After the first period, the Sabres were outshot 33-12 in the second and third  not a winning formula, and that says it all about how this game went.

Scoring Summary


BUF – Brian Gionta (13) assisted by Zach Bogosian and Jack Eichel – 15:52

BUF – Kyle Okposo (19) assisted by Jake McCabe and Matt Moulson – 17:26

NSH – Mike Fisher (16) assisted by Austin Watson and Matt Irwin – 18:49


NSH – Colin Wilson (11) (PP) assisted by Ryan Johansen and Roman Josi – 2:09

BUF – Evander Kane (22) assisted by Brian Gionta and Cody Franson – 5:35


BUF – Jake McCabe (2) assisted by Kyle Okposo and Ryan O’Reilly – 0:56

NSH – Ryan Johansen (10) assisted by Filip Forsberg and Matt Irwin – 11:16

NSH – Filip Forsberg (25) assisted by Viktor Arvidsson – 17:37


NSH – Filip Forsberg (26) assisted by Roman Josi – 2:45

  THW Three Stars

First: Filip Forsberg (2 G, 1 A)

Second: Roman Josi (2 A)

Third: Brian Gionta (1 G, 1 A)


Next Up

Arizona Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres

Key Bank Center – 7:00 p.m. EST (Thursday, March 2)

Broadcast channels: MSG-B & FS-A

2016-17 Season Series: Feb. 26  – Coyotes 3, Sabres 2

Next Up

Nashville Predators at Montreal Canadiens

Bell Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST (Thursday, March 2)

Broadcast channel: SN, RDS & FS-TN

2016-17 Season Series: Jan. 3 – Canadiens 2, Predators 1 (OT)