Teams with two-game losing streaks will collide when the Buffalo Sabres host the Nashville Predators on Sunday night.
Both teams will play the second game of a back-to-back set after the Predators lost to the visiting New York Rangers 4-3 on Saturday and Buffalo fell 6-2 at the Carolina Hurricanes.
Nashville squandered 2-0 and 3-1 leads against New York before Ryan Lindgren scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period. The Predators pulled their goalie with over four minutes remaining, but New York’s Igor Shesterkin prevented the equalizer.
Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist for the Predators, and Kevin Lankinen made 23 saves.
Nashville outshot New York 41-27 and was much improved from its 6-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. Before that, the Predators had won six in a row.
“We had a great start; we did some really good things blocking shots and competing,” O’Reilly said after the game. “[Lankinen] played great tonight, but it came down to the little things like that that made a difference. And that hurts, but the good thing is we’re back at it tomorrow. We can turn the page and take good things and move on.”
The Predators were 1-for-4 on the power play vs. the Rangers after going 0-for-4 against Minnesota.
“I thought we had some pretty good looks,” Nashville coach Andrew Brunette said. “Again, I didn’t love it. But we got one, and I thought we created looks to try and get another one, but I do think it can be better.”
Nashville’s Colton Sissons scored his third short-handed goal of the season to tie Simon Holmstrom (New York Islanders) and Logan O’Connor (Colorado Avalanche) for the NHL lead in that category.
For the Sabres, Saturday’s game was over early as the Hurricanes led 2-0 after one period and 5-0 after two frames. The Sabres have been outscored 32-19 in the first period this season.
“I think we definitely play way too soft,” Buffalo’s Dylan Cozens said. “We’re too easy to play against. I feel like we don’t kill plays, we kind of get bullied and stuff. We need to be way harder to play against. We’re way too easy to play against right now.”
Casey Mittelstadt and Tyson Jost scored for Buffalo, which has been outscored 12-6 in losing two straight and has dropped seven of its past 10. Eric Comrie made 29 saves.
The Sabres were outshot 35-22 on Saturday. They were 0-for-5 on the power play and 0-for-2 on the penalty kill. Carolina scored two power-play goals, and Buffalo also allowed a short-handed goal.
“It’s about how you respond,” Sabres captain Kyle Okposo said. “We’ve got a game [Sunday], but we’ve got to find a consistency here. We’ve got to find an identity, find our game. Nothing’s been easy so far this year, but you’ve got to work for everything you get in this league.”
Buffalo forward Jordan Greenway left the game after the first period with an upper-body injury.
Sunday’s game will mark the first meeting this season between Nashville and Buffalo.
–Field Level Media