The Nashville Predators are in snowy Buffalo tonight for a quick one-game trip to take on the Sabres. It's the first of two meetings between the pair this season; Nashville will host Buffalo in January.
Tuesday night brought about a 3-1 victory for the Preds over the San Jose Sharks to give Nashville points in seven of their last eight contests. The consistency is coming, and while the Predators still aren't where they want to be in the standings, five of a possible six points in their homestand provided another boost of confidence.
"We're getting rewarded for the games where we are playing well," Preds forward Matt Duchene said. "I still think there's times where we can score more goals, and that's just finishing opportunities, but there's a lot of good things. I think we're getting great goaltending, and everything seems to be feeling pretty good."
The Preds continue to receive contributions throughout their lineup and have points from 23 of the 25 skaters to appear in a game this season, in addition to goaltender Pekka Rinne, who has two assists for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Nashville is the only team to have 13 players with at least 11 points in 2019-20.
Mikael Granlund returned to the Nashville lineup on Tuesday night after missing the previous two games with a lower-body injury. The winger skated predominantly with Matt Duchene and Kyle Turris, but dished out a beautiful assist to set up Nick Bonino on his goal.
Video: Jarnkrok, Saros lead Predators to 3-1 victory
Last Time Out:
Bonino, Ryan Johansen and Calle Jarnkrok all tallied in the third period of Nashville's 3-1 win over the Sharks on Tuesday. Johansen's game-winner came on the power play, and goaltender Juuse Saros was stellar in net, stopping 24 of 25 shots he faced.
Captain Roman Josi continues to lead the team with 26 points, followed by Jarnkrok and Filip Forsberg with 21 points apiece. Bonino leads the team with 12 goals; Jarnkrok and Forsberg each have 11 to their name.
Buffalo has points in three-straight games, including a 5-2 win over St. Louis on Tuesday. Jack Eichel leads the club with 20 goals and 44 points on the season, followed by Victor Olofsson with 28 points and Sam Reinhart with 25. Reinhart and Olofsson have 12 goals each; Jeff Skinner has 11 tallies on the season. Linus Ullmark is 9-6-2 in net for the Sabres, and former Preds goaltender Carter Hutton is 6-5-4.
The Predators are 16-8-(1)-2 all-time against the Sabres, including a 5-7-(0)-2 record on the road, and they've earned at least a point in 10 of their last 12 meetings with the Sabres (9-2-1).
Nashville has won eight consecutive road games over Buffalo, a streak that dates back to Dec. 1, 2008. The Preds have limited the Sabres to two-or-fewer goals in six of those games. The Preds' eight-game win streak over the Sabres away from home is tied for the second-longest active road winning streak versus a single franchise in the NHL.
Notables Versus Buffalo:
Ryan Johansen is on a personal 10-game point streak versus Buffalo, in which he's tallied 11 points (3g-8a). He's recorded a point in 12 of his 15 career games against the Sabres (3g-11a).
Matt Duchene has six points (1g-5a) in his last six games versus Buffalo, including a three-point effort (3a) on Feb. 15, 2018. Mikael Granlund has seven points (3g-4a) in his last six games against Buffalo, and Filip Forsberg has four goals and six points in his last four games versus the Sabres.
Watch & Listen:
Coverage for tonight's 6 p.m. (CT) puck drop at KeyBank Center begins with Predators Live on Fox Sports Tennessee at 5:30 p.m. Willy Daunic, Chris Mason and Lyndsay Rowley have the call on the television side, while Pete Weber and Hal Gill will broadcast on 102.5 The Game and the Predators Radio Network. Pregame coverage on the radio side begins at 5 p.m. with Darren McFarland. For broadcast information and channel locations throughout the country, click here.
Tonight's Preds Official Watch Party takes place at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Hermitage.
If the Predators are playing hockey, you can count on the game being on at Preds Approved Bars & Restaurants. Locations throughout Tennessee may be seen by clicking here.
Listen to a Live Radio Feed (only active during the game broadcast window).
Watch a Live Stream of the game on the Fox Sports Go App or Watch on NHL.TV