NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Buffalo
(Wednesday, February 27th)
Final Score: Buffalo 8, Nashville 4
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Steve Bernier scored two goals and added an assist in his first game with Buffalo to help the Sabres defeat Nashville, 8-4, at HSBC Arena.
Ales Kotalik had a goal and two assists for the Sabres, who snapped a two-game losing streak. Ryan Miller got the win as he saved 24-of-26 shots for Buffalo, which has allowed at least three goals in six of its last seven games.
"I came here with no pressure," said Bernier. "They expect me to play a game. It's only one game. It's tough for me to say anything right now, the next game is against a great team (Montreal). We're going to have to play the same way. I'm just happy right now. The past is done, now I'm sticking with the future."
Buffalo moved into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of the idle Philadelphia Flyers.
Jocelyn Thibault allowed two goals on seven shots. Thibault filled in for Miller, who had to leave the game for a bit in the second period after being hit in the mask with a shot that caused his nose to bleed.
Bernier was traded from San Jose Tuesday, in a deal that sent defenseman Brian Campbell to the Sharks. One night later, Bernier picked up his 14th and 15th goals of the season.
Jason Arnott scored twice for Nashville, which has lost five of seven. Jan Hlavac added a goal in his first game with Nashville after being traded from the Lightning, while Chris Mason received the loss and was pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots. Dan Ellis did not do much better as he gave up three goals on 14 shots for Nashville, which has lost five of its last six road games.
The Predators have 72 points, tied with Colorado for the eighth slot in the West.
"For us we know Steve Bernier was going to come in and have an impact with them," said Predators head coach Barry Trotz. "To me, we got down early and we got ourselves back in the game and every time we got back in the game we either didn't get a save or had poor coverage. When the game was close we didn't get any saves. I thought the only element of our game was the pretty dangerous was the power play and the penalty kill. We gave up 14 goals the last two games, that's not acceptable."
Just 2:01 into the second period, Buffalo extended its lead to 3-0. Daniel Paille took a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle, but Mason was screened and couldn't see the puck as it squeaked by him.
Hlavac scored 45 seconds later after Marek Zidlicky took a slap shot that hit Miller in the mask, but the rebound bounced to Hlavac and he slammed the puck home. Miller had to leave the game because the shot he took to the mask caused him to bleed.
The Predators took advantage of Miller being out, because 34 seconds later J.P. Dumont took a slap shot that rebounded out to Arnott, who put it home for the goal, to make the score 3-2.
The Sabres stayed calm, as 4:13 into the second period Andrew Peters ripped a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle that beat Mason to extend Buffalo's lead to 4-2.
However, Nashville was determined and came within a goal with 12:07 remaining in the second period. Arnott fired a slap shot from the left circle that went by Thibault's blocker. Miller returned after that power play goal.
The Sabres took a 5-3 lead with 5:10 left to play in the second period. Jason Pominville took a wrist shot from in between the face off circles, and the puck trickled through the five-hole of Mason, who was then pulled for Ellis.
Derek Roy then put Buffalo up 6-3 with 2:11 left in the second period after he tipped in a pass that he received from Bernier.
In the third period David Legwand scored after tipping in a loose puck in front of the net while on the power play to make it 6-4, just 3:04 into the stanza.
However, the Sabres scored the next two goals. Tim Connolly scored with 12:25 left on a backhand shot and Kotalik fired a slap shot past Ellis with 6:57 remaining.
Buffalo had a 2-0 lead at the end of the first thanks to two goals by Bernier. His first goal came 4:33 into the game while on a 2-on-1 and his second on a slap shot with 5:53 left to play in the first period.
Nashville's Scott Nichol was awarded a penalty shot 34 seconds into the second, but was unsuccessful in trying to score.
Nashville is 0-4-1 in Wednesday games this season...Peters scored his first goal 56 games...Connolly scored his first goal in 18 games...Arnott has four goals and three assists in his last four games...Buffalo beat Nashville for the first time (1-3-1) at home.
02/28 03:00:17 ET