NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, October 10th (All times eastern)
Buffalo Sabres (1-0-1) at Nashville Predators (2-0-0), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A new season has begun with great promise for the Nashville Predators, who will be shooting for a third straight victory when the Buffalo Sabres visit the Sommet Center this evening.
The Predators have helped put a disappointing 2008-09 campaign behind by opening this season with a pair of hard-fought victories. After edging Dallas in a shootout in last Saturday's lid-lifter, Nashville received a pair of third-period goals from Patric Hornqvist to rally for a 3-2 triumph over previously-unbeaten Colorado Thursday in the Music City.
Hornqvist banged home a rebound of teammate Ryan Suter's shot to tie the score at 2-2 with 7:29 remaining in regulation, then deflected a wrister from Shea Weber past Avalanche goaltender Craig Anderson 2:17 later to put the Predators ahead.
Hornqvist added an assist on Jason Arnott's second-period tally, while Suter finished with two helpers on the night.
Nashville prevailed despite playing without 2008-09 leading scorer J.P. Dumont, who suffered a head injury in the season opener and is considered questionable to return for tonight's clash.
The Predators, who had a string of four consecutive playoff appearances end with a 10th-place finish in the Western Conference last season, have not started out with three straight wins since an 8-0-0 beginning in 2005-06.
Buffalo rebounded from a 2-1 overtime loss to Montreal in its first game with a come-from-behind home victory over Phoenix this past Thursday. Tomas Vanek's power-play goal with 3:53 left in the third period was the difference as the Sabres edged the Coyotes by a 2-1 count.
The Sabres' Clarke Macarthur tied the contest at 1-1 early in the third period and set up Vanek's go-ahead one-timer. Ryan Miller made 23 saves for Buffalo, which outshot Phoenix by a 39-24 margin for the game.
"We had some excellent chances tonight," said Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff. "You could sense a little frustration coming into the game, but we stuck with it and Vanek scored a great goal for us."
The Sabres will be making their first visit to Nashville since a 7-2 win there on December 21, 2006. The Predators posted a 2-0 victory in the lone meeting between the teams last season, which took place in Buffalo back in December.
Nashville plays the second of three straight home tilts this evening and put together a solid 24-13-4 record at the Sommet Center last season. The Preds will close out the homestand Monday against Edmonton.
10/10 10:44:19 ET