Predators too much for Sabres 4-1

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 11, 2014 at 10:01 pm •  Published: March 11, 2014
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — After watching his team fail to hold a big lead in its previous game, Barry Trotz was happy to watch the Predators build another and hold on for a win.

"Last night we cheated in a couple areas," Trotz said. "Tonight we managed the puck better. We exited better. All those type of things were much better for us."

Nashville scored twice in a five-minute span in the second period on the way to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

It marked the second straight win for the Predators, who lost a 3-0 advantage in Ottawa on Monday before beating the Senators in overtime.

"We weren't going to let that happen two games in a row," said Colin Wilson, who had two assists for Nashville.

Shea Weber had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who also got goals from Nick Spaling, Craig Smith and Paul Gaustad.

Drew Stafford scored for Buffalo, which has lost three in a row.

After Nashville built a 3-1 lead, backup goaltender Carter Hutton helped stave off a Buffalo attack that controlled possession and outshot Nashville 11-5 in the second period.

"Keeping that two-goal lead going into the third was pretty huge for us, confidence heading out there," Hutton said. "After last night, we knew we were going to lock it down and play our game."

Hutton had allowed multiple goals in eight consecutive starts entering the game, but was stout on Tuesday.

"Hutton was really good," Trotz said. "He stabilized us when they had a little push."

The Predators arrived in Buffalo after 2 a.m. after Monday's game at Ottawa and skipped their morning skate before having to fight off a slow start to Tuesday's game.

"It was penalties right off the bat," Trotz said. "First five minutes, we were killing the four. That's a hard way to get going, especially when you're in back-to-back. Those are hard minutes."

An early power play helped Buffalo take a 1-0 lead at 2:09 of the first as Stafford pulled a rebound away from Hutton's left pad to score his 12th goal of the season.

The goal ended a 0-for-11 slump for the Sabres power play, and came in Stafford's 500th career NHL game.

Yet aside from Stafford's line, Buffalo had trouble generating offense.

"There was only one line basically going," Sabres interim head coach Ted Nolan said. "You're not going to win too many games doing that."

Nashville's equalizer came at the 17:10 mark of the first period, as Spaling used his skate to deflect a Weber shot past Jhonas Enroth. The power-play goal came on Nashville's only attempt with the man advantage.

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