Nashville Predators shuffle off to Buffalo to duel Sabres

VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 2: Mike Fisher
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 2: Mike Fisher /

The journey continues tonight as the Nashville Predators shuffle off to Buffalo for their first match against the Sabres this season.

With 11 games remaining in the season, it is difficult to believe there is a team the Nashville Predators have yet to face. However, that is just the case. The Predators continue their road trip around the country and face the Buffalo Sabres tonight. It is the first meeting of the two teams this season.

The two teams could not be more different. The Predators lead the NHL in points, winning 13 of their last 14. As a matter of fact, since the calendar filled to 2018, the Predators have nine losses; however, five came in overtime. That is a rather impressive 33 game run. The Sabres’ season is a stark contrast. Under first-year coach and former Predators’ assistant, Phil Housley, Buffalo has amassed a record of 23-26-12. The Sabres sit in the Eastern Conference’s cellar, and just one point ahead of Arizona in the NHL.

But, don’t let the record fool you. In their last six home games, the Sabres are 3-2-1. The wins came against Boston, Toronto, and Chicago, and the overtime loss versus Vegas. An impressive stretch. Certainly, they can visualize such happy hours tonight against Nashville.

Or will the Predators be the ones enjoying the ride?

What to watch

The Nashville Predators are 13-7-1-2 all-time against the Sabres, and earned points in seven of their last eight meetings. Furthermore, the Sabres have lost six consecutive home games to the Predators. Buffalo has the second lowest goal on the year, and struggle to score against Nashville in general. Pekka Rinne is 3-1-0 against the Sabres in his career, allowing only five goals and a .929 save percentage.

The Sabres rely heavily on their young star, Jack Eichel. With 22 goals and 32 assists, he leads Buffalo in all point captions. Only six other teammates have accumulated 10 or more goals on the season, including the departed Evander Kane. Goalie Robin Lehner ranks sixth highest with 2.93 goals allowed among those with 40 or more starts.

Nashville looks to unleash their traditional lineup tonight. Austin Watson will be given a maintenance day, allowing Miikka Salomaki to play. The third line will include Ryan Hartman with Nick Bonino and Colton Sisson.


Filip Forsberg – Ryan Johansen – Viktor Arvidsson

Kevin Fiala – Kyle Turris – Craig Smith

Ryan Hartman – Nick Bonino – Colton Sissons

Scott Hartnell – Mike Fisher – Miikka Salomaki


Roman Josi – Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm – P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin – Yannick Weber


Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros

Next: How the Western Conference will be won

Where to watch

Tonight’s game starts at 6:00 p.m. Central Time on Fox Sports Tennessee, with Predators’ Pregame starting at 5:30 p.m. You can stream the game on the Fox Sports Go app or listen to Pete Weber call the game on 102.5 The Game in Nashville.