Saturday, December 3, 2011

Preds lose to Buffalo despite dominating performance

The Buffalo Sabres came into Bridgestone Arena on Saturday night in front of a sold-out crowd and got a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Nashville controlled the play for most of the game, out-shooting the Sabres 34-14, but Ryan Miller was able to make key saves to preserve the Buffalo win.

Luke Adam put the Sabres on the board first at 10:00 of the first period when he got to a loose puck in the slot and fired it past Anders Lindback. Zack Kassian added another goal for the Sabres when he beat Roman Josi in the neutral zone and coasted in on a breakaway. He made a good move and beat Lindback on the backhand.

There would be no additional scoring in the second period, but it was full of action. It was also full of controversy. Jordin Tootoo drove to the net at a high speed and crashed into Miller. Miller took immediate exception and started throwing punches at Tootoo while in a dog pile on the ice. Every player on the ice, except Lindback who was at the other end, was involved in a big scrum.

Tootoo will likely face a disciplinary hearing for the incident. This was Miller's first game back since he was hit by Boston's Milan Lucic and
suffered a concussion.

"I think he did make contact because he was driving to the net hard, but I think he did make a valid effort to get out of the way," said
Predators forward Colin Wilson.

The Predators were finally able to get a puck past Miller in the third period when Craig Smith converted a one-timer on the power play.
However, Buffalo responded at 15:45 of the period when Tyler Ennis converted on a turnover by Josi in the defensive zone. David Legwand
would add another goal for the Predators at 18:25, but Miller and the Sabres were able to hold on.

"I think we were going really well. We were all getting pucks to the net. I think we were confident throughout the whole game," Wilson said.

Nashville had several chances to get pucks past Miller tonight, but were unable to solve the Sabres' netminder. The Predators had 20 more
shots than Buffalo, which is something that hasn't been the norm for Nashville as of late.

"We've been out-shot quite a bit. We came out there and really out-shot them, and I feel like we out-chanced them as well. It's something to
build off of looking forward," Wilson said.

Phoenix comes to Music City on Tuesday night to take on a Preds' team that really needs to collect wins on home ice. Pekka Rinne will likely
be the starter for that game after having the night off tonight.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Luke Adam(BUF)
2. Ryan Miller(BUF)
3. Craig Smith(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Luke Adam(BUF)
2. Ryan Miller(BUF)
3. David Legwand(NSH)

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