Score: Sabres 4, Predators 3
Shots: BUF: 35 | NSH: 25
Buffalo Sabres Goals: Peyton Krebs, Tage Thompson (2), Victor Olofsson
Nashville Predators Goals: Filip Forsberg, Michael McCarron, Jeremy Lauzon
Plus 1: RJ Feels the Love
Jedi13 had the Comment of the Game: “LOVE IT. First Star for Rick. One of the best things the Sabres have done in 10-15 years.”
More than 19,000 Buffalo Sabres fans helped raise a banner to Rick Jeanneret at Keybank Center. They pretty much blew the roof off in the process. In the first sellout of the season, (and first in recent memory) the crowed channeled decades of love and adoration for their “top shelf” Sabres broadcaster, in an amazing pregame ceremony.
This wouldn’t be the last time RJ received recognition. Jeanneret made his way to the Sabres bench in the final seconds of the third period. After Buffalo held on to win, Tuch and Eakin escorted the broadcasting legend onto the ice, while the rest of the players pounded their sticks in homage and everyone posed for a group picture with him. The Sabres treated Jeanneret with the respect and appreciation he more than earned over his 51-year play calling career.
Plus 2: Thompson Terrific
Tage Thompson scored two goals in the first period, with assists from Alex Tuch. Thompson has shown incredible improvement this season. Last year, the Sabres forward only had eight goals and six assists and now has 30 and 23 with a few more games remaining. Playing on the team’s top line with Tuch and Skinner, he’s really starting to show playoff level talent and has come a long way in short period of time.
Plus 3: Sabres Feed off Fans’ Energy
The crowd was into the game throughout, from the RJ pregame ceremony, to the three intense and action packed periods to the postgame picture. Peyton Krebs, Tage Thompson and Don Granato all credited the fans for their energy and enthusiasm. KeyBank Center hasn’t seen a sold out game in a long time. Maybe, with the team and fans building off each other, it will become a much more common event going forward.
Plus 4: Sabres Get Game Winning Power Play Goal
One of Buffalo’s consistent weaknesses has been on the power play. For far too long, the Sabres have blown scoring opportunities with the man advantage. At first, this game looked to be little different. Midway through the first period, Nashville nearly got a shorthanded goal on a Yakov Trenin tripping penalty against Jacob Bryson.
The Sabres squandered their first PP. With the score tied at three apiece, Buffalo got a second PP opportunity late in the second, on a Predators too many men on the ice call. This time, the Sabres controlled the puck and Victor Olofsson scored to give Buffalo a 4-3 lead. The PP goal was ultimately the game winner and it was refreshing to watch it come on the power play.
The Buffalo Sabres played a very aggressive game, shutting down Nashville’s offense, outshooting their opponent in each period and holding on in the final seconds to get a victory in front of a packed house. If they continue to show consistent effort, they’ll end their playoff drought next season, something RJ and their fans deserve to see.
The Sabres face the Florida Panthers on Sunday at 1:00pm, with RJ in the broadcast booth.