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Sabres-Predators Preview

The only redeeming point of the Nashville Predators' road trip came when they ended a long scoring drought and beat the skidding Buffalo Sabres.

Returning home for three straight could be what they need to get on track, but Buffalo should be heading into Saturday night's rematch with a bit more confidence after ending its losing streak.

Nashville (12-6-4) finished a 1-3-1 trip with Friday's 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia, and it would've went without a point for the fourth time if Mike Fisher hadn't scored the tying goal with 20 seconds remaining in regulation.

The Predators were shut out in the first three before ending a 227-minute, 39-second scoreless stretch in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Sabres (9-12-2).

''It's all about the points, obviously. Three points is not good,'' said Filip Forsberg, who scored in the first period and added an assist Friday. ''We've been scoring a lot of goals during the year, but we lost three games in a row without a goal. It's not acceptable. It's been better the last two games, but any way you put it, it's not good enough if it's just five goals (on the trip).''

Forsberg finished second among rookies with 26 goals last season, but he has three and scored for the first time in 18 games.

"I think it was only a matter of time," coach Peter Laviolette said. "He was shooting the puck well also. It was good for him to have a good first shift. (His line was) humming in the offensive zone and (was) able to generate."

Nashville opens a three-game homestand riding a 3-0-1 stretch at Bridgestone Arena. The Predators, who have one regulation defeat in 10 home games, have scored seven goals twice during that run.

Buffalo wouldn't mind if they brought their scoring woes from the road back home with them, though. The Sabres netted seven goals during an 0-4-2 skid before busting out of their slump with Friday's 4-1 win over Carolina.

Josh Gorges scored for the first time in over two years in the first period. Rookie Jack Eichel snapped a six-game goal drought against the Predators, then scored the go-ahead goal Friday right after the Sabres killed off a penalty.

''It's a big goal and I thought after that play, after that penalty kill, the game changed for us,'' coach Dan Bylsma said.

Eichel has one goal and two assists in nine games on the road, where the Sabres are 4-4-1 after dropping their last two.

Rookie Linus Ullmark likely will get the start after Chad Johnson made 27 saves Friday. Johnson relieved Ullmark midway through the second period against the Predators after Ullmark allowed three goals on eight shots, as Fisher, Craig Smith and Cody Hodgson scored.

Pekka Rinne was in goal Friday and has lost his last four starts with a 3.26 goals-against average. Carter Hutton stopped 30 shots against the Sabres and could face them again.

Nashville has outscored Buffalo 17-5 while winning five straight meetings. Smith has four goals and two assists in six career games against the Sabres.

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