February 21, 2015

The Buffalo Sabres have found goals hard to come by during a season-high, five-game slide.

The Nashville Predators won't have any sympathy as they endure the longest scoring drought in club history after being shut out three straight times.

These teams with floundering attacks meet Wednesday night, with the visiting Predators seeking a fifth straight win in the series.

Buffalo (8-11-2) fell 2-1 at home to St. Louis on Monday to drop to 0-3-2 in its last five. The Sabres took the lead into the third period on former Predators center David Legwand's first goal only to falter over the final 20 minutes.

"I thought it was a hard-fought game," coach Dan Bylsma said. "There was a lot of good in a lot of areas from our team. You'd like to find some goals in there."

Bylsma's club isn't the only one searching for goals with Nashville (11-6-3) enduring a drought of 213 minutes, 47 seconds after Monday's 3-0 road loss to the New York Rangers. That's the longest in the NHL since the Coyotes were blanked for 245:33 in 2012-13.

The Predators are on the verge of even more dubious distinctions. The last time a team was shut out four straight times happened to the 1967-68 Oakland Seals, who tied one of those games.

The last club to lose by shutout four straight times was the Montreal Maroons, whose streak spanned the end of 1929-30 and beginning of 1930-31. The 1928-29 Chicago Blackhawks are the last team to get shut out four straight times in losses in one season with a five-game slide.

"We've got to find a way to stay with it. We can't get frustrated," captain Shea Weber told the Predators' official website. "It's tough to say that when you haven't scored in three games."

Frustration was evident after Nashville couldn't solve the NHL's top goalie in Henrik Lundqvist, who made 31 saves. The Predators have wasted 10 power-play chances in the last three games.

"The guys are trying to score, and it's not dropping right now," coach Peter Laviolette said.

Nashville has never faced Sabres rookie Linus Ullmark, who started Buffalo's last game. Chad Johnson, who has three career shutouts, won his lone start against the Predators.

The Sabres, averaging 2.1 goals, may be more likely to get blanked since Pekka Rinne has allowed one goal in three career starts against them.

Rookie Jack Eichel, second on Buffalo with six goals, hasn't scored in his last six games.

Ryan O'Reilly, who has seven goals and is in his first season with the club, feels that the Sabres need a better mental approach to games.

''We're close at times and then we fall away from it,'' he said. ''We don't have that mentality that we have to improve, we have to grow together. We sit back too much and we get too comfortable."

Legwand is the Predators' all-time leader in games (956), goals (210) and points (566). He has no points in two games against his former club.

Nashville has outscored Buffalo 14-3 in the last four meetings. The Predators have won seven times, lost once and tied once in nine games at Buffalo.

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