RECAP: Rinne pitches a shutout, Preds take care of business against Sabres

Nashville, TN, United States / The Game Nashville
RECAP: Rinne pitches a shutout, Preds take care of business against Sabres

Two points are two points, regardless of your opponent.

With 17,113 witnesses inside Bridgestone Arena on Saturday, the Nashville Predators took care of business against the struggling Buffalo Sabres. With the victory, Nashville moved to 44-21-8 and moved back into a tie for the Central Division lead with the St. Louis Blues.

Coming off of a stretch of 30 games in 50 days, this week was the first time the Predators had three days between games since the All-Star Break back in January.

“We had a day off and then two good practices,” goaltender Pekka Rinne said. “We skated a lot and got back to working on some things system wise. I thought it was a good week for us, only having two games and getting to refresh and recoup a little bit.”

Rinne turned aside all 24 shots he faced and improved to 38-15-4.

“With the exception of some late chances they had, I think we did a pretty good job,” Mike Fisher said. “We gave up some chances and Pekka made some awesome saves. Overall, it was a great effort.”

It took a little longer than most expected but, near the end of the second period, the Preds finally got a power play and, four seconds later, finally scored. Shea Weber blasted a shot from the point and Taylor Beck was able to get his stick on it to give the home team a 1-0 lead.

“We all know that success will come to us if we keep doing the right things,” Mattias Ekholm said. “We just keep working and keep winding them down. Eventually, teams can’t really handle us for 60 minutes and that was the case tonight.”

Craig Smith and Fisher added third period goals to round out the scoring and Rinne stood on his head in the final minutes to keep his fourth shutout of the season intact.

Nashville now turns its attention to a much tougher opponent. The Eastern Conference-leading Montreal Canadiens come to town on Tuesday for their only visit of the 2014-15 campaign. Were the Predators to win, it would be their first victory over a team currently in playoff position since February 12.

Puck drops at 7:00pm Central.

MY THREE STARS (as voted on with 6:41 remaining in regulation):
1. Matt Cullen (NSH)
2. Taylor Beck (NSH)
3. Viktor Arvidsson (NSH)

THE THREE STARS OF THE GAME:
1. Pekka Rinne (NSH)
2. Taylor Beck (NSH)
3. Viktor Arvidsson (NSH)

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover // TheGameNashville.com

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