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to watch the Predators build another and hold on for
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- After watching his team fail to hold a big lead in its previous game, Barry Trotz was happy to watch the Predators build another and hold on for a win. "Last night we cheated in a couple areas," Trotz said. "Tonight we managed the puck better. We exited better. All those type of things were much better for us." Nashville scored twice in a five-minute span in the second period on the way to a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night. It marked the second straight win for the Predators, who lost a 3-0 advantage in Ottawa on Monday before beating the Senators in overtime. "We werent going to let that happen two games in a row," said Colin Wilson, who had two assists for Nashville. Shea Weber had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who also got goals from Nick Spaling, Craig Smith and Paul Gaustad. Drew Stafford scored for Buffalo, which has lost three in a row. After Nashville built a 3-1 lead, backup goaltender Carter Hutton helped stave off a Buffalo attack that controlled possession and outshot Nashville 11-5 in the second period. "Keeping that two-goal lead going into the third was pretty huge for us, confidence heading out there," Hutton said. "After last night, we knew we were going to lock it down and play our game." Hutton had allowed multiple goals in eight consecutive starts entering the game, but was stout on Tuesday. "Hutton was really good," Trotz said. "He stabilized us when they had a little push." The Predators arrived in Buffalo after 2 a.m. after Mondays game at Ottawa and skipped their morning skate before having to fight off a slow start to Tuesdays game. "It was penalties right off the bat," Trotz said. "First five minutes, we were killing the four. Thats a hard way to get going, especially when youre in back-to-back. Those are hard minutes." An early power play helped Buffalo take a 1-0 lead at 2:09 of the first as Stafford pulled a rebound away from Huttons left pad to score his 12th goal of the season. The goal ended a 0-for-11 slump for the Sabres power play, and came in Staffords 500th career NHL game. Yet aside from Staffords line, Buffalo had trouble generating offence. "There was only one line basically going," Sabres interim head coach Ted Nolan said. "Youre not going to win too many games doing that." Nashvilles equalizer came at the 17:10 mark of the first period, as Spaling used his skate to deflect a Weber shot past Jhonas Enroth. The power-play goal came on Nashvilles only attempt with the man advantage. Tied at 1 after 20 minutes, Weber picked up a drop pass from Wilson and beat Enroth to make it 2-1 at the 3:33 mark of the second. Smith doubled Nashvilles advantage at 7:51. His low slap shot from just in front of the blue line beat Enroth between the legs. The goal was Smiths 20th of the season, a career best. "Its great, a good feeling," Smith said. "We just have to keep moving forward, trying to make a little push here." The game was a shaky one for Enroth, who had played well since Buffalo traded Ryan Miller to St. Louis on Feb. 28. Buffalos Zenon Konopka was challenged to fight by Gaustad at 9:20 of the second after the Sabres forward put an open-ice hit on Viktor Stalberg. Gaustad received a two-minute instigator and 10-minute misconduct in addition to his fighting major. Trotz thought the penalty was questionable, and appreciated Gaustads response. "To me that was a really good glue play," Trotz said. "We thought it was a questionable hit and thats what you want your team to stand up for each other. "Gaustad knows how tough Konopka is, and thats why hes so valuable to us. He brings those intangibles. He does whats right and is very detailed in his game." Hutton made a big save on Tyler Ennis moments later. Stafford worked the puck behind the net before passing to Cody Hodgson, whose high shot was gloved by the Nashville goaltender. "He made a bunch of great saves that kept us in it," Wilson said of Hutton. "It could have been a bit of a different game if they got a couple at the beginning there." The Sabres finished 1 for 4 on the power play. Gaustad added an empty-net goal at the 18:29 mark of the third period to a chorus of boos from a crowd that chanted his nickname "Goose" when he was a Sabre. "We joked about that," Gaustad said. "I didnt know when I was here if they were booing me or saying my name. Some of the best fans and people on Earth. Salt of the earth people." Nashville finishes a three-game road trip on Friday in Chicago, while Buffalo begins a stretch of playing 12 of its next 17 on the road. "Their confidence is a little bit rattled right now," Nolan said. "But through tough times like this you find out true character of certain players and through some ashes sometimes there rises some people." NOTES: Sabres LW Matt Ellis played in his 300th NHL game. ... Patrick Eaves was scratched after going pointless in his first three games with the Predators after being acquired in a trade with Detroit for David Legwand. ... Sabres rookie C Zemgus Girgensons missed his third game with an undisclosed injury. Sergio Gomez Jersey . Got Jacks? Pulling off a comeback for the ages, feisty Stephen F. Austin became the latest No. 12 seed to pull off an upset, tying the game on Desmond Haymons did-that-just-happen four-point play with 3. Raphael Guerreiro Dortmund Jersey . They are back to a game above .500 on the year and back to .500 on the road. It was their 10th extra time game of the year, and only the second one that did not got to a shootout. http://www.footballdortmundpro.com/Kids-...tz-Jersey/ . - In about six minutes, the Memphis Grizzlies had allowed their 23-point lead to be cut to seven. Dzenis Burnic Jersey .  "For the past several weeks, Logan has been dealing and playing with an upper body injury," said general manager Doug Wilson in a statement. "Despite his efforts to play through it, the injury has not responded as we had hoped and Logan has made the decision to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the problem. Omer Toprak Dortmund Jersey . The defeat leaves the 41-year-old Nestor to concentrate on the mixed-doubles event after winning 12 straight matches and winning Australian titles in Brisbane and Sydney with two different partners. "This was a little bit of a let down, but all credit to them," said Nestor.The Rangers earn an overtime win and Patrick Kane comes alive in the third period to give Chicago a victory in Game One. Scott Cullen has notes on Brassard, Pouliot, Crosby, Kane, Bickell, Hossa and more. RANGERS TAKE OT WIN Derick Brassard scored at 3:06 of overtime to give the New York Rangers a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game One. The Rangers third line made the most of their opportunities for the night, as Benoit Pouliot scored the Rangers first goal as well as assisting on the game-winner. Brassard and Pouliot also had the Rangers best possession stats for the game, on the ice for 60% of the shot attempts at 5-on-5. The most notable story for the Penguins is that Sidney Crosby was held off the scoresheet, but also was on for all three Rangers goals. Its been a rough start to the postseason for Crosby. Even though he has six assists in seven games and his puck possession numbers are strong, Crosby is minus-5 and still seeking his first goal of the postseason. Hes still getting chances -- his 3.14 shots on goal per game is barely below his regular-season average of 3.24 per game -- but until he gets that first goal, hes going to be under more scrutiny than usual. Penguins wingers Jussi Jokinen and James Neal were on the ice for more than 70% of 5-on-5 shot attempts and Neal scored Pittsburghs second goal, but the ice was tilted favourably in their direction -- they started more than 75% of their shifts in the offensive zone. Rangers D Dan Girardi chipped in a couple of assists. Only once in 81 games during the regular season did Girardi record two assists in a game. The bad news for the Penguins is that they won the puck possession battle, which doesnt fit the profile of these teams entering the postseason, but that still wasnt enough to get away with the win. Getting beat by the Rangers third line is all the more troubling because the Penguins depth and goaltending are areas in which they would expect to have a deficit when compared to the Rangers and thats exactly how Game One played out. KANE PUTS ON A SHOW Blackhawks wingers Patrick Kane and Bryan Bickell each scored a pair of goals and Chicago knocked off the Minnesota Wild, 5-2, in Game One. Kane broke a 2-2 tie with 11:38 remaining in the third period, on a highllight-reel goal, then added another with 3:13 remaining to settle the matter before Bickell added an empty-netter.dddddddddddd Kane now has five goals and eight points in seven games this postseason, while Bickell has four goals and five points in seven games. Blackhawks RW Marian Hossa had three points (1 G, 2 A), giving him more points already in this series than he managed in six first-round games against St. Louis. No matter, no one in this years playoffs has more than Hossas 118 career playoff points. LW Patrick Sharp, who had one point in Round One, added two assists in Game One against Minnesota, while D Brent Seabrook contributed two more assists, giving him eight points (2 G, 6 A) in four games. To their credit, the Wild didnt wilt after falling behind 2-0. They outshot the Blackhawks 17-3 in the second period, then scored twice in the first seven minutes of the third to even things up; not for long it turned out. Wild D Jonas Brodin had the best possession numbers for Minnesota at 5-on-5, 73.7% of shot attempts, but it was a rough night for him, as he had six minutes in penalties and was in the box for Chicagos first two goals. D Clayton Stoner also had an eventful game for the Wild, getting credited with a goal (knocked in by Johnny Oduyas skate) and delivering a game-high six hits, including one that knocked Blackhawks RW Andrew Shaw out of the game in the first period. This game showed just how difficult the task at hand is for the Wild. They fought hard to come back, outshot the Blackhawks 32-21 (48-37 in 5-on-5 shot attempts), but they couldnt contain the Blackhawks power play or prevent Kane from getting loose. On top of that, the Wild were fortunate enough to have a Blackhawks goal disallowed in the first period, so there is some work to be done if they are going to make a series out of this. On the plus side, the Wild did show that they can take the play to the Blackhawks at times, so they will have to continue doing so because its difficult to expect Ilya Bryzgalov to get the better of Corey Crawford in the goaltending matchup.   Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@bellmedia.ca and followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tsnscottcullen. For more, check out TSN Fantasy on Facebook. ' ' '
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