December 4, 2018 / 4:13 AM / 11 days ago

Rinne stops last-minute flurry to lead Predators past Sabres

Pekka Rinne had 21 saves including five in the final 90 seconds to lead the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

Kevin Fiala and Ryan Ellis both scored goals for the Predators, who were playing their 13th game over a 24-day span and were without the services of top scorer Filip Forsberg (broken hand), defenseman P.K. Subban (upper body), second leading goal scorer Viktor Arvidsson (broken thumb) and center Kyle Turris (undisclosed).

Rinne was playing in his 10th consecutive game and starting his fifth straight contest. It is Rinne’s longest streak since playing in 27 games in a row from Feb. 5, 2015, to April 9, 2015.

Sam Reinhart scored his seventh goal of the season for Buffalo, which suffered its third straight loss after winning 10 games in a row. Carter Hutton had 22 saves for the Sabres.

Ellis gave Nashville a 1-0 lead late in the first period with a power play goal, one-timing a pass from Roman Josi from the top of the left circle into the top far corner and over the glove of Hutton for his second goal of the season.

Reinhart was credited with the tying goal early in the second period when Josi, battling Jeff Skinner for a rebound of Reinhart’s shot in the crease during a goal mouth scramble, knocked the puck inside the right post after Rinne had stopped three straight shots.

Fiala scored what proved to be the game-winner late in the second period when he also one-timed a shot from the top of the left circle off a Craig Smith pass through Hutton’s pads for his fifth goal of the season.

Jack Eichel had a chance to tie it early in the third period when he stole the puck near center ice and went in on a breakaway, but Rinne got his right pad on his backhand try.

Buffalo pulled Hutton with 1:40 remaining and Rinne made a blocker save on a close-in shot by Skinner to the left side of the net with 1:03 left, the best of a five-shot flurry by the Sabres.

—Field Level Media

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