NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Filip Forsberg scored three goals for his ninth career hat trick to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.

Luke Evangelista also scored and Juuse Saros made 26 saves for Nashville, which is 9-0-1 in its last 10. Gustav Nyquist had three assists.

“He’s the whole package,” Predators coach Andrew Brunette said of Forsberg. “When he gets going like that, when he’s playing a power forward game instead of a complete skill game, he puts the power forward and the skill comes behind it and that’s a deadly combination.”

Bowen Byram scored and had an assist, Owen Power also had a goal and Eric Comrie made 21 saves for Buffalo, which has lost three straight.

“We knew we were going to battle probably some fatigue tonight,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said. “We just couldn’t pull through. There were some good things, but obviously the result wasn’t what we wanted.”

Forsberg scored the game’s first goal at 3:53 of the opening period, snapping a wrist shot over Comrie’s glove from the lower part of the right faceoff circle with Nashville on a power play.

Forsberg extended his point-scoring streak to seven games, one game short of tying a career high. During his streak, he has seven goals and five assists.

“I think we’re playing pretty good hockey,” Forsberg said. “It’s a pretty solid effort over four lines and three D pairs and getting great goaltending as well. This is something we have to keep building on, obviously.”

Byram answered just 30 seconds later, scoring his first with the Sabres one day after Buffalo acquired the defenseman from Colorado for forward Casey Mittelstadt. Byram was the most well-rested Sabres player, as his new teammates lost in overtime in Toronto on Wednesday night and arrived in Nashville in the early morning hours.

“It was nice to get it out of the way,” Byram said. “Obviously, not the way you want your first game with a new team to end, but that’s the way it goes. We’ll head back to Buffalo now and I’ll try to get my life somewhat sorted and get ready to play again.”

Nashville’s power play struck again with 3:45 remaining in the first, with Evangelista scoring on a tap-in from just outside the crease off a pass from Mark Jankowski.

“I’m kind of finding my game, winning some more battles,” Evangelista said. “Any time you can produce and have a positive impact on the game, especially at this time of year, it’s huge. It’s not just me, though. It’s everyone that’s kind of finding their game right now.”

The Predators have notched multiple power-play goals in two of their last three games.

Forsberg scored again at 1:48 of the third, tucking a backhand just underneath the crossbar for his 31st goal of the season.

Forsberg completed his hat trick at 6:43 of the third on a wraparound goal.

Power scored for the Sabres with 7:52 remaining in the third.


Sabres: Host Edmonton on Saturday.

Predators: Visit Columbus on Saturday. -


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