Okposo’s shorthanded goal leads Sabres over Predators 5-3

Jan 14, 2023, 5:58 AM | Updated: 8:45 pm
Nashville Predators defenseman Roland McKeown (55) gets control of the puck in front of right wing ...

Nashville Predators defenseman Roland McKeown (55) gets control of the puck in front of right wing Nino Niederreiter (22) and Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

              Nashville Predators defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (3) celebrates his goal against the Buffalo Sabres with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
            
              Buffalo Sabres center Tage Thompson (72) falls on Nashville Predators right wing Nino Niederreiter (22) as they chase the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
            
              Nashville Predators center Juuso Parssinen (75) reaches for the puck as Buffalo Sabres defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin, right, loses his stick during the second period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
            
              Buffalo Sabres left wing Jeff Skinner (53) scores a goal against Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
            
              Nashville Predators center Mikael Granlund (64) and Buffalo Sabres center Tyson Jost (17) battle for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
            
              Buffalo Sabres right wing Jack Quinn, left, shoots the puck as Nashville Predators defenseman Roland McKeown (55) defends during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
            
              Nashville Predators defenseman Roland McKeown (55) gets control of the puck in front of right wing Nino Niederreiter (22) and Buffalo Sabres center Dylan Cozens (24) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Jack Quinn scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-3 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Jeff Skinner, Dylan Cozens, Victor Olofsson and Kyle Okposo also scored and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 38 saves for the Sabres, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

“I think our guys felt and knew when they were playing the right way, they had some control over the game,” Buffalo coach Don Granato said. “Things were working well for them, it’s just getting back to that.”

Roman Josi, Jeremy Lauzon and Ryan Johansen scored and Juuse Saros made 28 saves for Nashville, losers of three straight.

“Yeah, it was great fighting back in the game,” Johansen said. “We went into the third period tied at home on a Saturday night, and we haven’t been here in a while. It sucks to not get the job done.”

Buffalo took the lead for good when Okposo scored a shorthanded goal at 6:43 of the third on a between the legs deflection.

“That’s where the puck was, so that’s what needed to happen,” Okposo said. “That’s how I was going to get the puck into the net.”

Buffalo held a two-goal lead late in the second, but Lauzon and Johansen scored goals 40 seconds apart to draw Nashville even heading into the third.

Skinner scored the game’s first goal at 11:37 of the opening period. He has scored 12 goals and added nine assists in 19 career games played against Nashville.

The goal snapped a seven-game goalless stretch for Skinner, his longest of the season.

CAREER HIGH FOR COZENS

Cozen’s goal at 2:05 of the second was his 14th of the season, establishing a new career high in goals for the center. He scored 13 goals in 79 games played in the 2021-22 season for the Sabres.

POWER PLAY DROUGHT SNAPPED

Nashville entered Saturday with the NHL’s 28th ranked power play, clicking at just 16.7% and not having scored a man-advantage goal in the last four games. Josi scored a power-play goal at 15:23 of the first on Nashville’s first power play of the game, his team-leading sixth power-play goal of the season.

Okposo’s shorthanded goal was the fourth shorthanded goal allowed by the Predators this season.

“I think we felt good going into the third, obviously had a lot of momentum,” Josi said. “Gave up one on the power play, the shorthanded goal, which was the tiebreaker. That can’t happen on the power play, when you have a chance to score. If you can’t score, get some momentum. Can’t get scored on.”

CARRIER OUT

Nashville defenseman Alexandre Carrier missed Saturday night’s game due to an upper-body injury. The Predators indicated the injury is unlikely to keep Carrier out of the lineup long term.

Roland McKeown was recalled from Milwaukee of the AHL earlier Saturday and played on the team’s third defensive pairing.

WHAT’S NEXT

Predators: Host the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

Sabres: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday.

___

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Okposo’s shorthanded goal leads Sabres over Predators 5-3