Make that four bad losses in a row.
Buffalo coughed up two two-goal leads Tuesday night, allowing Nashville to rally for a 5-4 overtime victory. The Predators outshot the Sabres, 35-12, during the final 42 minutes of regulation.
Nashville tied the game with 2:23 to play, then got the winner from Filip Forsberg with 2:15 to play in overtime. The Sabres failed to connect on an overtime power play, which basically featured two four-on-two situations after two Predators had their sticks break.
The Sabres fell to just 1-6-4 in 11 meetings between the teams in Buffalo.
The Sabres were looking to rebound from a beatdown by Chicago and losses to bottom-dwellers Colorado and Arizona. Instead, they'll head into Wednesday's trade deadline on a four-game slide with a 26-26-11 record.
Back in net: Robin Lehner was late to the morning skate, but he was in net for the start of the game. After getting cleared in concussion and medical testing Tuesday morning, he got the call for the Sabres. He missed Sunday’s game in Arizona after taking a couple of head shots Saturday in Colorado.
“No symptoms in my head anymore, and I felt good,” Lehner said. “I got some small symptoms, but it was all neck related and I passed all my testing. So I’m happy there’s nothing bad.”
Coming out hot: Most of the opening 18:30 belonged to the Sabres. They scored twice while racking up a 16-5 shot edge. But instead of heading into the first intermission to applause, a late miscue allowed the Predators to cut the lead in half and dampen the enthusiasm.
On the board: Sabres captain Brian Gionta, who reiterated his desire to stay through the trade deadline, ended a 13-game goal drought. After drawing a delayed penalty, Jack Eichel passed to Zach Bogosian for a shot that went off the back boards. Gionta watched the carom sail through the air and hit the puck with a backhand. Gionta’s whack struck goaltender Pekka Rinne and bounced home with 4:08 left in the first.
Doubling the lead: The Sabres got another fortuitous bounce when the puck trickled to the net after Jake McCabe’s stick broke on a shot. Kyle Okposo kicked the slow roller to himself and ended a six-game drought while falling with 2:34 to go.
Slide and a miss: A Predators dump-in went to the slot, and Lehner decided to make a dash for the puck before Mike Fisher could get it. Lehner missed with his slide, however. Fisher outfought Bogosian in the crease for an empty-netter with 1:11 left in the first.
Tied up: A hot streak by the Sabres’ penalty killers came to an end with 2:09 gone in the second. Ryan Johansen’s shot from the right side hit a skate and bounced to Colin Wilson. He had an open net from the top of the crease, giving Nashville two goals from a total of 4 feet.
Buffalo’s penalty-kill unit was 13 for 13 during the previous six games.
Staying hot: Evander Kane scored his 22nd of the season, leaving him eight shy of his career high with 19 games to go. Cody Franson sent Gionta and Kane on an odd-man rush, with the captain setting up Kane. His rocket hit the post before going in with 5:35 gone in the second, giving Buffalo a 3-2 lead.
Widening the lead: With the teams skating four-on-four after brief run-in between Kane and P.K. Subban, Rinne directed a rebound right to Jake McCabe. The Buffalo defenseman promptly deposited his second of the season with 56 seconds gone in the final period.
Making it close: Johansen scored his 10th of the year with 8:44 left, slipping a far-side shot past Lehner to make it 4-3.
Making it tied: Filip Forsberg blew past Rasmus Ristolainen like he was a pylon, then beat Lehner from close range with 2:23 left to tie it, 4-4.
Up and down: The Sabres outshot the Predators, 16-7, during the first period. Nashville outshot the Sabres, 16-6, during the second. Nashville finished with a 41-32 lead.
Line swaps: The Sabres changed three of their four lines, keeping just the top trio of Ryan O’Reilly in the middle of left wing Justin Bailey and Okposo. Gionta joined Jack Eichel and Kane. Rodrigues skated between Marcus Foligno and Sam Reinhart. Zemgus Girgensons centered Matt Moulson and Tyler Ennis.
Milestone: Ennis skated in his 400th NHL game, all in a Buffalo uniform.
Next: Arizona comes to Buffalo on Thursday for a rematch of Sunday’s meeting in the desert. The Sabres collapsed, allowing three third-period goals in a 3-2 loss.