NASHVILLE -- The Buffalo Sabres couldn't handle an opponent's pushback this time.
After controlling play at the start of the third period, the Sabres quickly lost momentum and Craig Smith scored the go-ahead power play goal to help the Nashville Predators win, 2-1, Saturday night in Bridgestone Arena.
Smith scored seven seconds after Jack Eichel's tripping penalty by redirecting a Kyle Turris pass off the goal post and into the net for a 2-1 lead with 6:29 remaining in regulation.
The Sabres (22-20-7) enter the break with five wins in their last eight games, splitting the two-game road trip. Nine of Buffalo's first 10 games after the break are at KeyBank Center.
Sam Reinhart scored his 17th goal of the season and Linus Ullmark made 35 saves to fall to 16-13-3. Ryan Johansen also scored for Nashville (22-18-7), which split the season series with Buffalo and was 3-6-1 in its previous 10 games.
12:08: The Sabres did not record their first shot on goal until 12:08 into the game, when Johan Larsson deflected a Rasmus Dahlin wrister into goalie Pekka Rinne's leg pads. The Predators had already forced Linus Ullmark to make nine saves, including a deflection by Matt Duchene. Buffalo did not record on a shot on its first power play.
Not-so-warm welcome: Jimmy Vesey was booed as soon as he touched the puck early in the first period. Vesey was a third-round draft pick of Nashville in 2012 and opted to not sign with the Predators in 2016.
Precision: The Sabres broke the scoreless tie at 1:02 into the second period on Reinhart's 17th goal of the season. Dahlin faked a shot from the right circle to fool Rinne and thread a pass through traffic to Reinhart, who corralled the puck and shot into the net.
Reinhart has five goals since Jan. 1 and entered Saturday on pace for a career-high 27 this season. The Sabres were 9-2-1 when leading after the first period this season.
Historic numbers: With his goal Thursday at Dallas, Dahlin passed Scott Stevens (70) for most points recorded by an NHL defenseman before his 20th birthday. Dahlin now trails Phil Housley (132), Ray Bourque (79), Rick Hampton (76) and Bobby Orr (72) for most points ever recorded by a teenage NHL defenseman.
Chaos: Ullmark stopped 13 of 14 shots during an eventful second period. The busy 20 minutes began with Ullmark using his leg pad to stop Nick Bonino's rebound shot. Oddly enough, Ullmark's split save on Craig Smith was not his most impressive of the second period.
Ullmark had to dive across the crease after he was caught behind his net attempting to play the puck. Johansen's shot from the slot went off Ullmark's chest, and the Sabres' 26-year-old goalie eventually froze the puck.
Difficult bounce: Johansen tied the score, 1-1, by banking the puck off Sabres defenseman Zach Bogosian and into the net at 6:05 into the second period. Johansen gained possession after Roman Josi's shot ricocheted off the end boards.
Wide open: The two teams combined for 31 shots on goal, 17 of which were by the Sabres, during the second period. However, the Predators had the advantage in scoring chances (14-7). Buffalo's best opportunity came with about a minute remaining when Kyle Okposo redirected a pass off the crossbar.
Entering Saturday, the Sabres were 3-3-5 when tied after two periods.
Helping hand: An official review determined a shot by Okposo crossed the goal line at 2:43 into the third period, however, the play was ruled no goal because Rinne was pushed into the net.
Lineup: Forwards Rasmus Asplund and Scott Wilson, and defenseman Colin Miller were the Sabres' healthy scratches. Wilson and Miller were scratched Thursday in Dallas, while Asplund played 10:46 against the Stars.
Injury updates: Sabres winger Victor Olofsson joined the team during the road trip and performed off-ice workouts without a walking boot. Additionally, Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said Jeff Skinner (upper body) could join the team after the break.
Next: The Sabres are off next week for their bye and the All-Star break. They host the Ottawa Senators on Tues., Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.