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Filip Forsberg’s hat trick sends Predators past Sabres

Mar 7, 2024; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan McDonagh (27) breaks up an attack by Buffalo Sabres left wing Zach Benson (9) during their game at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alan Poizner-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Alan Poizner-USA TODAY Sports

Filip Forsberg recorded a hat trick to help the Nashville Predators post a 4-2 win against the visiting Buffalo Sabres on Thursday.

Luke Evangelista also scored and Gustav Nyquist had three assists for the Predators, who improved to 9-0-1 in their past 10 games. Juuse Saros made 26 saves, making him 7-0-1 in his past eight starts.

Bowen Byram had a goal and an assist in his Sabres debut, and Owen Power also found the net. Buffalo goalie Eric Comrie stopped 21 shots. The Sabres played without center Tage Thompson, who is day-to-day due to an upper-body injury.

Forsberg gave Nashville a 1-0 lead on a power play at 3:53 of the first period. He received a pass from Roman Josi in the right circle and quickly snapped it into the far side of the net.

Byram, acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday in exchange for Casey Mittelstadt, tied it 30 seconds later. Peyton Krebs drove into the offensive zone and sent a pass to Rasmus Dahlin, who quickly fed Byram on the left side. The defenseman then took the puck into the left circle before snapping it past Saros.

Evangelista put the Predators ahead 2-1 with another power-play goal at 16:15 of the first, directing a seam pass from Mark Jankowski through the top of the crease into the right side of the net.

Forsberg made it 3-1 at 1:49 of the third period. Nyquist sent a pass from the right wall to Forsberg on the backdoor, where he settled the puck and lifted a backhand over a sprawled Comrie.

The Sabres came close to pulling within one on a pair of chances a few minutes later but were denied by Saros. He stopped Zach Benson driving to the net off a feed from Dylan Cozens, and shortly thereafter, he stayed with Eric Robinson after he made moves to cut to the net.

Forsberg completed the hat trick at 6:43 when he collected the rebound of his own shot off the end boards and tucked it inside the left post on a wraparound for a 4-1 advantage.

It was Forsberg’s ninth career hat trick, his first since Dec. 31, 2022, against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Byram found Power in the slot for a wrist shot that beat Saros high to narrow the margin to 4-2 at 12:52, but Buffalo got no closer.

–Field Level Media

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