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Nashville
Predators
41-32-9
Buffalo
Sabres
39-31-12

33 SOG
33 SOG
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NSH
BUF
game recap

Sabres 8, Predators 4

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:48 AM

Associated Press

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Sabres 8, Predators 4
Nashville Predators 4, Buffalo Sabres 8
  Photo Gallery
  Game Highlights
 Lindy Ruff: Audio | Video
 Steve Bernier: Audio | Video
 Derek Roy: Audio 
 Ryan Miller: Audio
 Andrew Peters: Audio | Video
 Player Tunes: Mike Ryan
 Post-Game: Shootout
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -Steve Bernier can stop worrying. The pressure is off now that he made his Sabres debut memorable. 

Bernier scored goals on his first two shots and added an assist in sparking an 8-4 win over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night, a day after being acquired in a deal that sent All-Star defenseman Brian Campbell to San Jose.

"When your confidence is not where you want it to be and the first shot you make you score, it helps," said Bernier, labeled an underachiever during three seasons with the Sharks. "I'm glad everything went the way I wanted everything to go. ... Yeah, it's a good start, but nothing is done yet."

Bernier snapped a 12-game goal drought, the longest of his NHL career, and enjoyed his fifth multigoal game.

Toni Lydman had a career high four assists, Ales Kotalik had a goal and two assists, and Derek Roy, Daniel Paille, Jason Pominville, Tim Connolly and Andrew Peters also scored as Buffalo snapped an 0-1-1 skid. Buffalo jumped into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of idle Philadelphia.

It was an important statement by a Sabres team that had the potential of unraveling after losing Campbell, a key player and team leader.

"To have a player step in and have as good night first night, it's almost a dream come true," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said of Bernier.

Jason Arnott scored twice for the Predators, 0-2-1 in their past three games, including a 6-3 loss to Dallas on Saturday. David Legwand and Jan Hlavac, making his debut after being acquired Tuesday in a trade with Tampa Bay, also scored for the Predators.

Nashville, which kicked off a season-high, six-game road swing, entered the game in eighth place in the West, but lost ground when San Jose and Minnesota - both ahead of the Predators - won.

"It's quite frustrating because the urgency has got to be there," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "We blew a chance to get points. By the time we get home, we might be out of the playoffs. We might be ninth."

The Sabres broke the game open late in the second period when Pominville and Roy scored three minutes apart to put Buffalo up 6-3.

As blowouts go, it certainly proved entertaining, with Bernier's performance one of numerous highlights in a game between teams in different conferences.

It was a game in which all four goaltenders played; featured a seven-goal second period; had the Sabres nearly squander a three-goal lead for the second straight game; featured a chippy third period with numerous fights; and had a penalty shot. Nashville's Scott Nichol missed his second consecutive attempt this season.

The scariest moment came three minutes into the second period when Sabres goalie Ryan Miller was knocked woozy and had his nose bloodied after being struck in the mask by Marek Zidlicky's shot. The force of the drive knocked loose the main metal bar that runs from Miller's forehead to chin, and pushed it back on his nose.

With the tip of his nose swollen but not broken, Miller returned after missing about 8 minutes. He made 24 saves to preserve the victory.

"It was entertaining, no doubt," said Miller, who wasn't aware that Hlavac had converted the rebound.

Miller left with the Sabres up 3-1, and returned with Buffalo clinging to a 4-3 lead after backup Jocelyn Thibault allowed two goals on seven shots.

"Fortunately, we answered the call," said Miller, who had to wait for a new cage to be attached to his mask. "I was anxious to get back out there, just get the bleeding stopped and go."

Notes: Predators RW Brandon Bochenski, acquired from Anaheim on Tuesday, was scheduled to join the team at practice in Nashville on Thursday. ... Roy extended his point streak to a career-best seven games (four goals, six assists). ... Buffalo was the only city in which the 10-year-old Predators had never lost, going 3-0 with a tie in four previous visits.

scoring summary
1st Period
04:33
BUF
Steve Bernier (14) Tip-in - ASST: Derek Roy (31), Thomas Vanek (23)
1 - 0 BUF
14:07
BUF
Steve Bernier (15) Slapshot - ASST: Toni Lydman (18), Thomas Vanek (24)
2 - 0 BUF
2nd Period
02:01
BUF
Daniel Paille (14) Wrist shot - ASST: Paul Gaustad (19), Toni Lydman (19)
3 - 0 BUF
02:46
NSH
Jan Hlavac (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Marek Zidlicky (32), Martin Erat (28)
3 - 1 BUF
03:20
NSH
Jason Arnott (23) Wrist shot - ASST: J-P Dumont (36), Alexander Radulov (27)
3 - 2 BUF
04:13
BUF
Andrew Peters (1) Slapshot - ASST: Patrick Kaleta (1), Adam Mair (6)
4 - 2 BUF
07:53
NSH
PPG - Jason Arnott (24) Slapshot - ASST: Marek Zidlicky (33), David Legwand (28)
4 - 3 BUF
14:50
BUF
Jason Pominville (19) Wrist shot - ASST: Ales Kotalik (18), Nolan Pratt (5)
5 - 3 BUF
17:49
BUF
Derek Roy (25) Tip-in - ASST: Steve Bernier (11), Toni Lydman (20)
6 - 3 BUF
3rd Period
03:04
NSH
PPG - David Legwand (14) Snap shot - ASST: Ryan Suter (19), Marek Zidlicky (34)
6 - 4 BUF
07:35
BUF
Tim Connolly (6) Backhand shot - ASST: Toni Lydman (21), Ales Kotalik (19)
7 - 4 BUF
13:03
BUF
Ales Kotalik (19) Slapshot - ASST: Tim Connolly (33), Dmitri Kalinin (6)
8 - 4 BUF
penalty summary
1st Period
14:42
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Hooking against  Martin Erat
17:57
NSH
Scott Nichol  Boarding against  Patrick Kaleta
18:56
BUF
Derek Roy  Roughing against  Vernon Fiddler
18:56
NSH
Vernon Fiddler  Roughing against  Derek Roy
19:12
NSH
Dan Hamhuis  Hooking against  Clarke MacArthur
2nd Period
07:33
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Interference on goalkeeper against  Chris Mason
11:02
BUF
Clarke MacArthur  Hooking against  Jason Arnott
19:19
BUF
Nathan Paetsch  Hi stick - double minor against  Alexander Radulov
3rd Period
06:48
BUF
Andrew Peters  Fighting (maj) against  Darcy Hordichuk
06:48
NSH
Darcy Hordichuk  Fighting (maj) against  Andrew Peters
06:49
NSH
Jordin Tootoo  Fighting (maj) against  Adam Mair
06:49
BUF
Adam Mair  Fighting (maj) against  Jordin Tootoo
10:22
BUF
Toni Lydman  Hi-sticking against  J-P Dumont
14:04
NSH
Vernon Fiddler  Elbowing (maj) against  Patrick Kaleta
14:04
NSH
Vernon Fiddler  Roughing against  Patrick Kaleta
14:04
NSH
Scott Nichol  Roughing against  Patrick Kaleta
14:04
BUF
Patrick Kaleta  Roughing against  Vernon Fiddler
14:04
BUF
Dmitri Kalinin  Roughing against  Scott Nichol
16:52
NSH
Scott Nichol  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
16:52
NSH
Scott Nichol  Roughing against  Paul Gaustad
16:52
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Roughing against  Scott Nichol
16:52
BUF
Paul Gaustad  Roughing against  Scott Nichol
18:49
NSH
Jordin Tootoo  Slashing against  Adam Mair
18:49
NSH
Jordin Tootoo  Roughing against  Derek Roy
goalie stats
Chris Mason
Chris Mason
SA: 19TOI: 34:50
Saves: 14EV: 12 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .737SH: 0 - 0
Dan Ellis
Dan Ellis
SA: 14TOI: 25:10
Saves: 11EV: 7 - 10
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 3
SV%: .786SH: 1 - 1
Ryan Miller
SA: 26TOI: 51:44
Saves: 24EV: 15 - 16
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .923SH: 3 - 3
Jocelyn Thibault
SA: 7TOI: 8:16
Saves: 5EV: 4 - 5
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 2
SV%: .714SH: 0 - 0