Series (Game 1 of 1)

Buffalo leads 1-0

Game 1: Saturday, December 3rd

Sabres 3

(14-11-1, 29 pts)

Predators 2

(12-10-4, 28 pts)

8:00 PM ET, December 3, 2011

Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

1 2 3 T
BUF 2 0 13
NSH 0 0 22

L. Adam (Sabres - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

R. Miller (Sabres - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .941

D. Legwand (Predators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Sabres-Predators Preview


The Buffalo Sabres are looking for a boost, and Ryan Miller could be the one to give it to them.

The goaltender may make his first start since Nov. 12 on Saturday night when the Sabres visit the Nashville Predators.

Buffalo (13-11-1) has been without Miller since he was bowled over by Boston's Milan Lucic in a 6-2 loss Nov. 12 and suffered a concussion. He served as Jhonas Enroth's backup for Friday's 4-1 loss to Detroit, two days after participating in his first full practice since the incident.

Coach Lindy Ruff has not committed publicly to a starter for Saturday. Enroth made 32 saves Friday and has started the Sabres' last nine games.

Buffalo is 3-5-1 in that stretch, and fell behind by three goals after the first period against the Red Wings.

"That first period showed how a top team plays in the NHL," defenseman Robyn Regehr said. "We have to be a lot sharper right off the bat. We have to work much harder and be harder on the pucks. Once (Detroit) gets the puck, they make very disciplined decisions."

Top scorer Thomas Vanek has one goal and seven assists in the last nine games for Buffalo.

"We've got to win a game, that's the bottom line," Vanek said. "We've got to make a run here."

Buffalo may have a good opportunity Saturday since it has won four of six times when playing the second half of back-to-back days.

Nashville (12-9-4) is eager to open a stretch of six of seven at home after closing a five-game road trip with Thursday's 6-5 victory at Vancouver. The Predators rallied from a two-goal deficit in the second period.

"To get two points, that's a huge lift for our team going forward," center Nick Spaling said. "Obviously we've got a lot to work on from the game."

Mike Fisher scored twice, rookie sensation Craig Smith added three assists and the Predators had three other skaters come through on a power play that went 3 for 3. Nashville went 2 for 16 with the man advantage while going 1-3-0 in the first four games of the trip.

"To get three, obviously you gotta get the bounces, too but obviously burying your chances and bearing down and scoring the goals is huge also," center David Legwand said.

The Predators have been mediocre at home, going 4-3-3 at Bridgestone Arena, where their penalty kill is functioning at just 75.9 percent. However, the Sabres are 0 for 13 on the power play over their last four contests.

"Obviously we need to get back to the winning ways and string a couple together," Legwand said. "Obviously you're going to have your ups and downs, but we need to keep it up here for a couple games and keep it rolling."

Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne was pulled Thursday after allowing five goals on 18 shots. Anders Lindback stopped all 19 shots he faced in relief. Rinne is 1-1-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average in two starts against Buffalo while Lindback made 35 saves to win last season's meeting, 4-3 in overtime.

Miller had 22 saves in the defeat for the Sabres, falling to 2-2-1 with a 2.69 GAA in five career starts against the Predators.