National Hockey League
Nashville 5, Buffalo 4
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Where: KeyBank Center, Buffalo, New York
Referees: Francis Charron, Steve Kozari
Linesmen: Brad Kovachik, Bevan Mills
Attendance: 18634

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Nashville's Filip Forsberg continues to make his case as one of the best young players in the NHL. That may even be an understatement.

"He's the best player in the league right now the way he's playing," defenseman P.K. Subban said.

Forsberg scored the tying goal with 2:23 remaining in regulation and the game-winner 2:45 into overtime to lead Nashville to a 5-4 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

It capped a tremendous comeback by the Predators (32-22-9), who overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third period and another standout evening for Forsberg. The 22-year-old has 10 goals in his last five games, which includes a set of back-to-back hat tricks.

"There's nobody else that you'd want the puck on their stick in the closing minutes of the third period to get it to overtime," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "And then in overtime, that's the guy who has to have it on his stick. He's been outstanding."

Mike Fisher, Colin Wilson and Ryan Johansen also scored for Nashville, which won its fourth game in a row. Pekka Rinne made 28 saves for the Predators.

The tying goal was an exceptional one-man effort. Forsberg raced into the Buffalo zone, went around defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and beat Sabres goalie Robin Lehner to the glove side.

The game-winner came after the Sabres came up short on an offensive rush of their own. The Predators turned it the other way and Forsberg beat Lehner with a high wrist shot to the glove side.

"Obviously, it's a little rare what's going on right now, but it's fun," Forsberg said. "I can't say (I'm the best player in the league). Obviously, there's too many good players, but I'm just happy to help the team to get the two points."

Brian Gionta, Kyle Okposo, Evander Kane and Jake McCabe scored for the Sabres (26-27-10). Buffalo let two two-goal leads slip away against Nashville, which comes after surrendering a two-goal lead in a devastating loss to Arizona on Sunday. Lehner made 36 saves.

"It's the same thing, it's almost like a broken record," McCabe said. "We say the right things, but it comes to the point where you've got to go out and execute. ... If I had the answer, I don't think we'd be having this conversation."

With three straight losses, the Sabres find themselves all but officially eliminated from the postseason heading into the trade deadline.

"We just kind of sat back and let them have at it," Okposo said. "If you give a good team that much time and that much space, they're going to make you pay."

Gionta opened the scoring with 4:08 remaining in the first period. The Sabres captain swatted a rebound out of the air after it caromed off the end boards, banking it off Rinne into the net for his 13th goal of the season.

Okposo made it 2-0 only 1:36 later. Okposo jumped on a rebound and scored his 19th goal of the season.

Fisher got one back for Nashville just before the end of the first. Lehner made a poor decision to charge out of the net in an effort to beat Fisher to the puck and was unsuccessful, allowing Fisher to score his 16th goal of the season with 1:11 left.

The Predators stormed back at the start of the second, grabbing an 8-0 edge in shots and evening the score 2:09 into the period. With Ristolainen in the box, Wilson picked up his 11th goal of the year. Johansen spotted Wilson with a cross-ice pass as Lehner and several players were tied up in the crease.

Kane restored Buffalo's lead on a terrific shot 5:35 into the second. On a two-on-one rush with Gionta, Kane rifled a hard shot off the left post and in to make it 3-2 on his 22nd goal of the season.

McCabe made it 4-2 only 56 seconds into the third. The defenseman grabbed a big rebound from Rinne and placed a hard shot to the glove side from the right circle. It was McCabe's second goal of the season.

Johansen cut Buffalo's lead to 4-3 on a quick wrist shot from the left circle with 8:44 remaining, setting up Forsberg's heroics.

"It took us a while to get our legs under it, get up to speed," Laviolette said. "I really liked the way that we fought for this game and for these two points."

NOTES: D Justin Falk, LW Nicolas Deslauriers and G Linus Ullmark were scratched for the Sabres. ... D Anthony Bitetto, C Colton Sissons and D Brad Hunt were scratched for the Predators. ... Earlier Tuesday, the Sabres acquired D Mat Bodie from the New York Rangers in exchange for F Daniel Catenacci. Both players have played this season in the AHL. Bodie is 12th among AHL defensemen with 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists) in 45 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack. ... This was the second of two meetings between the teams this season. Buffalo won the first matchup 5-4 in Nashville.
Top Game Performances
Nashville   Buffalo
Filip Forsberg 3 Points Brian Gionta 2
Filip Forsberg 2 Goals Brian Gionta 1
Matt Irwin 2 Assists Brian Gionta 1
Colin Wilson 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Pekka Rinne .875 Save Percentage Robin Lehner .878
Pekka Rinne 28 Saves Robin Lehner 36
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Nashville 41 5 1-4 2-2 6 32
Buffalo 32 4 0-2 3-4 10 22
Upcoming Games
  • Buffalo will play their next game at home against Arizona. The Sabres have a W/L % of .370 after a win and .444 after a loss.
  • Nashville will play their next game on the road against Montreal. The Predators have a W/L % of .387 after a win and .625 after a loss.