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Bowen Byram Scores in Debut; Sabres Lose 4-2 in Nashville



Buffalo Sabres Nashville Predators game recap

Newcomer Bowen Byram recorded a goal and a primary assist as the Buffalo Sabres lost 4-2 to the Nashville Predators on Thursday. Byram was acquired Wednesday in a one-for-one swap with the Colorado Avalanche for Casey Mittelstadt. He certainly did not disappoint in his debut, although it was a lackluster performance for the team overall.

Must Read: Sabres Trade Casey Mittelstadt; Acquire Bowen Byram

Nashville’s Filip Forsberg started the scoring with a power-play goal early in the first period, but Byram answered with a quick equalizer 30 seconds in. Another powerplay goal by Luke Evangelista recouped the lead for the Predators before the end of the first, and the Sabres never recovered.

The second period went scoreless, but back-to-back Forsberg tallies in the third saw plenty of hats rain on the ice in Nashville. Byram found Owen Power in the slot for Buffalo’s second goal of the game, but it was too little, too late.

Impact Players

Without a doubt, Filip Forsberg was the star of this one. He, Ryan O’Reilly, and Gustav Nyquist were all over the offensive zone. Some nights the stars shine bright, and Forsberg was able to cash in at both even strength and on the powerplay.

On the Sabres end, Byram’s two primary points were only the real positive takeaway from this game. He also spelled Owen Power of some ice time, as the new acquisition was only second to Rasmus Dahlin in time-on-ice.

Overall, the Sabres got crushed in shot attempts and were pinned in their zone far too often. This includes Byram and Dahlin.

The Difference

Tage Thompson was a late scratch for Thursday’s game with an upper-body injury. The forward lines were in a blender as a result, which noticeably hurt the flow of the group. The Sabres only generated 2.02 expected goals to go along with the two actual goals posted, per Evolving-Hockey.

That’s not nearly enough to win a hockey game, as the Sabres continue their offensive woes. They didn’t have Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to bail them out in this one, either.

What’s Next

The Sabres are off Friday as the NHL Trade Deadline occurs at 3 pm ET. There’s been a flurry of trades already and Buffalo expects to be active, rostering plenty of pending unrestricted free agents. The result could be a much different team facing the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday.

Must Read: Who Will the Sabres Trade Next?

Regardless of the Sabres’ lineup, the Oilers should be an enjoyable matinee ticket at KeyBank Center. The Connor McDavid game is a fun one every year, and Edmonton is primed for a deep playoff run again this season.