Buffalo Sabres center Zemgus Girgensons (28), of Latvia, shoots the puck over Nashville Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, as defenseman Matt Irwin (52) defends during the second period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
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Nashville Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis (4) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period of an NHL hockey game Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kevin Fiala scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and the Nashville Predators beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 Monday night.

Ryan Ellis also scored and Pekka Rinne stopped 20 shots to help the Predators win their second straight.

Sam Reinhart had a goal for Buffalo, which has lost three straight after a 10-game winning streak. Carter Hutton had 23 saves.

Rinne denied a slap shot from the Sabres' Jack Eichel with 15.4 seconds remaining to preserve the victory.

On the Predators' go-ahead goal, Craig Smith had the puck in the left corner and found Fiala at the left faceoff dot, where he snapped a quick wrist shot between Hutton's pads with 3:26 left in the middle period. It gave Fiala six points in his last six games.

Reinhart had tied the score 1-1 earlier in the period. After a mad scramble in front, Reinhart's backhand was turned aside by Rinne but Josi's clearing attempt with his backhand went into the net, giving Reinhart his seventh of the season at 5:20.

Ellis scored the game's first goal with 3:35 left in the first. With the Predators on a power play, Roman Josi sent a pass from the right point to Ellis at the top of the left faceoff circle, and Ellis fired a one-timer high to Hutton's glove side.

NOTES: The home team has won the last seven matchups. ... Nashville is 15-1-0 this season when scoring first. ... Predators C Nick Bonino returned to the lineup after missing one game with an illness. ... Reinhart has seven points (six goals, one assist) in seven career games against Nashville. ... Hutton, who served as Rinne's backup in Nashville for three seasons beginning in the 2013-14 season, dropped to 0-3-1 against his former team.


Sabres: Host Toronto on Tuesday night to open a stretch of four straight at home.

Predators: At Vancouver on Thursday night.