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Miller, Sabres blank Devils

Mar 27, 2011 - 4:32 AM
Buffalo, NY (Sports Network) - Ryan Miller made 30 stops for his fifth shutout of the season as the Buffalo Sabres kept pace in the playoff race with a 2-0 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Nathan Gerbe and Thomas Vanek each had a goal for the Sabres, who have won three straight.

Buffalo now has 85 points and sits five points ahead of Carolina, which lost to Tampa Bay on Saturday, for the final playoff spot. Also, the Sabres are two points back of both the Rangers and Canadiens.

Martin Brodeur stopped 26 shots for the Devils, who have dropped three straight and five of six.

New Jersey had made an incredible run to get into playoff contention as early in the year the team sat in the basement of the NHL. The Devils now have 73 points and sit in the 12th spot in the Eastern Conference, but are all but eliminated from postseason contention.

"You gotta give the Sabres a little credit. They were hungry," said Brodeur. "They're smelling it -- they're in the playoffs. They are trying to get some distance from some teams."

Buffalo got the only goal it needed 4:17 into the game when Gerbe's wrister from the right circle beat Brodeur top shelf for his 14th goal of the season.

The Sabres took a 2-0 lead with 3:43 to play in the first. After a right circle faceoff win, the puck came to the low left side where Thomas Vanek banged it home for his 26th marker of the campaign.

Miller turned aside nine shots in the first period and 10 in the second while Brodeur stopped all seven shots he faced in the middle frame to keep his team in the contest.

Miller then made 11 saves in the third to cap the shutout.

"When we had breakdowns Ryan made some big saves and that's what it's all about," said Sabres forward Jason Pominville. "I think it was a big team win for us tonight."

Game Notes

Buffalo plays at Toronto on Tuesday...The Devils host the Islanders on Wednesday...Buffalo took three of four from the Devils this season...Miller has 22 shutouts in his career.