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Miller, Vanek lift Sabres

Jan 31, 2008 - 4:28 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Ryan Miller stopped all 32 shots he faced for his sixth career shutout and Thomas Vanek scored the game's lone goal as the Buffalo Sabres blanked the Florida Panthers, 1-0, on Wednesday.

The Sabres earned their third consecutive win, while the Panthers fell to 1-5-3 in their last nine contests at BankAtlantic Center.

Miller continued his stellar play, holding the opposition to two goals or less for the seventh time in eight starts.

On Wednesday, the 27-year-old goaltender made five saves in the first period, 17 in the second and 10 in the third period to record his second shutout of the season. He made 20 saves in a 6-0 blanking of the Atlanta Thrashers on October 11.

"I try and get my game together where I can play in those situations," Miller said of vying for the shutout. "I just try and take breaks when I can, mentally. When the puck drops, I try to concentrate a little harder and make sure I'm on top of (my game)."

Miller's best stop came in the third period, when he denied Stephen Weiss from close range just over four minutes into the session to preserve the shutout.

"Yeah, that was a good save," Weiss said. "I was just trying to get it up a little bit more. That's a chance you'd like to have back."

"When we did break down, Ryan made some big saves," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said.

Vanek gave Miller all the support he needed just 40 seconds into the second period.

With Buffalo on the power play, Derek Roy blasted a shot from just inside the blue line that All-Star goaltender Tomas Vokoun stopped. Stationed in front, Vanek corralled the rebound and deposited it into the net for his 14th goal of the season.

"It felt nice," Vanek said. "I mean, I've had 20 of those (types of scoring chances) already this year and that's the first one I got in. So it was nice, but like I said, I'm more worried about winning. That's three in a row, and we'll go for four in Atlanta (on Friday)."

The fifth overall selection in the 2003 draft, Vanek finished fifth in the NHL in 2006-07 with 43 goals and 19th with 84 points while posting a league-best plus-47 rating.

Vanek's goal was Buffalo's first power-play tally on the road in its last 40 chances. He admitted the team was long overdue.

"Definitely, especially with the unit I'm on," Vanek said. "I think we've been playing well with Jochen (Hecht) down low and moving the puck well. (We've been) creating a lot more and shooting a lot more, which gives me more opportunity to tip pucks and get rebounds like I did tonight."

Vokoun was solid in his own right, stopping 40 shots in the loss.

"We've got to focus on each game and play it like (it's our) last," Vokoun said. "The hole is getting deeper. ... You don't get points for playing hard. We've got to find a way to win."

"When it came to chances in the second and third, we matched them," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "We just didn't capitalize. ... We have to look at February as a key month to try and stay in the (playoff) race."

Florida's Jozef Stumpel returned to the ice after missing seven games with a shoulder injury. He had five shots in 18 minutes of play.

Panthers captain Olli Jokinen did not return to the game after the first period due to flu-like symptoms. Weiss, however, was not willing to offer any excuses.

"It was there," Weiss said. "It was there for us to have, we just couldn't get anything in the net. The chances were there."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 0 1
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 14 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    0:40
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: BUF - 1 OF 3, FLA - 0 OF 2.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 9

    Jan 30 9:58 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Close Finish)

    Sabres vs. PanthersJan 30 9:54 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 1 1
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 14 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE)
    0:40
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 9 18 27
    FLA 5 17 22
    GOALIES: BU

    Jan 30 9:06 PM
  • 5
    roots
    bouch Added 5 roots

    Sabres vs. PanthersJan 30 8:50 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    FLORIDA 0
    2ND PRD: BUF - (PP) THOMAS VANEK 14 (DEREK ROY, JASON POMINVILLE) 0:40

    Sabres vs. PanthersJan 30 8:32 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    FLORIDA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 10 10
    FLA 5 5
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    FLA - TOMAS VOKOUN

    Jan 30 8:12 PM