for this game

Miller benefits from second-period surge as Sabres roll

Feb 1, 2009 - 6:10 AM
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Ryan Miller had all the answers for the struggling offense of the Phoenix Coyotes.

Miller made 28 saves and the Buffalo Sabres used an offensive spurt in the second period to post a 2-0 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday.

Tim Connolly and Daniel Paille each tallied in the middle session for the Sabres, who continued their six-game road trip by bouncing back from Wednesday's 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

"I thought we got off to a little bit of a slow start and we were a little loose with turnovers," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "But in the second and third we had a great effort from the guys. Defensively and offensively, we locked in pretty good and frustrated them for 40 minutes."

The 28-year-old Miller turned aside 15 shots in the first, three in the second and 10 in the third to secure his fourth shutout of the season and 11th career.

"I think Ryan Miller did a great job," Connolly said. "He took away all their first shots and all their great chances and we were able to clean up the second and third chances."

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 19 shots for Phoenix, which was blanked for the second straight contest.

"We obviously know what the issue is," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "We played two real solid hockey games back to back, fast tempo, physical games and with our discipline as a team, we held them to 20 shots.

"When we did get pucks through, we had nobody there and when we had people there we couldn't get pucks through."

Phoenix's goalless streak ballooned to 146 minutes, 36 seconds thanks to the prowess of Miller.

"The power play let us down," Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. "It's let us down a couple of times now. That falls on me and falls on the guys that are our offensive leaders and get the opportunity on our power play. We're the guys that take the heat on this one."

The former Michigan State standout and 2001 Hobey Baker Award winner, Miller allowed three third-period goals against Calgary and had surrendered 12 tallies on 107 shots in losing two of his last three starts.

He seemingly ended his struggles in this one, though. Miller shined in his first career start against the Coyotes in improving to 8-3-1 in his last 12 road starts.

"It's something we identified on the schedule as being very important to our season," Miller said of playing on the road. "It was going to be make or break and we had to survive it. So far it's been a good trip. There are still challenges ahead but so far we've handled it well."

Connolly gave his netminder all the help he would need 4:21 into the second by wristing a shot past Bryzgalov from the doorstep after Thomas Vanek and captain Craig Rivet engaged in a series of passes.

"I saw those guys battling in front," Connolly said. "They took most of the attention away and I was able to sneak in there behind the defense and it was just laying there in front of the goal line."

Paille doubled the lead 4:23 later with a wrist shot from the low slot, notching his fifth goal of the season.

The Coyotes failed to avoid losing three in a row since dropping a season-high six straight (0-4-2) from November 15-24.

"They wanted their big guns to shoot the puck," Miller said. "They do have some hard shots but they had a hard time getting them through with all the traffic."






  • 5
    roots
    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Sabres 2, Coyotes 0  FinalFeb 1 2:02 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 2 0 2
    PHOENIX 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - TIM CONNOLLY 9 (THOMAS VANEK, CRAIG RIVET) 4:21
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 5 (DEREK ROY, CHRIS BUTLER) 8:44
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: BUF - 0 OF 4, PHO - 0 OF 7.
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Jan 31 11:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 2 2
    PHOENIX 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: BUF - TIM CONNOLLY 9 (THOMAS VANEK, CRAIG RIVET) 4:21
    BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 5 (DEREK ROY, CHRIS BUTLER) 8:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 6 10

    Jan 31 10:38 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 2
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: BUF - DANIEL PAILLE 5 (DEREK ROY, CHRIS BUTLER) 8:44

    Sabres 2, Coyotes 0  2nd - 11:16Jan 31 10:16 PM


  • NHL
    BUFFALO 1
    PHOENIX 0
    2ND PRD: BUF - TIM CONNOLLY 9 (THOMAS VANEK, CRAIG RIVET) 4:21

    Sabres 1, Coyotes 0  2nd - 15:39Jan 31 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    PHOENIX 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    BUF 6 6
    PHO 15 15
    GOALIES: BUF - RYAN MILLER
    PHO - ILJA BRYZGALOV

    Jan 31 9:47 PM