Niagara Gazette

Pro Sports

February 27, 2008

SABRES NOTES: Miller leaves with bloody nose, but returns

BUFFALO — Talk about a roller-coaster night for Sabres goalie Ryan Miller, who ended up with his 29th victory of the season in Buffalo’s 8-4 win over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday.

Miller kept his perfect record in tact against penalty shots, stopping Scott Nichol just 34 seconds into the second period. He has stopped all seven penalty shots he’s faced.

Nichol had snuck behind Jason Pominville and was in on a breakaway when Jaroslav Spacek slid into stop him. Spacek didn’t get any piece of the puck and the penalty shot was called.

Nichol tried to beat Miller high on the glove side, but the netminder made the save. Nichol was an 11th round draft choice of the Sabres in the 1993 entry draft, and played five games with the team over two seasons. He failed to register a point in those appearances.

But Miller later left the game with a bloody nose after Marek Zidlicky’s big shot from the point. The puck caromed off Miller’s mask and as he fell to the ice, the rebound went directly to Jan Hlavac, who scored into the empty net.

Jocelyn Thibault entered in relief, stopping just five of the shots he faced as the Predators climbed back into the game.

Miller returned, however, with 8:58 remaining in the second period, patting Thibault on the head.

•••

It’s often Andrew Peters doesn’t hustle into a fracas. But when the Sabres tough guy scored his first goal of the season and just the fourth of his career, he stood with his arms raised for a minute, enjoying the spotlight while Adam Mair tangled with a Nashville player.

Peters’ last goal came more than a year ago, on Feb. 20, 2007, against the Philadelphia Flyers. The play was an unlikely combination of two players not known for their offensive skills — Peters and Patrick Kaleta. While behind the net digging the puck out, Kaleta lobbed a perfect backhanded pass on to Peters’ stick. Peters buried a quick shot that beat Nashville goalie Chris Mason on his stick side.

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