Niagara Gazette

Sports

December 30, 2013

Miller, Sabres top Capitals in SO

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — If USA Hockey needed a reminder of how well Ryan Miller can play, the Buffalo Sabres goalie provided one.

Playing three days before the U.S. Olympic hockey roster will be released, Miller made 49 saves to lead the Sabres to a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals in a six-round shootout on Sunday night.

“Olympics or not, he’s going to play like that no matter what,” said Drew Stafford, who scored the Sabres’ regulation goal. “If I’m picking the team, he’s my guy, but I’m a little biased on that end.”

Miller stood out as the Sabres were outshot 50-17. He stopped 12 shots from Alex Ovechkin before the shootout and then stopped him and five others in the tiebreaker.

“That was worth the price of admission to watch goaltending like that,” Sabres coach Ted Nolan said. “Very rarely do we get to see it live, and tonight he was sensational.”

Steve Ott scored the lone shootout goal as the Sabres improved to 5-0-1 in their last six home games after starting 3-12-1 there.

Philipp Grubauer made 16 saves for Washington, and Troy Brouwer scored the Capitals’ only goal.

Buffalo is 4-1-2 in its last seven games.

“It feels good when they stay out and you get a win like that,” Miller said. “It’s nice.”

Washington controlled the majority of the play, registering 15 shots in the first three periods before adding five in overtime.

“We made the right decisions with the puck, and the power play was working today, but we didn’t score,” Ovechkin said. “(Miller) was on top of his game and he carried them into the shootout and onto victory.”

Capitals coach Adam Oates had a hard time faulting his team after its dominant performance that didn’t produce a win.

“I can’t really complain,” Oates said. “There’s games that your goalie steals games for you, and I kind of look at that one as a game that their goalie did for them.”

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