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Ryan Miller stones Flyers 1-0, series tied at 2 games apiece

Ryan Miller stones Flyers 1-0, series tied at 2 games apiece

     HSBC Arena Wednesday April 20, 2011. The Buffalo Sabres behind the flawless goaltending of Ryan Miller tied their Eastern Conference quarterfinals playoff series with the Philadelphia Flyers with a 1-0 victory.
     Following an opening surge of eight minutes where the Sabres forced the play, the remainder of the game was predominately carried by the Flyres who peppered Miller with 32 shots to no avail.
     Late in the third period, Daniel Briere lingered deep in the Sabres zone as Buffalo appeared likely to move the puck up the left wing and into the center ice area. but a turnover at the blueline and a quick pass in front while the Buffalo players were out of position on the transition found Briere alone in, eyeball to eyeball with his former teammate Ryan Miller.
     Knowing that Miller had carried them both to a pair of conference finals when they were teammates, Briere was prepared for the challenge of scoring against an elite goaltender who does not wilt but rather thrives under the playoff pressure, to hopefully tie the game. Alone together for what seemed like an eternity, it was only about three seconds, which in hockey can seem like forever, Briere threw a few dekes and then shot with the game on the line. When Miller moved his glove and the black puck disappeared only to reappear after the whistle when Miller opened his trapper, the HSBC crowd exhulted in a deafening roar of joy, appreciation and relief.
     Miller's second shoutout of the series tied the Sabres single season playoff record of two held by Dominik Hasek. Flyers former GM Bobby Clarke once said that with Hasek in goal, when the Sabres would score the opening goal of a game the players would high five each other on the bench because they knew they were guaranteed at least a tie. Miller has been playing at that level and beyond in his two victories in this series.
Photo by Jeff Barnes


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