The Philadelphia Flyers abused Ryan Miller in Game 7 of their first round series, but things were just as ugly for the all-world goalie tonight on Versus. After allowing three dispiriting goals on just 11 shots, Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff mercifully pulled the plug on Miller’s night – much like what happened in that Game 7, only this time much sooner in the contest.
To be exact, the change happened just 6:23 into the first period, the second quickest outing of the great goalie’s career according to Liam McHugh. This contest will leave Miller with a single-night goals against average that would make Vesa Toskala blush, but the important thing to remember is that it’s just one bad night.
Things really haven’t been great for Miller since he notched a 22-save shutout against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 20. He’s on a three-game losing streak and can only hope for a non-decision if the Sabres can come back tonight. It’s unfair to say that he’s the sole reason that his team is in a 3-0 hole, but the bottom line is that some people will blame him anyway.
Even great goalies hit a rut, so the key is for Miller and the Sabres to bounce back. They can start doing just that in the second period tonight, although their franchise netminder will likely just be in a cheerleader role.
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.