Ottawa Senators v Buffalo Sabres

Sabres’ Miller has plenty of incentive heading into next season


Three is a crowd, and the Buffalo Sabres’ crease remains awfully crowded as the summer continues. But as it seems right now, though, Ryan Miller is still The Guy.

Right now, at least.

The Sabres are coming upon a pivotal stage with their organization, especially with the enigmatic Miller entering the final year of his contract and the subject of trade talk that has gone otherwise silent in the last few weeks.

But there is plenty of incentive for the 33-year-old Miller, who had a record of 17-17-5, a goals-against average of 2.81 and save percentage of .915 last season, to put together as good a season as he possibly can.

First and foremost is what happened to him and the Sabres last season.

Not only did the club fail to make the playoffs, but Miller was constantly making headlines for either calling out teammates or what turned into a sometimes tumultuous relationship with the Buffalo fan base.

He was America’s starting goaltender at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, when an underdog U.S. team took Canada to overtime in the gold medal game.

A strong showing this season and he could regain the starting duties when the U.S. opens up it’s schedule in the men’s ice hockey competition in Sochi, Russia, in 2014.

Also, he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2013-14 season, when his current five-year deal worth $31.25 million expires.

The motivation should be there. He carried the U.S. to within one goal of a gold medal in 2010 and may only get one more chance to go between the pipes for his country on the Olympic stage.

And, if that’s not enough, playing to a level he’s shown capable of in the past may not only go a long way in smoothing over any wayward relationships, but could make the Sabres a dark horse in the newly aligned Atlantic Division.

‘He has earned the opportunity’ — Coyotes recall 2014 first-round pick Perlini

Brendan Perlini

Brendan Perlini is off to an impressive start this season with the Tuscon Roadrunners in the American Hockey League. The scoring has been there. The production has been there.

Averaging a point per game with 11 goals through 16 contests in the minors, Perlini is on his way to the NHL. The Arizona Coyotes officially recalled the 20-year-old forward — selected 12th overall in the 2014 draft — from Tuscon on Sunday.

The rebuilding, youthful Coyotes are last in the Pacific Division right now, stuck with eight wins through 23 games.

They gave up 60 shots to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday but managed to earn a single point thanks to the play of their goalie Mike Smith.

The Coyotes are on the road Monday and Tuesday this week. They’ll open this quick trip against Columbus, although it hasn’t been determined when Perlini will get into the lineup.

But with a back-to-back situation on the road, it seems likely he’ll make his NHL debut at some point in the next two days.

“Brendan possesses elite speed and goal scoring ability,” said general manager John Chayka. “He has led the AHL in scoring early on and we believe he has earned the opportunity to show what he can do at the NHL level.”

Video: Tootoo and Thorburn drop the gloves early as Blackhawks, Jets clash

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Not much in the way of pleasantries between the Chicago Blackhawks and Winnipeg Jets on Sunday.

It started with Jordin Tootoo and Chris Thorburn dropping the gloves just 2:22 into this Central Division contest, with the Jets forward earning the takedown at the end of the scrap.

Bit of a size mismatch. Tootoo is listed at five-foot-nine-inches and 195 pounds, while Thorburn is six-foot-three-inches tall and 235 pounds.

Both teams are missing key players in this one.

Jonathan Toews is once again out of the Chicago lineup — and, it was revealed before Sunday’s game, that he won’t skate for the next few days — while Mark Scheifele misses this game for the Jets.

Video: Flyers’ Read (upper-body injury) will not return versus Predators

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Philadelphia Flyers forward Matt Read is done for the night with an upper-body injury, the team announced.

Read, who only played three shifts today, was hit into the net by Nashville Predators forward Filip Forsberg during the first period. Flyers GM Ron Hextall announced the veteran forward suffered an upper-body injury.

There was no call on the play.

In 26 games this season, Read has six goals and 10 points.

Video: Radulov goes top shelf in the shootout and it’s pretty sweet

MONTREAL, QC - NOVEMBER 08:  Alexander Radulov #47 of the Montreal Canadiens looks on during the warmup prior to the NHL game against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on November 8, 2016 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 3-2.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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Alexander Radulov has been a pretty good acquisition for the Montreal Canadiens, and he continued to prove that Sunday against the L.A. Kings.

Radulov scored in the shootout against the Kings, helping the Canadiens to a 5-4 victory. He also scored in the second period and had two assists for a three-point night. Not bad.

But his shootout goal was sweet. Just made it look easy, as he went to the backhand, top shelf on Peter Budaj.

With reported tension between coach Michel Therrien and Max Pacioretty, the Habs captain scored twice and had an assist. Another three-point night.

So, the Habs got offensive contributions from their best players.

That said, one of their best players, Alex Galchenyuk left the game late in the third period after a collision with Anze Kopitar away from the puck.

Galchenyuk didn’t return for the overtime. In 25 games, he has nine goals and 23 points, emerging as the No. 1 center in Montreal when the season began.