The Sabres made things easy for Miller in the first period, as they fired just four shots on their former goaltender.
Buffalo turned up the heat in the second frame.
The Canucks stormed back with goals from Henrik Sedin and Chris Higgins to tie the game, but Buffalo regained the lead in the final minute of regulation when Ristolainen beat Miller with a wrist shot with 17 seconds remaining.
The Sabres paid tribute to Miller’s years in Buffalo with a pregame video montage:
Speaking of goaltenders, Linus Ullmark had a solid performance after being pulled in Thursday’s loss to Tampa Bay. The 22-year-old stopped 35 of 37 shots and earned some high praise from his coach.
This was the first game of a seven-game road trip for the Canucks. They’ll be traveling to New Jersey, Columbus, Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg over the next 11 days.