Overreactions, Playoff Edition: Game 4

So that Ryan Miller is pretty good, huh?

A spectacular showing by Ryan Miller and a solid night from the Buffalo defense, with a little help from Jason Pominville‘s first period goal was what the Sabres needed to pull out a 1-0 win over Philadelphia to even the series at 2-2.

Miller made 32 saves in his second shutout of the series, including some show-stopping moments in the third period, such as denying Philly’s Daniel Briere on a chance in front of the net.

“He made saves he had no business making,” Sabres defenseman Chris Butler said. “It was absolutely phenomenal.”

The standout performance in the Buffalo goal took the spotlight away from Flyers goalie Brian Boucher’s stellar 29-save performance. Boucher’s save on a Tyler Ennis breakaway midway through the third period held the Flyers in the game.

Miller’s shutout came after two losses where his impact was being questioned by many in Sabres Nation. Needless to say, he responded. Now he’s got two clean sheets under his belt this series, and the teams head back to Philadelphia to start a best-of-three.

  • Lindy Ruff shuffled up his lines before opening faceoff, and for the most part, it paid dividends. The team came out flying and was able to grab the lead because of it.
  • Why didn’t Jordan Leopold get any time on the powerplay Wednesday night? He was the team’s powerplay quarterback for most of the season, and the unit was fairly successful when he was out there. You’d think he might get a shift when they’ve got a five minute powerplay to work with, but I guess not.
  • Game 4 was the fourth 1-0 victory in Sabres playoff history. Two of the four have come in the last week.
  • Most unfortunate play of the game was Patrick Kaleta losing an edge and knocking the net off with Thomas Vanek ready to make Brian Boucher look silly. Could’ve came back to bite them, but thankfully, it didn’t.
  • Marc-Andre Gragnani was the defenseman moving up on the play that allowed Daniel Briere to sit in front of the net by himself for his chance in the third. One of few hiccups for M-A, who’s been great in this series.
  • Tyler Myers was phenomenal. When he throws his weight around, he’s a force.
  • On the Mike Richards major: Definitely a penalty. Not definitively worthy of a major. Comes down to whether the official thought it was intentional and how serious the NHL is about eliminating headshots. Just seemed absurd to many people based on some of the penalties in other games for similiar plays.
  • If anyone know what kind of hair gel Peter Laviolette uses, I’d like to know. Looks slick all night.
  • Brad Boyes had a great chance in the first period, getting stopped by Boucher at the side of the net, then ringing the rebound try off the post. He’s the one guy left that’s gotta find a way to get on the scoresheet if the Sabres are going to advance. Tyler Ennis got his first point of the series starting the play that created Pominville’s goal. It’s on Boyes now.
  • History still isn’t on the Sabres’ side, but I don’t think Ryan Miller gives an expletive.
  • Patrick Kaleta’s got to find a way to stay healthy through the rest of this series, because when he’s on his game, he’s a huge part of the team in this kind of series.

Posted on April 21, 2011, in Sabres/NHL and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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