Sabres knot series with shutout win

Buffalo Sabres' Jordan Leopold battles Philadelphia Flyers' James van Riemsdyk. (REUTERS/Doug Benz)

Buffalo Sabres' Jordan Leopold battles Philadelphia Flyers' James van Riemsdyk. (REUTERS/Doug Benz)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:50 PM ET

BUFFALO -- Those concerns about Ryan Miller?

Put them to bed.

In fact, the Buffalo Sabres had a few other ideas of where his critics can stuff their opinions following his stellar performance in a 1-0 victory in Game 4 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.

"The save choices I made worked for me," Miller said after he stopped 32 Flyers shots. "I'm happy that I helped the team get a win.

"I'm not going to pay too much attention to anybody who is talking about my game right now. I really don't care. I don't need to listen to all of the B.S. that is out there from people who don't know how to play goalie. I really don't give an expletive."

And yes, Miller politely said 'expletive,' not a four-letter word. One of the top goaltenders in the National Hockey League, Miller allowed eight goals in the previous two games versus the Flyers, losing both, and there were some whispers about whether he could carry his team through the Eastern Conference quarterfinal.

Ask Danny Briere about that. Or Flyers captain Mike Richards. Miller stoned both in last half of the third period as the Sabres used a goal by Jason Pominville in the opening 20 minutes to keep the Flyers in catch-up mode.

Miller made a glove save on Briere, his former teammate, and then got his stick down to stun Richards, who was falling to the ice. The saves prompted the capacity crowd of 18,690 at HSBC Arena to get up and roar its collective approval.

"You have too much to think sometimes and we're used to coming in with speed," said Briere, who was on Miller's doorstep. "It was a good save by Ryan."

The intensity that had been missing in patches was there for all to see as time expired as players from both sides dropped their gloves, and there's no doubt that the best-of-seven, which is tied 2-2 and becomes a best-of-three with Game 5 in Philadelphia on Friday night, is heading toward nasty territory.

The Sabres were sound defensively, and no one was better than sophomore blueliner Tyler Myers. He singlehandedly stole a couple of beautiful Flyers scoring chances when he stopped Daniel Carcillo on an odd-man rush and later got in the way of a shot by James van Riemsdyk. The 21-year-old Myers personified the attention to detail that coach Lindy Ruff implored his team to seek. The same went for veteran forward Rob Niedermayer, who also had a strong game and assisted on Pominville's goal.

"I think we could have buried the Flyers in the first period," Ruff said. "Myers hit the post and (Brad) Boyes hit the post. We were really on top of them. You miss those opportunities and you give them a little bit of life and it turned into a tight game."

A strong forecheck by Tyler Ennis resulted in the only goal. Ennis got on the puck behind the Flyers net and made a smart pass to Niedermayer. With no hesitation, Niedermayer fed Pominville, who easily beat Brian Boucher for the tap-in.

There are no points for style, and the one part of the game that might have kept Ruff up on Wednesday night was his team's failure to score on a five-minute elbowing major to Richards. In fact, the Sabres had just two shots on Boucher during the lengthy power play.

Bottom line is, however, the seventh-seeded Sabres made it clear they're not going away.

"Ryan came up huge for us," Pominville said. "We got pucks deep, and good things can happen, and (the goal) was one of them. It was nice to see everyone play the way they did defensively because that was the one thing we talked about."


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