BUFFALO -- Ryan Miller could have been devastated.
He could have sulked.
Just 3:53 away from a much-needed shutout, the rookie Buffalo Sabres goalie felt helpless as Bret Hedican's screen shot found its way into the far corner to tie the game 1-1.
But Miller, like fellow freshman Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes, has played much of this post-season like a seasoned veteran.
So when 'Canes forwards Justin Williams and Rod Brind'Amour were hacking away at the puck in the dying seconds of regulation, Miller held the fort and gave his team a chance to win in overtime.
Daniel Briere's goal at 4:22 of the extra period did exactly that, giving the Sabres a 2-1 victory and forcing a Game 7 in the Eastern Conference final tomorrow night in Raleigh.
"We needed (Miller) to play a strong game and he did," Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said. "I thought the kid at the other end played a great game too."
Miller stopped 25 Hurricanes shots while Ward turned aside 29 from the Sabres. So which rookie goalie will lead his team to a berth in the Stanley Cup final against the Edmonton Oilers?
The way this roller-coaster series has played itself out, all bets are off.
"I think if we put pucks to the net in Game 7, we are going too have a good chance of getting out of there with a win," Miller said.
Ruff only hopes it will be Miller time again come tomorrow night.