Sabres not big on Miller lite

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:33 AM ET

Have the Senators got the book on Ryan Miller?

While Bryan Murray maintained yesterday he has great respect for Miller, the Senators coach indicated the club might have found chinks in the armour of the Buffalo Sabres' goalie.

Though Miller finished the season as one of the NHL's top-ranked netminders, he wasn't very good against the Senators in the regular season with a 1-4 record. He's also had his struggles in the first two games of this Eastern final, with the Sabres trailing 2-0 and Game 3 set for tonight at Scotiabank Place.

While many feel the Sabres have the advantage in net because they consider Miller better than Ray Emery, Murray cautioned those observers might want to hold off on that line of thinking.

Asked at his daily press conference yesterday if "there's no weakness there" in regard to Miller, Murray didn't sound convinced.

"There's some things in his game ... They've talked a lot about the edge in goaltending but we think there's very definitely a situation where we can score some goals on him," said Murray. "He's like every goaltender, there's places that you can put the puck that you have a real chance to score."

Murray said the only goal Miller might have wanted back was Mike Fisher's power-play effort on the short side in the second period of Game 2. The club's goals Saturday by Wade Redden and Daniel Alfredsson were both good shots while Joe Corvo's winner in double-OT was a bouncer glove side.

Through the first two games of the series, the Senators have been able to beat Miller on the short side. Alfredsson was cautious against declaring Miller has been solved.

"You just try to shoot the puck when you get a chance," said Alfredsson. "(Saturday), we had a couple of great shots that were power play goals that I don't think any goalie would save. I don't know if it's a weakness for him but we're just trying to take shots when we have them."

Even Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said Miller has to be better and used the Fisher goal as an example.

For his part, Miller said the criticism doesn't bother him.

"(Ruff) wants the best from us," said Miller. "I agree it wasn't the best goal at the best time. You know, I made a read and didn't execute. So, whatever. They're just amplified by the situation. It's nothing personal. It's the coach talking about a player, it's not Lindy talking about Ryan."

NO WORRIES

The Sabres are frustrated at being down 2-0 in the series but they're not going to worry about it. Buffalo didn't even bother to go to the HSBC Arena for a meeting yesterday before their flight to Ottawa. Instead, the players met at the airport and then made the short trip here before meeting with the media at the club's hotel. "We've been a good road team all year," said Buffalo co-captain Chris Drury. "We've always been up for a good challenge. Certainly, Game 3 is going to be a big challenge for us." The Sabres are 0-11 lifetime when trailing 2-0 in a series and they were 40-0 this season when leading by two goals until the Senators came back for the win Saturday.

OFF THE GLASS

Ruff said he trusts the NHL is going to review the hit from behind Alfredsson put on Henrik Tallinder in OT. Tallinder left the game briefly. "He's real sore," said Ruff. "I look at that, if that's the regular season, when a guy doesn't have the puck and gets run from behind, head first into the boards, it's a suspension." There is no chance Alfredsson will receive any kind of suspension from NHL VP Colin Campbell ... Murray was asked if he was worried the Sabres faced some similar adversity in their Round 2 series against the Rangers and bounced back. "I just know we're not the New York Rangers," said Murray. "We're better on the blue line and that's enough said there. I know there's a lot of character in our room." .... Asked how the Sabres wrestle momentum back, Ruff said: "Win a game."


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