Buffalo Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller left Saturday night's game early in the third period after being hit by New York Rangers forward Scott Gomez.
Miller was out to play the puck behind his goal when Gomez may have lost an edge and collided with Miller. Miller fell awkwardly and had a hard time coming to his feet.
After some assistance from a Sabres trainer, Miller hobbled off to the locker room and was replaced by backup Patrick Lalime. Miller did not return.
After the game, coach Lindy Ruff, said he thought the hit was intentional.
“I don’t think there’s any secret it was deliberate,” Ruff said. “They wanted to try and disrupt him."
“[Gomez] knew what he was doing… He knew what he was doing.”
When asked why none of his players took a run at Gomez, he replied that it could have cost the Sabres a few penalties and the Rangers may have tied the game.
The Sabres were leading 3-0 when Miller left the game and the Rangers were already on the powerplay. Markus Naslund scored on the same powerplay just seconds later.
Miller spoke after the game and said his ankle is not broke, but it is a high ankle sprain that is "relatively low."
He was also asked if he thought the hit was deliberate and said that he knows Gomez personally and doesn't think that he is the kind of player that would try to hurt him.
“I know Scott personally,” Miller said. “I don’t think he would ever come in and try to injure me, especially when I’m not facing the play… the referee said he lost an edge. He’s not that kind of guy. He was probably trying to go for the puck.”
The time table for Miller's injury is unknown but it is more than likely that Lalime will get the start Tuesday night at home against the Anaheim Ducks.
“These are the kind of things you have to feel out,” Miller said. “There is no timetable really, it’s your comfort level. Right now I just want to get through the night until the morning and see how my body reacts. I’ve had a few ankle sprains in my time and each one has been different. We’ll see how this one plays out.”
The Sabres are now in a three way tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference Standings along with the Rangers and Florida Panthers.
-Sabres.com contributed to this article-