Sabres G Ryan Miller stymied the Washington Capitals opportunistic offense, stopping 29 shots for his eighth career shutout last night in Buffalo.
LW Thomas Vanek netted two goals, posting his third multi-goal game of the season. He now leads the Eastern Conference with 11 goals.
Just 72 seconds into the game, the Sabres announced their presence with authority. Vanek scooped up a pass on the left wing and deposited his 10th goal through the wickets of Capitals G Jose Theodore.
Theodore didn’t receive much help from his flatfooted D Mike Green, and the Capitals paid the price for their early complacency.
Buffalo was good when they had to be, and fed off the dazzling stops made by their net-minder du jour. Miller splits ice time with former Ottawa G Patrick Lalime.
The evidence mounted against the Capitals that it indeed would be Miller Time, when he stopped four point blank power play shots in a row. C/D Sergei Federov couldn’t connect on a second period rush, as Miller made a sharp angle pad save.
Mike Green tried to make up for his shoddy beginning play, but also failed to light up the scorer’s table. Miller stopped him on back-to-back scoring drives later on in the period.
Washington was valiantly trying to fight their way into the game, but the Sabres weren’t going to break their stride. Nobody was going to hold them down. Oh No!
Game notes and stats
Theodore has given up at least two goals in the first period in five of eight starts, but the Capitals are 3-1 in those games.
Ovechkin is scheduled to return for Tuesday’s game at Ottawa.
Miller’s shutout was his first since February 13, 2008 against Toronto.
Buffalo bully Andrew Peters was a healthy scratch for the first time this season.