Blog Entry

Sabres step up to help Miller, themselves

Posted on: April 23, 2010 10:49 pm
Edited on: April 23, 2010 10:50 pm
By Erin Brown

The Buffalo Sabres finally figured out Ryan Miller cannot do it all on his own.

The Sabres stepped up their game offensively and in front of their superstar netminder to avoid elimination by defeating the Boston Bruins 4-1 in Game 5 Friday night. Buffalo trails Boston in the series, 3-2.

Adam Mair gave Miller some breathing room with a goal 1:54 into the game. Jason Pominville padded the lead with his second of the playoffs with 66 left in the opening period. Mike Grier scored midway through the second period, giving Buffalo its first three-goal lead of the series.

Miller did his part as well, stopping 34 shots. He was two and a half minutes shy of a shutout when Boston's Johnny Boychuk struck with a power play goal.

But the Sabres also tended to their own end, blocking 26 Bruins shots. It was the most blocked shots for Buffalo since Dec. 14, 2009, when they got in front of 30 attempts by the Montreal Canadiens.

"They definitely came out hard in the third," Miller said. "I think they were trying to establish thay they don't have any quit in them either. I thought for the most part, we handled it real well. We got in the lanes, we supported each other. There were two, three guys on the puck at all times. It made it tough for them to get inside."

Miller had extra thanks for teammate Grier, who took a puck to the head a little less than nine minutes into the third period. Grier immediately went back to the locker room.

"Griersy getting down and sacrificing his body, ultimately taking that one in the back of the head," Miller said. "It was a little bit scary, especially with what happened last night with [Philadelphia Flyers winger Ian] Laperriere. You don't like to see it, so I am glad it mainly hit him in the helmet.

"Mike set a great example. Every game this series, he's had some sort of impact. He's definitely been the guy to look to on our team."

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