Ryan Miller has a history of playing well against the Maple Leafs and Monday night was no different. Miller improved to 28-14 against Toronto all-time with a 35-save performance in Buffalo’s 2-1 victory at the Air Canada Centre.
Miller’s play was pivotal in helping Buffalo secure the win as the Sabres are off to a perfect 2-0 start to the lockout-shortened season.
Nazem Kadri’s goal late in the third period broke Miller’s shutout and had the Maple Leafs within one.
Sabres’ captain Jason Pominville had a chance to ice the game with an empty net goal, but fired a shot wide from the blue line, keeping the Leafs alive.
With goaltender Ben Scrivens pulled for the extra attacker, Toronto was applying pressure in the offensive end, but the Sabres managed to escape with the victory.
After taking three consecutive penalties, the Sabres found themselves shorthanded for over four minutes in the first period, including a minute and a half down two men, but Toronto’s best chance went off the goal post.
The Leafs dominated in the faceoff circle, winning 45 of 64 faceoffs, and had a 35-20 advantage in shots.
Pominville collected two points (1 G, 1 A) on the night, including the game-winning goal, and now has 46 points (16 G, 30 A) in 47 career games against Toronto.
After applying consistent pressure for the first few minutes of the second period, the Maple Leafs couldn’t get on the scoreboard. The Sabres used a 3-on-1 break and Pominville buried a shot behind Ben Scrivens to put Buffalo up 2-0.
Thomas Vanek assisted on the goal, and matched his career-high with six points in two games. It is the fifth time in his career he’s totaled six points in consecutive games.
Cody Hodgson scored his second goal in as many games to get Buffalo on the board in the first period. Christian Ehrhoff took a shot that deflected off of Hodgson’s body and in.
John Scott received his first fighting major after dropping the gloves with Colton Orr just two and a half minutes into the game.
The Sabres will have the next couple of days off before beginning a home and home in Carolina on Thursday night. Puck drop will be at 7 p.m.