Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres were each rocked by the Boston Bruins Saturday night as the Sabres fell 6-2 at the TD Garden and Miller left the game after the second period following a vicious hit by the Bruins’ Milan Lucic.
Everything started off in the Sabres’ favor after Thomas Vanek banked in the first goal of the contest off of Tim Thomas backside, netting his 11th goal on the season to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead.
The game began to take a turn for the worse, however, when Lucic plowed into Miller as the two attempted to play a puck headed into the corner. Miller layed down on the ice for a brief moment following the play while Lucic was issues a two-minute charging minor for his actions.
Even though the Sabres took their lead into the first intermission, Rich Peverley got the Bruins on the board 7:40 into the second period as he out-hustled a flat-footed Tyler Myers to the front of the net to tie the game at one goal apiece.
The Bruins would take the lead just over six minutes later when rookie Tyler Seguin netted the first of his two goals on the night and 16 seconds later Nathan Horton intercepted a Chrstian Ehrhoff pass, giving the Bruins a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
When the final period began Miller remained in the locker room to nurse what Lindy Ruff called an “upper-body injury”. Jhonas Enroth came in to finish the game in relief, but the remainder of the game was all Boston as Seguin, Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand all recorded goals. With just under eight minutes to play, Marc-Andre Gragnani tallied his first goal on the season to decrease the Sabres deficit to 6-2. But the Bruins finished the game off strong to win their fifth consecutive contest and have now scored a whopping 30 goals over that span.
Enroth finished making 10 saves on 13 shots while Miller took the loss for the Sabres. Tim Thomas made 21 saves to earn the win for the Bruins.
The only thing that out-shined the Sabres uninspired play throughout the game was Lucic’s hit on Miller, which was the highlight of the post-game interviews and Lindy Ruff’s press conference.
“I thought it was a major,” said Ruff when asked his thoughts on the hit. “I thought if it’s open season on the goalies, then let’s get at it.”
Miller had a few choice words for Lucic following the game.
“I just stuck around because I wanted to to say what a piece of [feces] I think Lucic is,” he said. “Fifty pounds on me, and he runs me like that? It’s unbelievable… That was gutless. Gutless, piece of [feces].”
Paul Gaustad, who was on the ice when Miller got hit, said he was embarrassed by the team’s reaction.
“I’m embarrassed that we didn’t respond… we didn’t push back. There’s no reason to be scared.”
Even Lucic sounded off on the issue, saying the Bruins would have reacted differently had one of the Sabres taken a similar run at Thomas.
“We wouldn’t accept anything like that. We would have taken care of business,” he said. “But we’re a different team than they are.”
After the game, Ruff called Miller’s injury a “sore neck” and wouldn’t comment on whether or not the Sabres would need to recall a backup goaltender going forward.
The Sabres head to Montreal on Monday to take on the Candiens in the two teams’ second meeting of the year. The Sabres won the first game between the clubs, 3-1, back on Oct. 18.
The puck will drop at 7:00 p.m. EST from the Bell Centre.