In our morning recap, we take a look at Buffalo star Ryan Miller and the season he’s putting together under trying circumstances, plus a throwback performance by Dany Heatley in Minnesota.
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Essential Water Cooler
While Kings goalie Jonathan Quick has the inside track on the Olympic starter’s job for Team USA, returning national Ryan Miller is doing an excellent job for the basement-dwelling Sabres in Buffalo. Miller has stopped more rubber than anyone besides Phoenix’s Mike Smith this season – and Smith has played six more games. The Buffalo stalwart is also rocking a .928 save percentage, tying him for fifth with Montreal’s Carey Price. So the 12-18-1 record is ugly, but with the team in front of him, can you really ask anymore from Miller? And do Vezina voters need to pay attention to the goings-on at First Niagara Center?
Mr. Miller takes this one. Look at the robbery he performs on Washington’s Mikhail Grabovski during what would end up a 2-1 shootout victory for the Sabres.
Men of the Night
James van Riemsdyk, Toronto – The Maple Leafs needed a win in the worst way and New Jersey native JVR was there to put the boots to his home state’s team. The big winger had a goal and the shootout winner as Toronto dusted the Devils 3-2.
Jonas Hiller, Anaheim – With his shutout of Detroit, Hiller propelled the Ducks to their 17th win in 18 games. The Swiss Olympian made 22 saves in the 1-0 triumph.
Dany Heatley, Minnesota – Once an elite scorer, Heatley has been quiet the past few seasons, but last night he figured in on the Wild’s first two goals and the team never looked back, blanking Nashville 4-0.
Daniel Carcillo, New York Rangers – Not only did the bruiser score on a nice wraparound against his old Flyers team, but Carcillo also fought Luke Schenn and antagonized Philadephia all night, helping New York to a 4-1 victory.
Marian Hossa, Chicago – With a goal and an assist, Hossa helped the Hawks easily dispose of a floundering Oilers squad 5-3.
Better Luck Next Time
Kudos to the New York Islanders for coming back to bite Dallas with three late goals in the third period, but what was up with Stars defenseman Trevor Daley? The veteran was on the ice for all but the Isles’ empty-netter in the 4-2 loss and got totally spun around on one of the tallies.