Atlanta (4-7-2) at Buffalo (8-2-2), 7:30 pm EDT
BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) — Ryan Miller will be after his
third straight shutout when the Buffalo Sabres host the Atlanta
Thrashers on Friday.
The 28-year-old stopped a total of 53 shots en route to blanking
the Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils in consecutive
games for the first time in his career. After a 5-0 victory
over Washington on Saturday, Buffalo skated to a 2-0 triumph in
New Jersey on Monday.
It’s been 145 minutes since Miller yielded a goal and he is is
7-1-1 with a league-leading 1.62 goals-against average this
Another reason for Buffalo’s solid start has been Thomas Vanek’s
torrid offensive production. After posting 36 goals in 82 games
last season, Vanek leads the NHL with 11 tallies in 12 contests.
Meanwhile, the Thrashers have won two in a row after fizzling in
nine of their previous 10 games.
They have been sparked by highly-touted goaltender Ondrej
Pavelec. Having gone 5-3 with a 1.54 GAA and a .947 save
percentage in nine games for the Chicago of the American Hockey
League, the Thrashers brought Pavelec up for the first time on
The 21-year-old Czech played the final 20 minutes of a 6-1 loss
to the New Jersey Devils, but turned aside 18 of 21 shots en
route to a 5-3 win over the Florida Panthers the next day in his
first career start. On Thursday, he helped Atlanta to a 4-3
victory over the New York Islanders by making 24 saves.
Selected in the second round in 2005, Pavelec will likely sit
once starter Kari Lehtonen recovers from the flu, which could be
as soon as tonight.