Ryan Miller turned in a remarkable performance on Sunday, making 49 saves and stopping all six Capitals in the shootout, lifting the Sabres to a 2-1 win over Washington. On the same day that a report emerged indicating Miller could be one of Team USA's three goaltenders in the upcoming Olympic games, the Sabres netminder was nearly flawless. Buffalo picked up two points despite recording only 17 shots on net.
After nearly two full periods of scoreless hockey, the Sabres finally broke the goose eggs on Drew Stafford's fourth goal of the season at 18:18 of the second period. Positioned in front of Philipp Grubauer, Stafford redirected a Christian Ehrhoff shot into the Washington net, giving Buffalo the 1-0 lead.
Troy Brouwer tied things up at 5:34 of the third, one-timing a rocket past Miller following a turnover by Steve Ott along the boards. Mikhail Grabovski scooped up the puck and swung it over to Brouwer who connected for his eighth of the year.
Following a scoreless overtime period, the two sides headed to a shootout where Miller was perfect. Eric Fehr, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Grabovski, Brouwer, and Mike Green were kept out of the Buffalo net. Steve Ott was the only Sabre to score, blasting a shot past Grubauer in the sixth round.
The Sabres are now 4-1-2 in their last seven games and have won four in a row at First Niagara Center. Buffalo hits the road on New Year's Eve, facing the Winnipeg Jets for a 7 p.m. start on WGR 550.
5:53 - BUF - Steve Ott (2 min., cross checking)
18:18 - BUF - Drew Stafford (4) (Christian Ehrhoff)
13:49 - BUF - Marcus Foligno (2 min., instigator - served by Linus Omark)
13:49 - BUF - Marcus Foligno (5 min., fighting)
13:49 - BUF - Marcus Foligno (10 min. misconduct)
13:49 - WSH - Tom Wilson (5 min., fighting)
5:34 - WSH - Troy Brouwer (8) (Mikhail Grabovski)
16:53 - WSH - Jay Beagle (2 min., roughing)
16:53 - BUF - Mike Weber (2 min., slashing)
BUF - Matt Moulson - MISS
WSH - Eric Fehr - MISS
BUF - Tyler Ennis - MISS
WSH - Alex Ovechkin - MISS
BUF - Zemgus Girgensons - MISS
WSH - Nicklas Backstrom - MISS
BUF - Linus Omark - MISS
WSH - Mikhail Grabovski - MISS
BUF - Brian Flynn - MISS
WSH - Troy Brouwer - MISS
BUF - Steve Ott - GOAL
WSH - Mike Green - MISS
WSH - Philipp Grubauer (16 saves, 17 shots)
BUF - Ryan Miller (49 saves, 50 shots)
WSH - 0 of 2
BUF - 0 of 0
1.) BUF - Ryan Miller (49 saves)
2.) BUF - Drew Stafford (1 G, 0 A)
3.) BUF - Christian Ehrhoff (0 G, 1 A)