Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Miller shuts out Flyers as Sabres even series

Sometimes a goalie simply gets too hot to be beaten. Ryan Miller was that goalie tonight for the Sabres, stopping every puck the Flyers tossed his way in a 1-0 win for the Sabres in Game 4. The win ties the series at 2 games apiece as the teams return to Philadelphia for Game 5 on Friday.

Miller was stellar in net, making some of his best stops in the series amongst his 32 saves. It was his second shutout of the series and more than made up for his mediocre play in Games 2 and 3. After a so-so regular season, Miller has proven that he is still the same goaltender that backstopped the US hockey team to some big wins in the Olympics.

These two teams are really starting to hate each other, as things got ugly towards the end of the game with skirmishes breaking out after nearly every whistle. With Sabre Patrick Kaleta acting like a punk and goading every Flyer to fight him, you can bet that there will be sparks, and blood, when these two teams take the ice in Game 5.

The other big story in Game 4 was Jeff Carter, who was injured in the first period after he had a knee on knee hit with Tyler Myers. While Carter was able to play out the rest of the first, he didn't return to the game in the second period and the Flyers have announced that he has a lower body injury. While Carter isn't exactly a stud in the playoffs, the Flyers are a much deeper team when he is in the lineup.

Chalk up Game 4 as an opportunity wasted for the Flyers. They could have taken a stranglehold in the series and instead have allowed the Sabres to even things up. It's clear that when Ryan Miller stands on his head, the Flyers are going to have to play a perfect game to win. While the Sabres don't have much firepower, when Miller is on, they only need to score once and sit back and defend their net. While the Flyers are still the better team in this series, they have their work cut out for them if they want to get past a hot goaltender and into the second round.

No comments: