Hecht and Miller lead Sabres

 


Photo courtesy MSNBC.com

Everyone is talking about the game that Jochen Hecht had with two goals and an assist but the real hero last night was Ryan Miller.  I have been critical of Ryan Miller this season but last night he allowed the Sabres the luxury of winning the game with an outstanding second period, making 12 saves.  The Capitals scored a goal just 49 seconds into the second period to tie the score at one before Miller started to really shut the door.  Early in the period the Capitals had 11 shots and Buffalo two but the score remained tied at one because of the heroics of Miller.

Jochen Hecht took advantage of Miller's heroics and scored to put the Sabres ahead 2-1 and he later fed a pass to Jason Pominville to give Buffalo a 3-1 victory to extend their win streak to five games.  The Sabres had previously won four straight with three of the victories coming against the Montreal Canadiens.  

It has really been goaltending that has carried the Sabres on their recent win streak.  Miller was outstanding against Washington and Jocelyn Thibault shutout the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.  Miller has not allowed more than two goals in a game since a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on November 15.  

It's interesting how fans were so upset with the play of the team when they were on a losing streak but it appeared that they were playing well but ran into hot goaltending.  In the most recent five game winning streak there were games that they were outplayed but received better goaltending than the opposition.  If you break down this winning streak it all falls back on Miller and Thibault being the better of the goalies.

The Sabres will try to make it six in a row on wednesday night when they welcome Lee Stempniak (West Seneca native), Jay McKee (former Sabre) and the St. Louis Blues into town.  I'm wondering how many times we are going to have to hear the Afinogenov for McKee rumors until this game is over.

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