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Sabres fall in another Saturday shootout

It wasn't the offensive output that was expected with both teams scoring only once through 65 minutes of hockey.  Three shooters apiece wasn't enough for the teams to decide the game but The Avs fifth shooter Ryan Smyth beat Miller for the game winner. 

The Sabres were able to hold the highest scoring offense in the league, allowing only one goal to an Avalanche team that was averaging four goals a game.  The Sabres held a one-goal lead until the third period when Jordan Leoplod beat Ryan Miller with a shot from the point.  Miller disputed the goal because it appeared that Ryan Smyth pushed Toni Lydman into him and lifted the stick of the Sabres goalie.

Ryan Miller was understandably upset and immediately protested to the referee, he was not very happy with the referees response either.

"Everyone knows Ryan Smyth comes through and hits the goalie's knob," Miller said. "I told the ref, 'I don't want the contact. I don't need a penalty, I just don't want the contact.' He comes by and twists me out of position. That was a slow-moving puck that I could reach if I'm set. I had the ice, I was there first. Don't touch me."

Lindy Ruff understood why Miller was upset but put had the perfect quote about the situation.

"I don't like it either after watching it," Ruff said. "It's a tough call. It's a patented Ryan Smyth. It's a great play if you get away with it."

It turns out to be a big difference in the game but the Sabres offense needed to put more goals behind Peter Budaj to win this hockey game.  Ryan Miller did everything he could to win the game but the Sabres were only able to beat Budaj once.  The Avs deserve some credit for staying out of the penalty box.  The Avs penalty killing has been poor all season and the Sabres have relied upon their power play.  The Sabres failed to convert on two power play opportunities.

The Sabres have to be happy with getting three out of four points on what appeared to be a difficult road trip.  The Wild had not lost a game all season and they had only allowed nine goals prior to the Sabres scoring four times, including three in less than five minutes to earn the overtime victory.

The Sabres begin a three game homestand on Monday when they welcome the Ottawa Senators for the first time this season.  The Lightning come in on Thursday and they complete the homestand with a game against Washington on Saturday.