Sabres 3, Predators 2: Ryan Miller stonewalls Nashville

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 03: Forward Zack Kassian #54 of the Buffalo Sabres scores a goal on goalie Anders Lindback #39 of the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on December 3, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

Ryan Miller stole the show in his return to the ice for the Buffalo Sabres tonight, turning aside 32 shots (and a flying Tootoo) to send the Nashville Predators to their third straight loss at Bridgestone Arena, 3-2. In some ways, this game could be looked at as a karmic reaction to Thursday's win at Vancouver - while the Preds were horribly outshot in that game yet pulled out a 6-5 win, tonight Nashville dominated the shot totals 34-14 but came up on the losing end of the scoreboard.

Video highlights and reaction after the jump...

First the video (may have to wait until 30-45 minutes post-game before it works):

Post-game audio is available from Jordin Tootoo, Barry Trotz, Craig Smith, & Ryan Suter (click each name for the MP3).

Not-so-random observations from this one:

  • I've got a separate post up devoted to the Jordin Tootoo hit on Ryan Miller, but I'll share my opinion here as well. Toots could have avoided or minimized that collision by going to either side, but instead gathered himself and leapt into Miller. It was reckless and dangerous, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him receive a suspension.
  • It was good to see the power play connect once again (it went 1-for-3 tonight), with Craig Smith firing a nice one-timer off the feed from Legwand. Smith certainly seems to be involved in most of what goes well around this team lately.
  • Chris Mueller played 9:33 and was a -1 in his Preds debut this season. He also went 1-for-5 on faceoffs.
  • Congratulations go out to Roman Josi for earning his first NHL point, an assist on Legwand's late goal, but boy did he get schooled on Zack Kassian's score. Such is the life of rookie defensemen! After spending the first period playing mostly alongside Shea Weber, Josi spent the 2nd & 3rd paired with Jon Blum.
  • Blum had a particularly poor outing, I thought. On the final Buffalo goal, he had crept over to the left side of the ice (where the rest of the Preds already were, leaving the far side wide open for Ennis to receive the pass and walk in for a wide open shot on Lindback. If you check the Corsi Numbers below, he was the only Pred with a negative rating, and it wasn't even close.
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