Thursday, May 17, 2007

Miller saves goals, Miller saves Season, for now…

The brooms have been put away, the party on Bank Street held back for at least one more game. The Ottawa Senators were rocked back on their heels in the first period of Wednesday’s game four, as the Buffalo Sabres finally provided some of the excitement and scoring touch that they became known for in the regular season.

The Sabres entered game four fully aware that a loss meant the season was over and judging by the play of Ryan Miller in the Sabres net, they just weren’t ready to take their summer vacations just yet.

Buffalo showed a bit of pride in their job on Wednesday, returning to the kind of play that took them to the top of the East division this year, they had a much better fore-check in place Wednesday, at times shutting down the Sens before they could get started, Buffalo began to fire pucks at the sens Ray Emery, one key shot an attempt that somehow eluded Emery, putting the Sabres up by three goals and normally in safe spot for a victory.

But in playoff hockey, no lead is really safe and the Sabres tried their best to give it back to the Sens, hit posts and clanging crossbars provided some nervous moments for the Sabres faithful back in Buffalo. By rights with a few inches either way, the Sens could very well have been ahead by a couple of goals, the Sabres vanquished and heading back to Buffalo.

The Second period had the Sabres on their heels and looking like a team ready to topple, if the second period had but five more minutes to play, there’s a very good chance that Ottawa not only would have picked up a tying goal but taken the lead, such was the pace of their attack in the second half of the second period.

But Ryan Miller kept his team in the game and in the series; remarkable saves traded spots with bad Senator’s luck, as the puck refused to sneak in behind the Buffalo goaltender for an equalizer.

Still, as remarkable as Miller’s performance was on Wednesday, you can’t help but think that the Sabres days are numbered as far as this years playoffs are concerned.

The Senators regained control of the play by the second period, and you had the feeling that it was only a matter of time before they had the game in their control.

Ottawa almost put them away in a four game sweep, those chances will return in game number five and if Ottawa can just convert on one or two of the types of chances that they had on Wednesday, then this series will end on Saturday afternoon.

If it doesn't, then Ottawa may find itself in a wee spot of trouble, giving these Sabres a life is not a strategy that bodes well considering recent history between these teams, it might be best to use game five on Saturday to shut the Sabres down once and for all this playoff season.

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