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Friday, April 16, 2010

Ryan Miller: a real American hero

After three of four road teams won on the first night of the NHL playoffs, the Boston Bruins were able to buck that trend by losing 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres last night in Game 1 at the HSBC Arena.

Normally, I would make fun of the B's and how pathetic they are but they actually carried play and deserved a better fate. They outshot the Sabres 39-32 but Buffalo goaltender and Team USA icon Ryan Miller made 38 saves.

In his first NHL playoff game, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask played well (30 saves) but it wasn't good enough against the NHL's best goalie.

Buffalo came out flying to start the game and opened the scoring only 4:52 in as Thomas Vanek took a feed from Derek Roy for a one-timer that Rask had no chance at stopping.

After surviving the fast start by Buffalo, Boston settled down and completely dominated in the second period, outshooting the Sabres 24-8. They were finally rewarded at 9:30 on the power play as the ageless Mark Recchi roofed one over Miller from Zdeno Chara and Matt Hunwick.

The lead was short-lived though as Craig Rivet scored what proved to be the game-winner at 14:10 from Tim Kennedy. Rask was screened by a Buffalo player and again, he had no chance to stop it.

Both teams had chances in the third period but Boston couldn't find the tying goal; penalties late in the third ended any chance of a Bruins comeback.

Even for a 2-1 game, this was an exciting playoff hockey game. There was a huge scrum in the first period and a ton of hard but clean hits. Game 2 is tomorrow afternoon back in Buffalo. It is basically a must-win for Boston because they can't go down two games to Miller. He is that good.

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