Devils-Sabres Preview

Ryan Miller is still sore about the hit that sidelined him


Jhonas Enroth is trying to continue softening the blow for the

Buffalo Sabres.

Enroth should be in net looking to win a seventh consecutive

start Wednesday night as the Sabres seek to defeat the New Jersey

Devils for a fourth straight time.

Miller suffered a concussion on a hit by Boston’s Milan Lucic in

Saturday’s 6-2 loss. The collision sent Miller’s mask flying, and

has sidelined the 2010 Vezina Trophy winner indefinitely.

He called Lucic “gutless” after the game, and that anger may

have only grown when NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan deemed the

hit wasn’t worthy of a suspension.

“I’m not going to be happy about it, but I’m not going to speak

out against it,” Miller said. “We’re going to move forward and

we’re going to play some hockey. And hopefully, I’m playing hockey

sooner than later.”

For now, Enroth will continue to get the bulk of the work since

he’s being backed up by Drew MacIntyre, who has two games of NHL

experience in relief for Vancouver during the 2007-08 season.

Buffalo may not miss a beat with Enroth, who has won all six of

his starts this season and has a 1.76 goal-against average and .942

save percentage in eight total appearance. He made 25 saves through

overtime and two more in a shootout as the Sabres (11-6-0)

responded to the loss to the Bruins with a 3-2 win over Montreal on


Thomas Vanek, who leads the Sabres with 11 goals and 22 points,

had two assists Monday and scored during the shootout.

He has three goals and three assists in his last four games

overall, and five points in his last five meetings with the Devils


Enroth earned one of Buffalo’s three straight victories over New

Jersey, making 28 saves before adding two more in a shootout of a

5-4 road win Nov. 10, 2010.

Defenseman Tyler Myers, the 2010 Calder Trophy winner, had three

points in that contest. However, the defenseman is currently

struggling. He has four assists on the season, has been plagued by

sloppy play and was a healthy scratch against the Canadiens.

New Jersey has split the first two stops on a five-game road

trip, losing 4-3 to the Bruins on Tuesday after surrendering three

goals in the third period.

“We’ve got to be able to seize control and play with a little

more composure,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “Overall, this year we’ve

done a pretty good job of that. But (Tuesday) we got exposed by a

veteran team in the third.”

Nick Palmieri had two goals against Boston after netting just

one in the season’s first 15 games.

Devils left wing Ilya Kovalchuk has missed five games with a

lower-body injury, and it’s uncertain when he’ll return. He has

nine points, but hasn’t scored a goal in his last seven games.

Kovalchuk has four goals in his last four games at Buffalo but

failed to register a point in New Jersey’s last visit, a 2-0 loss

March 26 in which Miller made 30 saves for the shutout.

The Sabres recalled forward Corey Tropp from the minors to fill

in for injured center Cody McCormick. Tropp rejoins the Sabres a

week after making his NHL debut, in which he had a goal and assist

in four games.