Red Wings 3, Sabres 2, OT

Ryan Miller got a warm reception, playing in his home state for

the first time since helping the United States win a silver medal

at the Olympics.

Then, Miller gave fans of the Detroit Red Wings more reasons to

cheer.

Brian Rafalski scored a power-play goal 31 seconds into

overtime, lifting Detroit to a 3-2 win over Miller and the Buffalo

Sabres on Saturday night.

“Every point is crucial,” said Rafalski, also a key member of

the U.S. Olympic team. “I’m glad we got two.”

Miller’s parents had conflicting interests at Joe Louis Arena

because they had two sons on the ice, with Drew Miller playing

forward for Detroit.

“Actually, they’re probably happy with the result,” Ryan

Miller said. “Drew’s team needed the points more than we did and

we still got a point.”

Detroit, which blew a two-goal lead, moved into eighth place in

the Western Conference standings ahead of the idle Calgary

Flames.

“It was a huge win,” said Jimmy Howard, who made 24 saves.

The Red Wings have won five of seven since the Olympic break.

They will start a three-game trip Monday night against the Flames,

who had a comeback win Tuesday night at Detroit and are vying for

the final spot in the West.

“We owe Calgary after they embarrassed us in our own barn in

the third period,” Howard said. “We’ll be ready.”

The Sabres are 3-4 since the Vancouver Games, giving Ottawa

hopes of winning the Northeast Division.

Detroit took advantage of a power play in the extra period when

Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers, a rookie of the year candidate,

cleared the puck over the glass and was called for delay of

game.

“Got to have a little more focus and bear down and make sure it

goes of the glass,” Myers said.

Rafalski’s slap shot from the left circle beat Miller on the

short side. It was Rafalski’s first winning goal this season.

The Red Wings got off to a great start against Miller, scoring

on their second and third shots of the game.

Pavel Datsyuk and Patrick Eaves put Detroit ahead a few minutes

into the game, then Jochen Hecht pulled Buffalo within a goal at

the 7:05 mark of the first period. Hecht tied it 5 1/2 minutes into

the second on another goal off a rebound.

Miller bounced back from his rough start to make 34 saves.

His Olympic teammate wasn’t surprised.

“He doesn’t get frustrated or rattled,” Rafalski said. “He’s

a big goalie and a big-time goalie.”

Miller fell to 1-2 against his younger brother in the NHL.

“It was fun,” Ryan Miller said. “He had a couple of good

chances.”

Their mother, Teresa, attended the game and wore a homemade

jacket that was half blue and half red with both of her son’s

numbers on the back.

“I made this!” she said proudly during the second

intermission.

NOTES: The Millers grew up in East Lansing and played for their

hometown Michigan State Spartans. … Hecht had his 15th and 16th

goals, scoring twice in a game for the second time this season. …

Buffalo began a five-game road trip at Detroit and won’t return

home until March 24. … The Red Wings’ next home game is a week

from Monday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a matchup of the

past two Stanley Cup champions.