Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller didn't practice with the team again Friday, leaving his status for this weekend's games at Washington and Carolina in doubt.
Miller, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner, missed Wednesday's game against the New York Rangers with what the team is calling an upper-body injury. Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Miller would head out on the road with the team, but didn't reveal any other details about Miller's ailment after Friday's practice and didn't know yet if he might be able to start against either the Capitals or Hurricanes.
"It'll just really depend on where he's at [Saturday]," said Ruff, who wouldn't comment on whether a concussion could be involved or if Miller has underwent any such testing.
Like the Sabres as a team, Miller got off to a slow start this season but had heated up during the second half. He has a 33-22-8 record with a 2.60 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. It's the sixth consecutive season of 30 or more wins for Miller, a fifth-round pick in the 1999 Entry Draft.
In his place, rookie Jhonas Enroth stopped all 23 shots he faced in a 1-0 victory that allowed the Sabres to move past the Rangers via a tiebreaker and into seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings.
"It's not an easy role to be in," Ruff said of Enroth, who has shuffled back and forth between the AHL and NHL at various points this season with veteran backup Patrick Lalime also ailing, and had gone 17 days between starts. "But his work in practice has been excellent. He's put in a lot of extra time. I think again, it's how you're going to react to game situations, and I think he answered that call for us."
Leading scorer Thomas Vanek said the Sabres will have to play the hand they're dealt if Miller can't go this weekend.
"Injuries, every team goes through it," Vanek said. "We have, too, and we're confident in Jhonas and Patty, whoever plays. It's unfortunate they got hurt, but at the same time you can't worry about that."
The Sabres and Rangers lead the ninth-place Hurricanes by three points.