Head Coach Lindy Ruff thinks the hit was intentional. Ryan Miller
isn’t so sure.
What is clear, however, is the Buffalo Sabres will have to make due without their starting goaltender for a period of time as he recovers from a high ankle sprain.
Miller was injured late in the third period of Saturday’s 4-2 win against the New York Rangers when forward Scott Gomez chased a loose puck behind the net. Miller attempted to clear it when Gomez crashed into the netminder, causing him to land awkwardly on his leg.
“I don’t think there’s any secret it was deliberate,” Ruff said. “They wanted to try and disrupt him.
“[Gomez] knew what he was doing… He knew what he was doing.”
“I know Scott personally,” Miller said. “I don’t think he would ever come in and try to injure me, especially when I’m not facing the play… the referee said he lost an edge. He’s not that kind of guy. He was probably trying to go for the puck.”
Miller said it’s too early to estimate how long he will be out of the lineup. An update will be given following practice on Sunday.
“These are the kind of things you have to feel out,” Miller said. “There is no timetable really, it’s your comfort level. Right now I just want to get through the night until the morning and see how my body reacts. I’ve had a few ankle sprains in my time and each one has been different. We’ll see how this one plays out.”
"It's not broken, but we don't know how much time," Ruff said. "It's serious enough he can't play, but we'll see how it is tomorrow."
Patrick Lalime took over for the remainder of the game after Miller left the ice, making 13 saves in the final frame.
"Patty is a good goalie. We’ll get him up and running, whatever length of time," Ruff said. "He’s worked hard all year long… I think when you’re in a starting role and you get rhythm, it’s a lot easier than playing every five or six games.
"We’ve got to do our best to play in front of him.”