April 15, 2011
Miller was the difference in the Sabres' 1-0 victory at the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1. The Sabres keeper made 35 saves, including 16 in the second period. It was his second career postseason shutout, and his third shutout in his last six starts. Patrick Kaleta(notes) scored the game-winning goal at 5:56 of the third after a shot by Marc-Andre Gragnani(notes) bounced off of Sergei Bobrovsky(notes).
The Big Pavelski scored his third career overtime goal at 14:44 of the extra session, giving the Sharks a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in Game 1. Kyle Wellwood(notes) set him up with a nice pass, and Ryane Clowe(notes) (3 assists) was a presence down low.
Price was a different goalie for Montreal during the regular season, and that rebirth has continued in the playoffs. In back of a solid defense, Price made 31 saves, snapped an 8-game postseason losing streak and led the Habs to a 2-0 victory at the Boston Bruins in Game 1. It was especially impressive considering he had given up 13 goals in his last two games in Boston.
Honorable mention: Brian Gionta(notes) scored both of Montreal's goals, and both were assisted by Scott Gomez(notes). … Justin Williams(notes) was fantastic in his first game back from injury for the Kings, setting up Dustin Brown's(notes) power play goal and scoring the game-tying goal in the second. … Antti Niemi(notes) made 33 saves, while Jonathan Quick(notes) made 42. … Boston won the faceoff battle with Montreal, 59 percent to 41. … Kyle Clifford(notes) and Ben Eager(notes) fought after a brutal hit by Jarret Stoll(notes) on Ian White(notes). But the real joys here were the reactions from the benches:
Did you know? The Bruins and Habs are facing each other for an NHL record 33rd time in the playoffs. (AP)
Dishonorable mention: The Flyers were 0-for-5 on the power play, failing to convert a 5-on-3. … The Bruins were 0-for-3 on the power play. … Tomas Kaberle(notes) and Dennis Seidenberg(notes) were both a minus-2. … Stoll's hit on White deserved a penalty; it could garner a suspension.
Conn Smythe Watch: 1. Mike Fisher(notes), Nashville Predators; 2. Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres 3. Alexander Semin(notes), Washington Capitals; 4. Marc-Andre Fleury(notes), Pittsburgh Penguins; 5. Roberto Luongo(notes), Vancouver Canucks; 6. Johan Franzen(notes), Detroit Red Wings; 7. Brian Gionta, Montreal Canadiens; 8. Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks; 9. Pekka Rinne(notes), Nashville Predators; 10. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens