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NHL playoffs roundup

Sabres blank Flyers

Miller perfect for upstart Buffalo

Ryan Miller makes one of his 35 saves in his second career playoff shutout. Ryan Miller makes one of his 35 saves in his second career playoff shutout. (Tim Shaffer/Reuters)
Associated Press / April 15, 2011

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Ryan Miller stopped a shot from his knees and with six players in the crease. He saved one with Buffalo down two men. Any way Philadelphia tried to attack him, Miller never buckled.

He was perfect in net and the Sabres took quick control of the series.

Miller stopped 35 shots for his second career postseason shutout and Patrick Kaleta scored to lift Buffalo to a 1-0 win over the Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference series last night in Philadelphia.

“It’s important to establish that we can skate with these guys,’’ Miller said. “We like where we’re at, but that team over there has a lot of fight, and we’ll have to be ready for them.’’

Miller stopped every shot under all types of pressure and carried the Sabres to the clutch opening win. The teams have met eight times in the postseason and the Game 1 winner won the series each time.

Kaleta snapped the scoreless tie early in the third period when he powered a rebound past rookie Sergei Bobrovsky.

The Sabres — 10 points out of a playoffs spot on Jan. 17 — cracked the scoreless tie 5:56 into the third period on Kaleta’s second career postseason goal.

Buffalo won a fight for the puck along the boards and dumped it across the zone to Marc-Andre Gragnani. He fired a slapper from the top of the circle and Kaleta knocked in the rebound from the low slot for the 1-0 lead.

Sharks 3, Kings 2 — Joe Pavelski scored 14:44 into overtime to give host San Jose a victory over Los Angeles in Game 1 of their all-California opening round series.

Pavelski took a pass from Kyle Wellwood as the trailer on a three-on-two advantage and fired a forehand past Jonathan Quick for his second career playoff overtime goal.

Dany Heatley and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who had lost five of their previous six series openers. Antti Niemi made 33 saves.

Dustin Brown and Justin Williams scored for the Kings, who have won just one playoff series since going to the Stanley Cup final with Wayne Gretzky in 1993. Quick made 42 saves.

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