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Miller 'here to win'

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BUFFALO, NY -- Hey, Ryan Miller... how are you handling being yanked from a game and having to watch the last two contests from a very unfamiliar spot -- the bench?

"I'm here to win," Miller told reporters Monday after Sabres' practice. "That's the emotion you get from me. If I'm discouraged, if I'm (ticked) off, that's just how it is. I want to win. I don't want to be out there getting scored on. I don't want to be pulled out of a game. I want to, you know, I want to (insert bad word here) win the game."

A workhorse in the Buffalo net over the last few years, Miller surrendered three goals in just over six minutes in a game against Philly last week and was replaced by backup Jhonas Enroth. The rookie netminder then won games over Calgary and Ottawa, surrendering just three goals combined.

Miller is now on a four-game losing streak but still has juicy numbers, including a .922 save percentage.

"You want to play," Miller said. "My last outing wasn't the way you like to leave the ice. You want to go out and do your job, and the next chance I get I'll be ready.

"We got a solid win, and Jhonas played well. It's not all that surprising. But for me, I pride myself on being able to get back in net, get back in the saddle. To have to wait about a week for that is not ideal for me. I'm going to do my best when Lindy tells me it's time to go."

Spying Winnipeg reporters in the house, Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff would not reveal who would start against the Jets tonight.

INJURY UPDATE: The Jets hope to have C Nik Antropov back in the lineup, although it could be another game-time decision. The Jets have been without their leading scorer for the last two games after he blocked a shot in the win over the New York Islanders last Thursday.

"There's a lot of things connected to him. He has reach, he has size, he has weight and handles weight. So who goes in his spot? Usually it's a lighter guy so you wear down quicker. Those are some of the things that you miss," said head coach Claude Noel.

Goaltender Chris Mason, whose name was dropped as possible trade bait with the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets, should be good to go later this week.

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @WFPEdTait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2011 D3

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