The Buffalo Sabres tenuous hold on a playoff spot may be in jeopardy as the team awaits word on the severity of an ankle injury to goaltender Ryan Miller.
The All-Star netminder suffered a high ankle sprain during Saturday's game against the New York Rangers after being taken down behind the net by Scott Gomez. He struggled to the Sabres bench while not putting any weight on his left leg. The team remain unsure how long they will be without the East Lansing, Michigan native.
"It's stiff and it's tender," Miller told reporters following the game. "These are things you have to kind of feel out. There's no timetable, really. It's your comfort level.
"Right now I just want to get through the night till the morning and see how my body reacts. I've had a few ankle sprains in my time, and each one's been different. We'll see how this one plays out."
Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff was furious at Gomez following the incident.
"I don't think there's any secret it was deliberate," Ruff told reporters. "He knew what he was doing."
The 28-year old Miller is enjoying a spectacular season for the Sabres, sporting a 29-16-5 record with 5 shutouts. Backup Patrick Lalime will get the majority of starts in net for Buffalo until Miller is able to return. The team has called up Jhonas Enroth to back up Lalime for the time being.
Heading into action Sunday, the Sabres are tied for the seventh spot in the East with the Rangers, three points ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes. Buffalo will continue their playoff push on Tuesday against the Anaheim Ducks.