Sabres 6, Jets 5, OT

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Ryan Miller wasn't sure he'd make it past the first period after his latest shaky performance. Thanks to Thomas Vanek and the resilient Buffalo Sabres, the goalie was able to stick around long enough to earn his first win in five starts.

Vanek scored a power-play goal 4:35 into overtime and the Sabres overcame yet another on-ice meltdown by Miller in rallying for a 6-5 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

"Obviously, we all know that Ryan needs to be better. He was fighting it, there's no doubt," coach Lindy Ruff said. "But I liked the fight the team put up. That's even more important than the fight that Ryan was putting up."

Making his first start after a two-game benching, the 2010 Vezina Trophy winner allowed two goals on the first three shots he faced and three on the first seven. It was an outing reminiscent of Miller's last start, when he was yanked 6:23 in after allowing three goals on 11 shots in a 3-2 loss to Philadelphia last week.

"It was nice to make it to the second period this time," said Miller, who made 26 saves and avoided losing five straight games in regulation for the first time in his career. "It's not the easiest situation right now for me. ... I want to help. And I want to get victories."

Vanek and Derek Roy scored two goals apiece, and Jason Pominville had a goal and two assists in a game the Sabres never led until the final score.

Roy forced overtime by one-timing Pominville's cross-ice feed for a power-play goal with 6:08 left in regulation. Vanek ended it with his team-leading 10th of the season.

With Blake Wheeler in the penalty box for hooking, the Sabres worked the puck around to Pominville in the left circle, where he ripped a shot that banked in off Vanek's skate and past goalie Ondrej Pavelec.

Bryan Little scored twice, and Dustin Byfuglien and Tanner Glass each had a goal and an assist for the Jets, who closed a seven-game road trip, their longest of the season, with a 3-2-2 record.

"It's fun when you score, it's not fun when you get scored on," Jets defenseman Zach Bogosian said. "Run-and-gun type of hockey is not the way we want to play."

It didn't help that the Jets lacked discipline. They were called for 14 penalties totaling 39 minutes in comparison to the Sabres, who had six penalties for 15 minutes.

Winnipeg's penalty-killers allowed Buffalo to score on four of 12 power-play chances, with Roy's tying goal coming on the Sabres' third of three two-man advantages.

"We need to keep the game 5-on-5," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "We would've liked to get two points, and it was in our grasp. I think we shot ourselves in the foot because we were in the box most of the time."

Mark Flood also scored for the Jets, while Wheeler had two assists in what was an entertaining, back-and-forth game.

Flood and Little scored 66 seconds apart to put the Jets up 2-0.

Roy and rookie Corey Tropp responded by scoring 11 seconds apart to tie the game at 2 by the 9:16 mark of the opening period. The two teams then traded goals the rest of the way.

Pominville was pleased for Miller, aware of how the goalie was struggling with being questioned by the media and jeered at times on home ice. Miller's troubles were magnified after rookie Jhonas Enroth took over and earned wins in each of the past two games.

"It hasn't been easy for him," Pominville said. "We knew he was going to come back strong, and I thought he did. Tough start, but I think the players in front of him were to blame."

Miller had little help on at least three of the five goals he allowed. That included Byfuglien's goal to open the third period, in which he was allowed to waltz in alone before snapping a shot that beat Miller inside the left post.

NOTES: Before the game, former Buffalo and Winnipeg Jets forward Dale Hawerchuk was inducted into the Sabres Hall of Fame. Hawerchuk had 110 goals and 385 points in five seasons with the Sabres in the 1990s, and 379 goals and 929 points over nine seasons with the original Jets. Also inducted was longtime Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret. ... The Jets play 17 of their next 23 at home, starting with facing Florida on Thursday. Winnipeg has played an NHL-low four home games. ... Jets C Nik Antropov returned after missing two games with a hand injury.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
04:48WPG Mark Flood (2) ASST: Tanner Glass (5), Jim Slater (1) 1 - 0 WPG
05:54WPG Bryan Little (1) ASST: Blake Wheeler (6), Andrew Ladd (2) 2 - 0 WPG
09:05BUF PPG - Derek Roy (3) ASST: Tyler Myers (4) 2 - 1 WPG
09:16BUF Corey Tropp (1) ASST: Nathan Gerbe (6), Paul Gaustad (3) 2 - 2 Tie
11:25WPG Tanner Glass (3) ASST: Kyle Wellwood (5), Johnny Oduya (3) 3 - 2 WPG
13:06BUF SHG - Jason Pominville (6) ASST: Paul Gaustad (4) 3 - 3 Tie
2nd Period
01:07WPG PPG - Bryan Little (2) ASST: Dustin Byfuglien (6), Tim Stapleton (3) 4 - 3 WPG
15:48BUF PPG - Thomas Vanek (9) ASST: Brad Boyes (5), Derek Roy (5) 4 - 4 Tie
3rd Period
00:48WPG Dustin Byfuglien (2) ASST: Blake Wheeler (7) 5 - 4 WPG
13:52BUF PPG - Derek Roy (4) ASST: Jason Pominville (11), Christian Ehrhoff (7) 5 - 5 Tie
OT Period
04:35BUF PPG - Thomas Vanek (10) ASST: Jason Pominville (12), Marc-Andre Gragnani (5) 6 - 5 BUF
Three Stars of the Game
Jason Pominville
Jason Pominville
G: 1Shots: 6
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 26:19
Derek Roy
Derek Roy
G: 2Shots: 5
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: -2TOI: 24:36
Bryan Little
Bryan Little
G: 2Shots: 7
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 22:20
Penalty Summary
1st Period
06:39WPG Alexander Burmistrov  Charging against  Andrej Sekera
08:47WPG Nik Antropov  Cross checking against  Marc-Andre Gragnani
12:25BUF Jordan Leopold  Holding against  Nik Antropov
17:39WPG Evander Kane  Holding against  Andrej Sekera
18:14WPG Zach Bogosian  Hooking against  Thomas Vanek
2nd Period
00:30BUF Nathan Gerbe  Holding the stick against  Mark Stuart
03:52WPG Andrew Ladd  Interference against  Nathan Gerbe
08:16BUF Cody McCormick  Fighting (maj) against  Tanner Glass
08:16WPG Tanner Glass  Fighting (maj) against  Cody McCormick
09:08BUF Nathan Gerbe  Tripping against  Evander Kane
15:26WPG Andrew Ladd  Holding against  Thomas Vanek
19:18BUF Luke Adam  Hooking against  Blake Wheeler
20:00WPG Evander Kane  Holding against  Nathan Gerbe
3rd Period
03:40WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Holding against  Drew Stafford
04:04BUF Tyler Myers  Interference against  Alexander Burmistrov
11:14WPG Johnny Oduya  Cross checking against  Paul Gaustad
12:51WPG Zach Bogosian  Hi-sticking against  Luke Adam
13:35WPG Mark Stuart  Roughing against  Derek Roy
OT Period
04:05WPG Blake Wheeler  Hooking against  Nathan Gerbe
04:05WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Misconduct (10 min)
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays1/54/12
Faceoff Wins2550
Blocked Shots177
Penalty Minutes3915
4Z. BogosianD0013428:50
5M. StuartD0021224:20
8A. BurmistrovC00-14218:18
9E. KaneL00-10417:50
13K. WellwoodC0123014:30
14T. StapletonC010007:04
15T. GlassL1121510:32
16A. LaddL0101419:23
18B. LittleC2017022:20
19J. SlaterC0112014:54
22C. ThorburnR000009:30
23K. McArdleL000005:10
26B. WheelerR0214214:28
29J. OduyaD0101224:22
33D. ByfuglienD11031222:29
36M. FloodD1011017:00
53B. FesterlingD0010010:27
80N. AntropovC00-10218:42
31O. Pavelec3945.86764:35
3J. LeopoldD0001217:31
8C. McCormickC00-1152:30
9D. RoyC21-25024:36
10C. EhrhoffD0114025:59
17M. GragnaniD0103019:31
21D. StaffordR00-12019:54
22B. BoyesR0102016:17
23V. LeinoL00-22018:30
24R. RegehrD0010018:45
26T. VanekL20-15023:47
28P. GaustadC0225015:54
29J. PominvilleR12-16026:19
37M. EllisL00-1005:17
42N. GerbeC0111415:05
44A. SekeraD00-31015:58
57T. MyersD01-31222:55
72L. AdamC0004213:13
78C. TroppR100207:45
30R. Miller2631.83964:32