LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ryan Miller still can come up with big games when called upon.
The 39-year old backup goalie for Anaheim made 46 saves to lead the Ducks to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night.
“It felt good to get in there and see some pucks. I felt like I have been playing the game I have been striving for,” Miller said. “I’ve been learning the past couple years what the deal is.”
The 46 saves are the second-most the 17-year veteran has made in a regulation win. It is the 42nd time he has made over 40 saves, but only the 19th in which his team has won in regulation.
The victory is the 384th of Miller’s career, which is the most by an American-born goaltender. It also puts him one away from tying Mike Vernon for 15th on the NHL’s career wins list
“I’m just trying to enjoy the time I get in the net. Tonight was exciting with the family in town. It was an opportunity for everyone to feel good,” Miller said.
The only goal Miller allowed came with 2:39 remaining in the second, when Tyler Toffoli’s slap shot from the right circle on the power play trickled under his legs.
Even though Miller faced a lot of shots, he didn’t face many odd-man rushes or rebounds where he was under pressure.
“He had to come up with a couple big saves but it never seemed like we were under stress,” Anaheim coach Dallas Eakins said. “ As many shots as they had tonight I did like where they came from for the most part. We were able to keep them from the outside and keep the red zone clear.”
Max Jones, Derek Grant, Jacob Larsson scored for the Ducks, who have won four of six. Anaheim has taken two of three in this year’s Freeway Series.
Jonathan Quick made 25 saves for Los Angeles, which has dropped nine of its last 11.
Jones got his first point in seven games when he chipped a backhand into the net after receiving pass from Sam Steel.
Anaheim extended its lead to 3-0 with a pair of goals four minutes apart in the second. Grant scored his 11th of the season when he redirected Cam Fowler’s shot from the point at 2:33. Larsson then picked up his second goal on a slap shot from near the blue line.
“Our start definitely wasn’t good. I thought we got better in the second half of the first period, and then we got caught snoozing a couple times in the second period and it hurt us,” Los Angeles center Anze Kopitar said.
NOTES: Los Angeles is 11 of 25 on the power play since Dec. 31. Its 44% conversion rate since then leads the league. It is the third straight game the Kings have scored on the power play, marking the first time that has happened since last January. … The goal was Toffoli’s 14th of the season, surpassing his total from last year. … Kopitar has four assists in the past three games. … The Kings remain the only team in the league who haven’t won this season when trailing after the first period (0-20-1). … Anaheim had an 11-3 advantage in shots after the first eight minutes but were outshot 47-28 for the game. … LW Rickard Rakell, who had the second assist on Larsson’s goal, has a goal and two assists in the past two games.
Anaheim: At Ottawa on Tuesday. The game against the Senators starts a four-game East swing.
Los Angeles: Begins a four-game trip against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
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