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Ryan Miller, the Buffalo Sabres' blue-chip goaltending prospect, was recalled from the Rochester Americans on Sunday.
He will practice with the Sabres today in HSBC Arena and is expected to make his National Hockey League debut Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils in Continental Airlines Arena.
Miller didn't play in Sunday night's game against the Hamilton Bulldogs in Rochester. He left Blue Cross Arena with his bags packed, bound for the big leagues.
"I don't know if I'll play," Miller said before driving west on the New York Thruway. "Whatever they tell me, that's what I'll do.
"I'm already nervous."
The moribund Sabres are looking for someone -- anyone -- to help them avoid matching a pair of ignominious streaks.
They are one defeat from tying their record seven-game losing skid. One more loss or tie will equal their record 12-game winless skid.
The Sabres own the NHL's worst record at 3-11-3.
Buffalo netminders Martin Biron and Mika Noronen haven't been awful, but they haven't carried their teammates, either. Biron is 3-7-2 with a 2.66 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. Noronen is 0-4-1 with a 2.75 GAA and .900 save percentage.
Miller has made a smooth transition from being one of the best goalies in NCAA history to an everyday pro.
His miserable 3-8-2 record in Rochester was a reflection of the Amerks' poor offense. His sturdy performances were better illustrated by his 2.49 GAA and .907 save percentage.
In his most recent outing, he stopped 37 shots to lead the Amerks over the Binghamton Senators, 5-3, on Saturday.
Miller bypassed his senior season at Michigan State to sign with Buffalo. He set the NCAA record for shutouts with 37 and won the Hobey Baker Award as the college player of the year as a sophomore.
Miller's recall was the second big move the Sabres made in as many days involving a Michigan State product.
The Sabres whacked defenseman Jason Woolley's $1.425 million salary by allowing him to renegotiate a contract with the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for a conditional draft pick.
Shortly after the Woolley transaction, Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier said more roster moves could be in the offing.
"There are other moves we'd like to make," Regier said. "We'll see what may be available."
Trimming Woolley's salary from the payroll doesn't mean the Sabres have that much more to play with, especially now that they have added a third goalie.
The Sabres' budget has been aided by not having to pay injured right wing Maxim Afinogenov. But they had been paying eight defensemen in addition to rookie forward Ales Kotalik. Forward Denis Hamel also is earning an NHL paycheck in Rochester.
"There may be a little bit of room, but we had to make some moves to stay on budget," Regier said.e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org