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Penguins notebook: Sabres' Miller erupts after another loss to Pittsburgh

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Sunday, Feb. 17, 2013, 5:03 p.m.

Sidney Crosby beat Ryan Miller to conclude the NHL's first Winter Classic in 2008, beat the goaltender for the “Golden Goal” in the 2010 Olympics and generally has been a thorn in the netminder's side during their respective careers.

Following another Crosby gem — he scored a goal, added two assists and is now just one point behind Buffalo's Thomas Vanek for the NHL scoring lead — Miller finally lost his cool.

“It's a (expletive) way to lose,” Miller said. “I don't understand. Your guard has to be up at all times. They get right back in the game, one broken play to seal it for them. It's preventable and not what we need to be doing right now.”

Miller's career record against the Penguins is 5-11-3, his worst against any opponent. Crosby has 32 points in 22 career games against the Sabres.

“He's a good player,” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. “He's always around the puck. He's got a knack for being in the right place combined with an incredible work ethic.”

While the mood in the Penguins' locker room was one of satisfaction, Miller's tense session with reporters illustrated a Buffalo team that has started slowly and historically struggles against the Penguins.

“Just (expletive) losing at the end,” Miller said. “It's 3-3. Get it to overtime.”

Miller's frustration seemed to be geared more toward his teammates than the Penguins.

“You're either competent enough or experienced enough with the lead in the third period,” Miller said. “It's not acceptable.”

• Center Brandon Sutter absorbed a nasty hit from Buffalo center Cody McCormick in the second period. McCormick did not receive a penalty but later was challenged to a fight by left wing Tanner Glass. McCormick's right arm appeared to make contact with Sutter's head. Sutter did not miss a shift. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wasn't thrilled with the hit. Asked if he thought the hit was too high, Bylsma responded, “I think Sutter didn't have the puck.”

• Defenseman Robert Bortuzzo returned to the lineup, making Simon Despres a healthy scratch. Bylsma explained before the game that, because of Buffalo's team toughness, Bortuzzo seemed a logical candidate to receive playing time. Center Dustin Jeffrey and left wing Zach Boychuk were also healthy scratches.

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