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Premonition pans out for Miller

Wings' forward contributes just like his older brother predicted

Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 12:28 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Premonition pans out for Miller
On Monday, Drew Miller scored his second game-winner of the season against the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Getty Images)
EDMONTON, Alberta – Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller predicted earlier this month that his younger brother would finally capitalize on his chances with the Red Wings, saying, “I think maybe some other people who watch hockey will be surprised when he starts getting some points here and starts settling into his role.”

And that’s exactly what Drew Miller has done lately, collecting his fourth goal in five games with the game-winner (WATCH GOAL) in the Wings’ 3-2 victory Monday night against the Oilers at Rexall Place.

“He’s seen me play from a young age and I think he wants me to take a few more chances, which hopefully with a little more experience I can take some more,” said Drew Miller when asked about his brother’s comments. “You want to establish that role and stick around a little before you start taking those chances.”

With less than four-minutes remaining in regulation Monday, Miller put the Wings up for good with his sixth goal of the season. With the Wings’ third line pressing deep in the offensive zone, Miller re-directed a shot from the left point by defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom. The re-direction, on Miller’s back-hand, went through Danny Cleary’s legs and beat Oilers goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, who was screened by the Wings’ forward. Center Darren Helm also drew an assist on the game-winner.

“I usually come around to the front of the net, but I saw that Cleary went there so I went for the high slot and I got my stick on it,” Miller said. “Sometimes you get a lucky bounce.”

Miller now has seven career game-winners, including two this season. His winning goal on Nov. 11 came against the Oilers in a 3-0 win at Joe Louis Arena.

Lidstrom said of Monday’s winning tally, “Helmer held it in their left corner, throwing it up to the point. I'm just looking for sticks when I'm shooting. It's hard to get it on net. There's guys in the shooting lanes, so you're looking for a tip and Millsie was showing me his stick so I tried to get that right in front of him.”

The Wings have had incredible contribution lately from the third line of Miller, Cleary and Helm, who accounted for two more goals Monday. Cleary's eighth of the season gave the Wings a 1-0 lead early in the first period (WATCH GOAL). And since Nov. 19 – when the Wings claimed a 4-1 win at Los Angeles – the third and fourth line guys have accounted for 20 goals in the last 15 games.

“Helm's line with Cleary and Miller were our best line by far,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Miller has definitely made the most of his chances lately – especially with injuries to Jan Mursak (fractured left ankle), Patrick Eaves (fractured jaw) and Chris Conner (broken left hand) – increasing his ice-time by roughly three-minutes per game to 12-minutes over the last five games.

“I always hoped that at every level you get better and I played a little more offensive in the AHL,” Miller said, “but sometimes it doesn’t always transition to the NHL depending on the role you’re in.

“Tonight, we found a way to win on the road, but we probably won’t be as happy with some of the parts of that game, but anytime you can get a win on the road it’s big, and definitely to start off a road trip.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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