Miller, Canucks host Sabres

( - A small part of Ryan Miller has to be glad he isn't in Buffalo to endure what has become an epic losing streak by the Sabres.

Miller, though, can't worry about his former teammates on Friday night as his Vancouver Canucks try to get their offense going in a matchup at home against the Sabres.

The 34-year-old Miller is expected to face the Sabres for the first time since getting traded to the St. Louis Blues from Buffalo on Feb. 28, 2014. In 10- plus seasons with the Sabres after they took him in the fifth round of the 1999 draft, Miller went 284-186-57 with a 2.60 goals against average, .916 save percentage and 28 shutouts over 540 games.

His victories are the most in franchise history and he picked up a Vezina Trophy award in 2009-10.

A pending free agent last season, the Canucks dealt Miller to the Blues and he had a chance to face Buffalo in St. Louis on April 3, but opted not to play. He will finally square off against the Sabres tonight and admitted that it is going to be a strange contest.

"Part of hockey is having fun competing against your friends, former teammates, colleagues, so I look forward to these opportunities," Miller added.

The Michigan-born goaltender signed with the Canucks this past offseason and has gone 23-11-1 with a 2.33 GAA and .917 save percentage in 35 starts. His five shutouts also are tied for the second most in the NHL.

In part because of Miller's play, the Canucks are tied for third in the Pacific Division with Calgary but also only one point ahead of fifth-place Los Angeles.

Coming off a 3-2-0 road trip, Vancouver was shut out at home for a second straight contest with Tuesday's 4-0 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Miller yielded three goals on 23 shots in his club's second loss in a row overall.

"When we're playing catch-up we're playing a different game than we want to," Canucks forward Radim Vrbata said.

Vancouver hasn't scored a goal at home for 176 minutes, 21 seconds as it was also blanked by Calgary 1-0 on Jan. 10. Tonight is the second contest of a six-game residency.

The Canucks' recent scoring issues are no where never the level of the Sabres' current issues as they come in having lost a franchise-record 13 straight overall. Each setback has come in regulation, including last night's 3-2 loss in Edmonton.

Buffalo hasn't won since a Dec. 27 home victory over the New York Islanders and is last in the NHL with 31 points, four fewer than Edmonton.

"It's frustrating not to get the results when you put in the hard work. I know a lot of those guys on that team are proud and they work hard," said Miller on Thursday.

Jhonas Enroth stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced last night, with defenseman Tyler Myers and Rasmus Ristolainen both scoring and captain Brian Gionta picking up two assists.

"We had our chances," Buffalo coach Ted Nolan said.

Buffalo has lost the first three of a five-game road trip and is 0-12-1 as the visiting club since a victory at Montreal on Nov. 29.

Neither Enroth or current backup Matt Hackett has ever faced the Canucks, who won both of their meetings with the Sabres last season and are 6-1-0 with a tie in the past eight encounters at home.