Anaheim, Calif. — Ryan Miller picked up a milestone win in his first game in two months.
Miller, the former Michigan State standout, became the all-time leader in wins by a U.S.-born goaltender Sunday night as he made 23 saves in the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 victory over the Washington Capitals.
It was Miller’s 375th victory, breaking a tie with John Vanbiesbrouck.
“He’s definitely a goalie I looked up to and a nice moment. He was fixture through the 1980s and ‘90s when I was growing up and watching hockey,” said Miller, an East Lansing native who won the Hobey Baker Award with the Spartans in 2001. “I was happy I could do it at home with the family here.”
Miller tied Vanbiesbrouck on Dec. 2, when the Ducks rallied for a win at Washington. The 17-year veteran though had not played since Dec. 9 due to a knee injury.
“It is very satisfying to come off an injury and make a difference. When you have a knee injury you are never sure what will happen and it took longer than I had hoped,” Miller said. “I had a few clunky moments but I worked through it.”
Anaheim is last in the NHL in goals scored but it is another story against Washington. The Ducks scored 11 times in the two meetings this season, including six in the third periods.
Adam Henrique and Jakob Silfverberg each had two goals as the Ducks broke a 2-2 tie after two periods with three goals in the third, with the first two coming on the power play.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th goal of the season for Washington to become the fourth player in NHL history with 10 or more 40-goal seasons. Wayne Gretzky had 12 while Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux each had 10.
John Carlson also scored for the Capitals and Braden Holtby made 34 saves.