BUFFALO – Ryan Miller wants to act cautiously. The Sabres goalie doesn’t want his mild groin injury dogging him all season.
“Three games into the season I didn’t want to create a bigger issue out of it,” Miller said today after taking some shots on the ice. “(I’m) just trying to get myself to the point where I don’t have to worry about the rest of the year instead of having something that keeps coming back. So I’m just going to try to be smart moving forward, so I can play the way I need to play.”
Miller could play Tuesday when the Sabres host Tampa Bay.
“We’re going to see,” Sabres coach Ron Rolston said. “He’s going to let us know where he’s at. He’s close. It’s just how he’s moving out there.”
The 33-year-old Miller, who missed Saturday’s 4-1 loss in Pittsburgh, didn’t practice fully today. Instead, he took shots for around 15 minutes after most of his teammates had left the First Niagara Center ice.
“I’m good. I’ll make myself available as soon as possible,” Miller said. “We’ll see how we want to handle things. I missed practice today and skating the last few days. So the best course of action is talking to Tim (Macre), our trainer, get a course of action planned out with the coach.”
Miller said he “felt something kind tighten up on me early” in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Ottawa.
“Then midway through the game it got a little tighter,” said Miller, who made 45 saves that night. “I didn’t want to take myself out of the game. I just wanted to keep playing. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. After you kind of come off the adrenaline of playing and being on the ice and started cooling down it started feeling a lot tighter.”
Backup goalie Matt Hackett appeared to be packed and ready to return to Rochester.
In other injury news, winger Marcus Foligno (muscle strain) will return Tuesday.
“I feel pretty good, back to normal in strength there,” Foligno said. “So pretty excited.”
Center Cody Hodgson (lower body) missed practice but should play against the Lightning. Rolston said he’s day-to-day.
“Today was kind of a maintenance for him,” Rolston said.