Miller passes Vanbiesbrouck as U.S.-born goalie with most wins
Michigan native Ryan Miller watches the puck fly past the net after deflecting it in the first period against Washington Sunday. Miller backstopped the Ducks to victory, his record-breaking 375th win.
One Michigan native has passed another as the U.S.-born goaltender with the most wins in NHL history.
When East Lansing native Ryan Miller made 23 saves in Anaheim’s 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals Sunday, it was his 375th career win, which sent him past John Vanbiesbrouck – who is from Detroit – as the U.S.-born goaltender with the most NHL wins.
“It’s an amazing journey,” Miller, 38, said on NHL.com. “You reflect on a night like this, and just a lot of people were there to help you along the way, and a lot of great teammates. All those wins have been a lot of fun. You get to smile and have a good time after those kinds of games, and I got to do that a number of times.
“There are a lot of great American goalies that are going to chase me down eventually, but it's nice to have (the record) for a while.”
Miller, a Michigan State alum, grew up watching Vanbiesbrouck, a member of the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame and USA Hockey’s assistant executive director of hockey operations.
“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," Miller told the Canadian Press. “I was happy I could do it at home with the family here.”
The game was played at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Miller tied Vanbiesbrouck on Dec. 2 when the Ducks rallied for a win at Washington. But due to a knee injury, the 17-year veteran had not played since Dec. 9, missing 24 games.
“It is very satisfying to come off an injury and make a difference,” Miller said. “When you have a knee injury, you are never sure what will happen, and it took longer than I had hoped. I had a few clunky moments, but I worked through it."
Miller is the backup to John Gibson and is 5-2-1 with a 2.64 goals-against average in 11 games.