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Five Things to Know as Sabres host Ryan Miller, Anaheim

There haven't been many memorable games in Buffalo this season. That will change Tuesday.

Ryan Miller is back in town, and he's playing.

Here are Five Things to Know as the Sabres host the Anaheim Ducks in KeyBank Center.

1. Miller time

The winningest goaltender in Sabres history will skate to the crease. This time, Miller will play in net for Anaheim. It's just his fourth appearance against the Sabres since being traded in February 2014, and it's only the second time he'll be a visitor in Buffalo.

"This time I'm going to try to have a little more fun with it," said Miller, who admitted the first game was a little overwhelming. "I was definitely trying to have fun with it last time. A little bit more emotional. This time, you just try to take the opportunity to be back in Buffalo, have fun and play some hockey."

Ryan Miller’s return full of pleasant surprises

Miller is 2-1 with a .910 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against average against Buffalo, with all the games coming while he played for Vancouver. He earned a 5-2 victory in Vancouver on Jan. 30, 2015. He lost, 3-2, in Buffalo on Nov. 7, 2015, when Rasmus Ristolainen scored with 17 seconds left. He picked up another 5-2 victory in Vancouver on Dec. 7, 2015.

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Miller is 6-4-5 this season with a .915 save percentage. He's moved to 364-266-78 in his career, which includes 284 victories with the Sabres.

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2. Go west

The Sabres have won five straight games against the Pacific Division. A victory over the Ducks would obviously stretch the streak to six. It would be the longest run since the Sabres won seven in a row from Nov. 19, 2010, to Oct. 8, 2011.

Buffalo earned a 3-1 victory in Anaheim in October.

3. Batting 1,000

The Sabres are still stuck on 999 home victories. They've lost their last four home games, including the opening three on this five-game homestand.

"It starts with the first faceoff," coach Phil Housley said after the morning skate. "That's the first battle you face. Try to win that one, get it in, try to establish a forecheck and back them off.

"You look at this homestand, I just think we haven't had good starts in all three periods, and that sets you up for the period. So our focus is trying to get off to a good start, getting into that first five minutes and getting into the game right away."

Sabres Notebook: Franchise stuck on 999 home wins

The Sabres went 581-287-155 in Memorial Auditorium. They're 417-297-109 in their oft-renamed current home. They have credit for a home victory in Finland over the Ducks in 2011.

4. Change on defense

After appearing in five straight games, defenseman Victor Antipin will take a seat as a healthy scratch.

"I really liked the games he played up in Edmonton and Vancouver where he was 'take charge,' " Housley said. "He was very noticeable. I think he got away from that. For him to stay in the lineup, that's what we're looking for.

"I thought he was really taking charge of the puck in our own end, very comfortable with it, making that first pass, creating his own space. Even in the offensive zone, he got involved with the play."

The Sabres' defensive pairings will be Marco Scandella-Ristolainen, Justin Falk-Jake McCabe and Nathan Beaulieu-Casey Nelson.

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"I just feel that when you lose some games, changes are going to be made," Housley said. "But he's going to get back in the lineup eventually. It's not that he's played horribly, but I think we need him more to take charge."

5. This and that

Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly has points in three straight games against the Ducks, giving him seven goals and 15 points in 22 career meetings. … Sabres right wing Kyle Okposo has five goals and nine points in nine games versus Anaheim. … Robin Lehner will start in goal for Buffalo. In his last four games, Lehner has stopped 120 of 123 shots for a .976 save percentage. The goalie is 0-2 with a .941 save percentage against the Ducks.

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