PITTSBURGH - Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller received a standing ovation in Pittsburgh last night for leading the United States to an Olympic silver medal - cheers louder than those given the Penguins' own Sidney Crosby. The Penguins defeated the Sabres last night, 3-2.
Crosby beat Miller to score the winning goal in overtime Sunday as Canada defeated the United States, 3-2, for the gold medal in Vancouver. Despite being on the losing team, Miller was chosen the tournament MVP.
Olympians for both teams were introduced before the game, with Miller drawing the loudest and most sustained cheering. Crosby also was given a standing ovation, but it was less enthusiastic than Miller's despite his vast popularity in Pittsburgh.
"It was a good tournament," Miller said before the game. "Hopefully, it made some hockey fans here in the United States."
Some Penguins fans admittedly were conflicted, enthused by the United States' successful tournament - the Americans were unbeaten before losing to Canada - but too loyal to Crosby to boo the player who led Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup last spring.
"I'll leave it up to other people to decide, but for me it was a pretty proud moment," Crosby said.
Miller sat out of the game after playing five of six games for the United States in Vancouver. Crosby was in the Penguins' lineup and assisted on the first goal, by Sergei Gonchar on a power play at 14:58 of the first period.
"I'm a little spaced from traveling, the time change," Miller said. "We were up there for two weeks and everything's thrown off just a bit."