In less than a month, Martin Brodeur and Ryan Miller are expected to start opposite each other while representing their respective countries at the Olympics.
They both should be in net Wednesday night to provide a preview when Brodeur's New Jersey Devils visit Miller and the Buffalo Sabres in a matchup of two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.
Brodeur leads the NHL in wins (31), and is among the leaders with a 2.20 goals-against average. Miller has 27 wins and his 2.08 GAA ranks second in the league.
Brodeur will be going to his fourth Olympic Games and is considered the favorite to be named the No. 1 goalie for Canada after leading it to the gold medal in 2002. On the strength of his outstanding season, Miller is likely to assume the starting role for Team USA.
They'll likely start against each other in Vancouver when Canada and the U.S. meet Feb. 21 in the final game of Group A.
Before that, they'd both surely like to snap out of their recent slumps.
Brodeur, the NHL's all-time leader in wins (588) and shutouts (108), has dropped five of his last seven starts with a 2.88 GAA in that stretch as New Jersey's Atlantic Division lead over second-place Pittsburgh has dwindled to two points.
The four-time Vezina Trophy winner was pulled following the second period of Tuesday's 3-0 loss at Ottawa. He gave up all of the Senators' goals on 12 shots as the Devils (34-16-1) dropped to 1-1 on their three-game road trip and got shut out for the second time in seven games.
"I think we let them dictate the game," Brodeur said. "I think they definitely are playing well but for us it's not acceptable the way we competed against a team like them."
Miller hasn't fared much better lately for the Sabres (30-14-7), who lead Ottawa by five points atop the Northeast but stumble home after a 2-3-2 trip, including losses in the final four contests. He's compiled a 2.85 GAA while starting each game of the skid after going 6-0-1 with a 1.81 GAA in his previous seven outings.
Miller made 22 saves Monday but was outplayed by Roberto Luongo -- expected to backup Brodeur at the Olympics -- who stopped 30 shots as the Sabres fell 3-2 at Vancouver.
Miller will have to contend with three Team USA teammates Wednesday, as New Jersey features left wing Zach Parise, defenseman Paul Martin and center Jamie Langenbrunner -- the captain for both the Devils and Team USA.
Miller hasn't had much success against New Jersey, losing three in a row at home with a 4.17 GAA, including a 3-0 defeat Dec. 7 as Brodeur tied Terry Sawchuk for the all-time shutout record at 103.
Brodeur made 22 saves in that contest to improve to 5-1-1 with a 1.64 GAA in his last seven games against the Sabres.
Parise, New Jersey's leader with 23 goals and 51 points, came up empty on three shots Tuesday versus Ottawa. The left wing, who had three goals in his previous two games, has found the back of the net twice with one assist in his last three visits to Buffalo.
The Sabres are getting superb production from Tim Connolly, whose 16-game point streak is both a career best and the longest active streak in the NHL. The center has seven goals and 18 assists during the run to increase his team-leading total to 48 points.