PITTSBURGH – Matt Hackett was home in Rochester, “about to pass out,” the goalie joked, when the phone rang around midnight Saturday.
Hackett had just been shelled in the Americans’ disastrous 8-1 season-opening loss to Grand Rapids, allowing six goals on 30 shots in just 36:35 before mercifully getting yanked.
The 23-year-old wasn’t expecting a recall to the Buffalo Sabres hours later.
“Never seen getting called up for six goals,” Hackett said Saturday afternoon prior to the Sabres’ 4-1 loss to the Penguins inside the Consol Energy Center.
But the Sabres needed another goalie after starter Ryan Miller (lower body) was injured while making 45 saves in Friday’s 1-0 loss to Ottawa.
Sabres general manager Darcy Regier said Miller’s injury is “nothing serious, just minor.”
“It’s very short-term in nature,” he said.
Sabres coach Ron Rolston said Miller, who didn’t dress Saturday, is day-to-day and will be ready for Tuesday’s home tilt against Tampa Bay.
The Sabres used one of their two goalie exemptions to go over the 23-man roster, Regier said.
This is Hackett’s first recall to the Sabres, although he played 13 NHL games with Minnesota and enjoyed a long look during Buffalo’s preseason.
Hackett immediately drove to Buffalo after his phone rang and took a limo Saturday morning to Pittsburgh, he said.
“It’s been a crazy, crazy night,” Hackett said.
What happened Friday?
“It was just one of those games we came out really flat,” Hackett said. “We got some things to figure out down there.”
In other lineup news, defenseman Jamie McBain made his Sabres debut with Henrik Tallinder (upper body) out. Tallinder will be out around a week after leaving Friday’s loss early, Rolston said.
McBain skated with Tyler Myers and manned a point on the power play. Forward Cody McCormick also replaced tough guy John Scott after sitting once.
The Sabres also recalled defenseman Alexander Sulzer, who sat out.
How will the Sabres split their netminders this season?
Miller has averaged 65 games during his last three full seasons. But Jhonas Enroth, a youngster many believe is ready for regular duty, might spell Miller more often in 2013-14.
“We’ve looked at the schedule,” Rolston said Friday. “We’re going to go month-to-month, basically, and map that out. We want to get Jhonas more starts this year as we’ve talked before. But we know that Millsie’s going to have the bulk. We have to prepare Jhonas to get some more and with the condensed (Olympic) schedule make sure both guys are fresh.”
The 25-year-old Enroth made his first start this season Saturday.
Notes: When the CES video boards showed Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, whose team is participating in the National League playoffs for the first time since 1992, watching the game in a suite, the crowd roared and chanted, “MVP, MVP.” … The Penguins played without stars Kris Letang (lower body) and James Neal (upper body).