BUFFALO – The No. 2 goalie often plays the second of back-to-back games, meaning the team in front of him isn’t exactly fresh.
Still, in his first season as an NHL backup, Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark has thrived, starting 5-0-3 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in nine games.
With No. 1 goalie Carter Hutton day-to-day with an upper-body injury, Ullmark, 25, will start this afternoon’s tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers inside KeyBank Center.
“When I look at Linus’ game, he’s done a really good job,” Sabres coach Phil Housley said this morning. “He hasn’t been dealt a really good hand at times, but he’s stepped up. It shows his character and his competitive nature.”
Up front, winger Jason Pominville will return after an upper-body injury sidelined him two games. Housley said winger Zemgus Girgensons will be scratched.
On defense, Matt Tennyson will make his season debut. While the veteran has spent a chunk of the season with the Sabres, he hasn’t played an NHL game since last season.
“His veteran experience,” Housley said of why Tennyson was summoned ahead of a prospect. “We needed somebody more stable back there. He went back, his last game he scored, he was physical.”