Matt Hackett hasn't played in the NHL since March 29. ©2014, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

Sabres goalie Matt Hackett to start against Oilers

With Matt Hackett starting Thursday against the Oilers, the Buffalo Sabres will use five goalies in a season for the first time since 1995-96.

The Sabres are missing starter Jhonas Enroth (right leg) and backup Michal Neuvirth (lower body).

Neuvirth faced shots during Wednesday’s practice and could be available Sunday in Vancouver, interim Sabres coach Ted Nolan told reporters in Edmonton.

“He’s doing a lot better right now,” Nolan said.

Rookie Nathan Lieuwen started his first NHL game Tuesday, stopping 23 shots in the Sabres’ 3-1 loss in Calgary.

“Nathan’s got to be proud of himself, the way he’s played,” Nolan said. “But to overload him real quick is unfair for him.”

Hackett is 13-17-2 with a 3.07 goals-against average and .898 save percentage in 33 games with Rochester this season. He allowed seven goals on 31 shots in the Americans’ 7-3 loss to Binghamton Sunday, his last appearance.

“He’s played pretty well in Rochester so he deserves a chance,” Nolan said.

The 24-year-old was one of the AHL’s better goalies before the Sabres acquired him from Minnesota last season.

“It’s all about the evaluation period going forward,” Nolan said.

Hackett has played 13 NHL games. He last started March 29 with the Wild.

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