Buffalo goalie Michael Houser is embraced after Monday’s win by teammates Will Borgen (left) and Rasmus Ristolainen. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Michael Houser shines in NHL debut: ‘A very special night’

BUFFALO – Eight teams, nine seasons and 284 games into his pro career, Sabres goalie Michael Houser made his NHL debut, stopping 34 shots in Monday’s 4-2 come-from-behind win over the New York Islanders.

In a dreadful year in which the Sabres could finish dead last again, Houser’s first big league start created a feel-good story that provided some excitement and intrigue to a meaningless late-season game.

Houser, 28, has spent most of his career ... Read the full article

Stefanos Lekkas has played seven games with Rochester. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres sign Amerks goalie Stefanos Lekkas to PTO, make other moves

BUFFALO – The Sabres this afternoon signed Rochester Americans goalie Stefanos Lekkas to a professional tryout contract and he will back up Michael Houser tonight against the New York Islanders.

Sabres assistant coach Mike Bales, a former NHL goalie, will serve as the emergency backup, according to the team.

Goalie Dustin Tokarski, who was expected to start tonight, did not skate this morning. Tokarski relieved goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen when he was injured in Saturday ... Read the full article

Michael Houser has spent nine seasons in the minors. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Michael Houser to realize dream with first NHL start

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Michael Houser toiled nine years in the minors, playing 283 games, most of them in the ECHL, for seven teams before an opportunity to start an NHL game materialized.

Tonight against the New York Islanders at KeyBank Center, Houser, 28, will make his NHL debut, interim coach Don Granato said. Houser will be the sixth Sabres goalie to start a game this season.

Houser has spent most of the past seven ... Read the full article

Linus Ullmark hasn’t played since April 13. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark’s return to ice ‘very pleasant surprise’

BUFFALO – After a lower-body injury sidelined goalie Linus Ullmark 15 games, he returned in late March and quickly morphed into the Sabres’ backbone again.

Then on April 13 in Boston, Ullmark, in his eighth appearance back, suffered a lower-body ailment stretching to make a save in the opening minutes. At first, he tried to play through the pain.

“When the pain never subsided and it was getting worse and worse, I couldn’t find any ... Read the full article

Michael Houser is receiving his first taste of the NHL with Buffalo. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Michael Houser enjoying first taste of NHL: ‘Cool experiences’

BUFFALO – Sabres goalie Michael Houser arrived at the visiting dressing room that night six weeks ago in Madison Square Garden sweating.

Minutes earlier, Houser, 28, had been watching the action against the New York Rangers from a suite with other members of the team’s taxi squad.

Then Carter Hutton suffered a lower-body injury less than three minutes into the game, meaning Houser, the emergency backup, had to rush downstairs and get ready.

“I had ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen left Saturday’s game after the second period. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres lose ugly game to Bruins, goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to injury

After a solid few weeks, the Buffalo Sabres have started reminding everyone why they’ve occupied the NHL’s basement for months.

Saturday’s afternoon’s ugly 6-2 setback to the Boston Bruins was their fourth consecutive loss and fifth in the last six games.

In an outing reminiscent of the Ralph Krueger era, the Sabres looked disjointed all over the ice, allowing the Bruins to throttled them.

On top of their dismal performance, rookie goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen suffered ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was playing his fourth NHL game. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen leaves game injured

Buffalo Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen left this afternoon’s game injured after his left skate got stuck on the goal post.

Luukkonen, 22, was injured as he moved across the crease in the waning seconds of the second period against the Boston Bruins. After the rookie caught his skate on the post, he fell backwards and appeared to grab his left knee.

The Finn was helped off the TD Garden ice. Dustin Tokarski has replaced him ... Read the full article

Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has dressed as backup the last two games. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Excitement accompanies Sabres goalie Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen’s first start

Right now, the Buffalo Sabres need top goalie prospect Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen.

Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark are injured. Dustin Tokarski, who played in Thursday’s 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins, started back-to-back games earlier this week. He can’t go again tonight against Boston inside KeyBank Center.

The Sabres’ only other goalie on an NHL contract, Michael Houser, has spent most of his career in the ECHL.

They’re out of options, so Luukkonen, ... Read the full article

Will Borgen was injured Feb. 20. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Will Borgen nearing return, close to becoming NHL regular

BUFFALO – When Sabres defenseman Will Borgen blocked a shot with his right forearm Feb. 20 in New Jersey, he had no idea it had been fractured.

“They just kind of stitched it up because it was bleeding a little bit,” Borgen said on a Zoom call prior to Tuesday’s 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins. “I didn’t have an excuse to not play at the time.”

So Borgen, 24, finished the Sabres’ 3-2 win ... Read the full article

Dustin Tokarski made 34 saves Sunday afternoon. ©2021, Micheline Veluvolu

Goalie Dustin Tokarski looks sharp with little rest, helps Sabres beat Penguins

BUFFALO – Having played goalie into his mid-teens before switching to forward, interim Sabres coach Don Granato possesses a strong understanding of the unique position.

Granato knows the strain of playing back-to-back days often affects the goalie’s focus and other subtleties in his game. He might, for example, have trouble playing his angles or handling rebounds.

But in Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, goalie Dustin Tokarski looked sharper than he did a ... Read the full article