Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen dressed as a backup Monday. ©2023, Miceline Veluvolu

Sabres notes: Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen will likely start against Senators

BUFFALO – After playing two consecutive games, Sabres goalie Eric Comrie will likely take a breather tonight in Ottawa, allowing Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to make his first start this season.

Sabres coach Don Granato said rookie goalie Devon Levi, who started the first four games, is still nursing a “nagging” lower-body injury and will likely be unavailable against the Senators. Levi, 21, did not skate Monday morning.

“We don’t expect it to be much longer and certainly not long-term,” Granato said of Levi’s injury prior to Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center. “But because it’s nagging, you don’t want to aggravate it. You want him to have enough rest so it heals completely. It’s one of those deals that can linger if you don’t take the time to resolve it.”

Meanwhile, a lower-body injury forced winger Zach Benson, 18, to miss his second straight game Monday. Granato said the rookie could be an option for tonight’s contest.

“He could probably play with it, but it’s close enough that it’s probably going to resolve and we’ll evaluate that again tomorrow,” he said. “We want to make sure we put both those guys, because they’re young guys and they’re taking so much information in, enough time to fully recover when we know that’s going to happen in a short duration. …

“To give them a break every now and then is a benefit to them and now is the time because they’re a little dinged up.”

In other injury news, Granato said winger Jack Quinn, out all season after tearing his Achilles tendon in June, has started skating “lightly.”

“But he’s a long way from being ready for anything,” he said. “And I use that term loosely. Skated is putting a skate on versus skating, there might be a big difference there.”

The AHL conditioning assignment the Sabres sent prospect Matt Savoie on Sunday can last up to 14 days, so he could play six games for the Rochester Americans.

Savoie, 19, hasn’t played since injuring his elbow and shoulder Sept. 18 in the finale of the Prospects Challenge. He has been on injured reserved all season.

“We’ve talked about Benson playing with Tage Thompson, (Jeff) Skinner on a line all the way through camp, the experience of that,” Granato said. “It’s too bad, it’s unfortunate for Matty that he didn’t get that. So I’m happy that he’s able to get around and gain what will be a real good experience in Rochester.”

The Amerks host the Charlotte Checkers on Wednesday.

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