BUFFALO – When the season began, the Sabres wanted goalie Devon Levi to experience the harshness of a long NHL schedule, so the rookie started four straight games.
“I wanted him to feel some grind and quick preparation and quick turnaround and battle,” Sabres coach Don Granato said following Monday’s practice in KeyBank Center. “So I think he gained a lot of experience from that that’s going to help him the rest of his career, really, the first time going through that.”
After Levi suffered a lower-body injury in his fourth start, goalies Eric Comrie and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen took over the net.
Now, with Levi back and Comrie sidelined by a lower-body injury, Granato said the Sabres will likely rotate goalies.
On Saturday, Levi, 21, played his first game since Oct. 19, stopping 24 shots in a 6-4 road win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. That means Luukkonen, 24, could start tonight’s road game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“There’s no need for that type of a grind and the benefit, quite honestly, would be less because he’s had the experience it,” Granato said of Levi. “Now, I think he’s ready for it need be if we were down and had to deal with injuries, but I think UPL has been good. Devon was good the other night.
“There’s no reason that I see right now that we should go to either one of them for a bulk for right now. Who knows, that can change, but the way it sits, they both played, I think, fairly equal over the last little bit.”
Luukkonen has compiled a 3-2-0 record with a 3.14 goals-against average, a .901 save percentage and one shutout in five games this season.