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Sabres Without Four Goalies to Injuries, COVID

The Buffalo Sabres are currently without their top four goaltenders after Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen went down with a lower-body injury on Tuesday night.
Michael Houser

It's not a fun time to be a goaltender for the Buffalo Sabres right now. 

The injury report in Buffalo is running out of room after Tuesday night's contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning, as after Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen suffered a lower-body injury that is projected to keep him out of the lineup on a week-to-week basis, the Sabres must now attempt to move forward with each of their top four goaltenders on the shelf for the foreseeable future. 

Craig Anderson has been considered month-to-month for the bulk of this season with an upper-body injury that will likely end his lengthy NHL career. Recently acquired injury replacement Malcolm Subban is on the shelf as well, dealing with an upper-body ailment that has him in the month-to-month category, too. And then there's Dustin Tokarski, the defacto backup-to-the-backup, who finds himself in the NHL's COVID-19 protocols at the moment. 

Needless to say, things are pretty bleak in the Sabres' crease these days. 

Following Luukkonen's injury last night, the Sabres then recalled goaltender Aaron Dell on Wednesday morning to serve as their default starter moving forward. 

Dell, while having six years of NHL experience, has not exactly excelled at hockey's highest level in recent years. The 32-year-old sits with a 4.52 goals-against-average and a .872 save percentage in seven games this season that ultimately earned him an AHL demotion. Shockingly, however, those numbers actually serve as an improvement on his 2021 campaign, during which Dell racked up a 4.14 goals-against-average and a .857 save percentage in seven games for the New Jersey Devils. 

To insulate Dell, the Sabres also signed goaltender Michael Houser to serve as their short-term backup. 

The 29-year-old spent all of last season in the Sabres organization at various levels, earning a .901 save percentage in four NHL games to go with a .924 save percentage in another four spent with the AHL's Rochester Americans. 

Houser stayed with the Sabres by signing an AHL contract in August and has since bounced up and down between the Americans and the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones this season, putting forth a .876 save percentage in three games for the latter, and a .900 save percentage in 11 games for the former. 

Let's just say if any of the players on your fantasy team are facing Buffalo in the next few weeks, make sure to put them in your starting lineup that night. 

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