Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) - After winning on back-to-back nights over the weekend to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Buffalo Sabres suffered a tough shootout loss in a much-needed game Monday night against the Montreal Canadiens at KeyBank Center.
After obtaining a loser point in the loss to Montreal, the Sabres are now five points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining on the schedule.
Sabres center Tage Thompson missed Monday’s game against the Candiens with an upper-body injury. Head coach Granato does hope he will be ready to go for their next matchup with the New York Rangers on Friday night.
When setting Monday night's lineup without Thompson, Granato says he based his decisions based on who is confident heading into a certain night.
“The biggest thing is, it’s beyond skill,” said Granato on the "Jeremy White Show" on WGR. "It’s skill under pressure."
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Heading into the final handful of games this season, the Sabres have four goaltenders on their roster with the addition of rookie Devon Levi. Levi signed his entry-level contract a week-and-a-half ago when his collegiate season ended with Northeastern University.
Granato has said before his decisions on who starts any given game is largely based on the situation. He also understands and knows it is not a traditional situation to have three goalies, let alone four, available on a daily basis.
Levi has still not gotten in a full practice with the team, only getting the chance to take part in a couple of morning skates. While the Sabres are still in a position to make a Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, Granato is looking forward to giving Levi a chance in the net before the end of the regular season.
“I don’t have any hesitation putting him in," Granato said on Tuesday with Jeremy White and Joe DiBiase. "The timing is the greatest concern for myself and Kevyn [Adams], it's making sure he’s in the right spot."
Hear more from Granato’s appearance during the “Jeremy White Show” available in the player below: