Luukkonen back in Buffalo with injuries in goal

Malcolm Subban is still having his injury evaluated

Buffalo, N.Y. (WGR 550) – The Buffalo Sabres are having injury problems in goal once again. Craig Anderson is out month-to-month with an injury, while Dustin Tokarski is in COVID-19 protocols.

Malcolm Subban left Saturday’s game with a leg injury, and head coach Don Granato is hoping that Subban isn’t out a long time, “We’re hopeful that it’s not significant and there’s some optimism that it’s not, but we still don’t have the information. He’ll get more looks today from the doctor and it could be very simple and it’s pointing that way.”

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Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen was at practice on Monday as the Sabres used one of their two NHL roster exemptions.

With the Rochester Americans just getting back to practice after having three games postponed due to two coaches and a player being in COVID-19 protocols, Luukkonen has seen very little ice-time in the past week.
Therefore, Granato hasn’t made a decision on Tuesday’s goalie against the Anaheim Ducks, “We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. I don’t want to make that decision today because they’ve been going through COVID down there, so he hasn’t had the practice time, but it could be the case.”

Luukkonen said there were things he did just to stay busy, “Guys were going for walks or using gyms in their apartments, so with last year, it’s nothing new.”

Luukkonen said he didn’t feel rusty on Monday. He added, “You get back to it pretty fast, but of course you can feel a little bit clumsy and there’s always that aspect to it, but you get it back pretty fast.”

Luukkonen had a real tough October before settling in early in November. He said, “I’ve had some ups and downs. It’s more about confidence.
You know that you can play and you know that you’re a really good goalie and you should be able to play at a high level, so in the end as a goalie it comes down to confidence.”

Luukkonen hasn’t played a game since Nov. 26 where he stopped 37 of 40 shots against the Hershey Bears. His last two starts were both wins with 64 saves on 69 shots. Despite it being a minute, he’s ready for Tuesday if Granato wants him to play, “Of course you’re ready if you get called upon, so in the end it’s nothing crazy, I’ll just stick to the same things that I have done because the last thing you want to do is start to change things.”

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Robert Hagg practiced on Monday and Granato doesn’t know if he’ll be able to play Tuesday, He missed Saturday’s game with a minor injury.

Monday’s lines:

Skinner – Thompson – Olofsson
Girgensons – Mittelstadt – Asplund
Bjork – Eakin – Hinostroza
Murray – Cozens – Okposo

Bryson – Jokiharju
Dahlin – Pysyk
Butcher – Miller