NHL Buzz: Comerie out multiple weeks for Sabers with lower-body injury

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Buffalo Sabres

Eric Comrie is expected to be out for several weeks with a lower-body injury.

The goalie was injured Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators when the Buffalo defenseman Rasmus Dahlin knocked Ottawa forward Mathieu Joseph into Comrie at 9:43 of the second period. Comrie stayed in the game and allowed a goal 14 seconds later before leaving at 13:08.

An MRI revealed an issue that will keep him out for an extended stretch.

The Sabers recalled Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Thursday. The goalie is 6-3-0 with a 3.07 goals-against average and .898 save percentage in nine AHL games.

He was 2-5-2 with a 2.74 goals-against average and .917 save percentage in nine NHL games last season.

“I talk a lot about confidence, and that, for sure, helps,” Luukkonen said. “As you said, I kind of get that feeling from those games that I’ve been able to do it before, play well at this level. It’s time to show it again. But in the end, last year it doesn’t matter if you don’t play well this year. So I think it’s important to show up well again.”

Jack Quinn practiced Friday and the forward could be back in the lineup Saturday when the Sabers visit the Toronto Maple Leafs (7 pm ET; CBC, SNO, SNP, MSG-B, ESPN+). He’s missed two games with an undisclosed injury.

Zemgus Girgensons did not practice and will be reevaluated Monday. The forward left the game against Ottawa late in the second period with an unspecified injury.

Mattias Samuelsson is closer to returning after participating in a full practice Friday. The defenseman, who has missed 12 games with a lower-body injury, skated on a pair with Henri Jokiharju but coach Don Granato said they won’t rush him back.

“I think he’s got to get his reps and feel good about and confident where he’s at,” Granato said. — Heather Engel

Vancouver Canucks

Curtis Lazar and Vasily Podkolzin are each a game-time decision against the Los Angeles Kings at Rogers Arena on Friday (10 p.m. ET; SNP, BSW, ESPN+, SN NOW).

“(Lazar) is a game-time decision,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I don’t know if he’s ready yet but he’s a possibility. (Podkolzin) is a possibility.”

Lazar has missed 10 games because of an undisclosed injury, but the forward practiced Thursday. He has one goal in seven games.

“I can take contact,” Lazar said Thursday. “I feel good. I think we’ve checked off all the boxes, so it’s in the coach’s hands now. I want to play. It’s been a while, so I’m ready to go.”

Podkolzin missed the Canucks’ 5-4 win at the Buffalo Sabers on Tuesday because of a facial injury sustained in a fight with Boston Bruins forward AJ Greer during a game Sunday. The rookie forward practiced Thursday wearing a full face shield to protect stitches above his right eye.

“I hate [the full shield], but it’s needed for I hope just one game and that’s it,” Podkolzin said. “Everything is good. I’m lucky that I didn’t get an injury, just a couple of stitches and that’s it.” — Kevin Woodley

Vegas Golden Knights

Nicolas Roy is doubtful when the Golden Knights visit the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (10 pm ET; CBC, SN, CITY, ATTSN-RM, ESPN+).

The forward sustained a lower-body injury in the third period of Vegas’ 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday. He had one assist in 15:14 of ice time but did not play after the 8:58 mark of the third period.

“He’s got a lower-body injury. I don’t believe he’s going to travel,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I’ll know better tomorrow if he’ll meet us. I’d put him doubtful certainly for Edmonton.”

After they play Saturday, the Golden Knights’ next game is Monday at the Vancouver Canucks.

Cassidy said he hadn’t decided if he would center Jake Leschyshyn or forward Michael Amadio would replace Roy in the lineup.

Ottawa Senators

Nikita Zaitsev was reassigned to Belleville of the American Hockey League.

The defenseman, who has been a healthy scratch nine games this season, cleared waivers Nov. 10. He has one assist and a minus-3 rating in seven games. The Senators are 0-7-0 with Zaitsev in the lineup this season.

Zaitsev has two seasons, including this one, left on a seven-year, $31.5 million contract ($4.5 million average annual value) he signed May 2, 2017 with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ottawa hosts the New Jersey Devils on Saturday at Canadian Tire Center (1 p.m. ET; NHLN, TSN5, RDS, MSGSN, SN NOW). — Callum Fraser

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