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Sabres goalie prospect Lieuwen gets first NHL call; Neuvirth injured

By John Vogl

Michal Neuvirth's misfortune means Nathan Lieuwen will have a memorable day.

The Sabres have called up the netminding prospect from Rochester on an emergency basis. It's the first time the 22-year-old has been summoned to the NHL.

Neuvirth, who made 51 saves in his last start Thursday night, will miss tonight's game with a lower-body injury. Jhonas Enroth started for the Sabres on Saturday. While he certainly can go to the crease on back-to-back days, there's a chance Lieuwen will play rather than be the backup. Lieuwen, though, started for the Amerks on Friday and Saturday.

Lieuwen has excelled with the Amerks this season. The organization originally expected him to merely compete with Connor Knapp for the backup job, but he's wrestled the starting role away from Matt Hackett. Lieuwen, drafted in the sixth round in 2011, has appeared in 32 games with a 17-11-2 record, .922 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against average.

"“Nathan Lieuwen has been a really outstanding surprise,” Amerks coach Chadd Cassidy recently told The News. “He really is developing nicely and has taken the ball and run with it in terms of the opportunity that we’ve given him.

“He’s got a tremendous work ethic, and probably his best attribute is he’s got a pretty short-term memory and a good outlook on life. Those are things you’ve got to have at the goaltending position. He doesn’t let things bother him.”


Nathan Lieuwen
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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

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