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.”