The Sabres will start Ullmark in goal

January 11, 2018 - 12:05 pm
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Buffalo, NY (WGR 550) - With Zach Bogosian out four-to-six weeks with a lower-body injury and Jacob Josefson out, the Buffalo Sabres had a roster spot. Jason Botterill used it to activate Linus Ullmark.

Phil Housley confirmed that Ullmark is getting the start against Columbus. Housley said, “We feel that he’s earned a start up here because he’s had a terrific season down in Rochester and we’re looking for a spark.”

Housley was very critical of his goaltending after Tuesday’s games saying that they have to get a save if they want to win.

Before the game in Minnesota, Robin Lehner had put together probably his best month as a Sabre. He played very well in Philadelphia and then had another bad game against Winnipeg. Lehner is also battling an injury after getting hit in the face against the Flyers. Housley said he’s not concerned about Lehner, “No real concern, I think at this point in the season, we’re just trying to find a spark for our team and hopefully we’ll find that tonight.”

In 21 NHL games, Ullmark is 8-11-2 with a 2.62 goals against. Ullmark only got one NHL game last season after being an AHL All-Star. He has once again been named to the AHL All-Star game. In Rochester this season, Ullmark is 17-5-1 with a 2.27 goals against and .928 save percentage.

The 24-year-old was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Bogosian got tangled up with Evander Kane during Wednesday’s practice. Housley feels bad for Bogosian who missed the first 25 games of this season, “It’s a tough blow for him too. He’s been fighting through injuries this year and it’s difficult.”

Justin Falk will take Bogosian’s place in the lineup.  

It was a hitting and passionate practice that got Bogosian hurt and tempers flared. Kyle Okposo likes the passion, but agrees with Jason Pominville that it means nothing if it doesn’t carry over against the Blue Jackets, “We have to make sure we’re using that passion and energy in the right way and that’s to get better, to move forward and to help us get out of this funk.”

One of the reasons Ullmark is in goal is the Sabres have allowed 21 goals in their last four games. That’s not all on the goalies and three of those goals were empty netters.

The power play has produced a goal in four out of six games, but it’s meant nothing because the penalty kill has given up a goal in six straight and eight out of nine games.

Jack Eichel has 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points in his last 17 games.

Okposo has been skating better lately and created many chances against the Jets. He has three goals and eight assists for 11 points in 15 games.

The celebration was on at the Sabres draft table in 2013 when Nashville took Seth Jones 4th overall leaving Rasmus Ristolainen for the Sabres at number eight. It’s thinking like that that has gotten the Sabres in the mess they’re in as Jones is now an All Star with Columbus.

Columbus has won three out of four games after winning just two of eight. The Blue Jackets are still in second place in the Metropolitan Division, four points in back of Washington and one point in front of New Jersey.

Key injuries have Cam Atkinson and Brandon Dubinsky on the sideline. Alexander Wenneberg was activated yesterday after missing eight games.

Former Blackhawk Artemi Panarin leads Columbus in scoring with 11 goals and 25 assists for 36 points in 44 games.

Josh Anderson leads them in goal scoring with 14. The Blue Jackets do a pretty good job of getting goals from their whole lineup.

Sergei Bobrovsky is 21-12-3 in net with a 2.40 goals against and .922 save percentage.

Join Schopp and the Bulldog at 6:00 for the pregame live from (716) Food and Sport when they’ll be joined by Phil Housley, Jack Eichel and Kyle Okposo.

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