The Buffalo Sabres just can’t catch a break this season.
Sabres goaltender Michal Neuvirth exited Tuesday night’s game with the San Jose Sharks after suffering a lower-body injury, forcing backup Jhonas Enroth into action.
Neuvirth sustained the injury late in the first period when Sabres forward Tyler Ennis slammed into his leg while trying to break up a 2-on-1. Ennis knocked the puck across the crease, but the goal by San Jose’s Justin Braun was disallowed because of goalie interference.
Neuvirth, 26, stopped all 10 shots he faced before being replaced by Enroth.
Enroth’s replacement on the bench? None other than Buffalo goaltending coach and two-time NHL all-star Arturs Irbe.
Irbe, 47, last played an NHL game in the 2003-04 season with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Entering Tuesday, Neuvirth had a 3-5-1 record with a .918 save percentage and 2.96 goals-against average in nine game this season. He missed the final 16 games of last season with a hip injury.
Buffalo may have a tough decision if Neuvirth is out for a sustained period. Their AHL goaltenders with the Rochester Americans have not put up impressive numbers this season. Andrey Makarov has a 2.93 goals-against average with a .908 save percentage in 10 games while Nathan Lieuwen has posted a .876 save percentage with a 3.53 goals-against average.