Houser wins NHL debut in first game since March 2020

Buffalo Sabres

Buffalo Sabres goalie Michael Houser (32) covers the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders, Monday, May 3, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Fourteen months ago, Michael Houser was playing for the Cincinnati Cyclones in the ECHL. That was the last time he saw the ice for a competitive game.

Monday night, in his first NHL game ever, Michael Houser did just what he needed to do in net for the Sabres, and his team helped him big time in the third by scoring three goals to get the 4-2 win. It wasn’t just his first NHL game, it was his first game since March of 2020.

Houser made 34 saves on 36 shots, and despite trailing 2-0 at one point, his team didn’t give up.

Buffalo couldn’t get much going in the offensive zone in the first two periods, only scoring one goal on a Power Play from Tage Thompson. Then in the third, Rasmus Asplund got the game-tying goal, and Sam Reinhart redirected the go-ahead goal later in the period.

They added an empty-netter to take the 4-2 lead and eventually the victory. As the clock ran down to zero, Houser hit his stick against both posts on the goal and celebrated immediately with his teammates.

Players all congratulated their goaltender as he picked up his first win in his first game in the NHL.

Houser gave up his first goal in the first period when a shot from the Islanders’ Adam Pelech ricocheted off the stick of Houser’s teammate Henri Jokiharju, and it put New York in the lead.

The second goal came off another redirect, this one actually came from the Isles as Oliver Wahlstrom put one in the back of the net.

The Sabres face the Islanders again Tuesday night in the home finale at 7 p.m.

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