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Sabres journeyman Houser earns 2nd NHL win to sweep back-to-back

Bill Wippert / National Hockey League / Getty

Michael Houser added another chapter to his storybook emergence onto the NHL scene Tuesday night.

In only his second career game in the league, the 28-year-old earned his second win a mere 24 hours after his first. He backstopped the Buffalo Sabres to a 4-3 shootout victory over the New York Islanders after helping Buffalo prevail 4-2 over New York in his NHL debut Monday.

The ECHL and AHL veteran didn't get much assistance from his teammates Tuesday, as the Islanders outshot the Sabres 21-9 in the first period, 18-11 in the third, and 48-31 in the game. However, Houser kept his club in the contest, making 45 saves in regulation and overtime before denying all three of New York's shootout attempts.

"It really didn't feel like 48 shots," Houser said postgame, according to WGR 550's Brian Koziol. "As the game went on, the game settled down, and we started playing a more predictable game, and that goes hand-in-hand with the shots I saw. It was an easier game after we settled down."

Sabres forward Anders Bjork, who scored the lone goal in the shootout, heaped praise on Houser afterward.

"Oh my gosh, it's incredible," Bjork said, according to The Athletic's John Vogl. "He's done just an amazing job. You've got to really tip your hat to that guy. We're all so proud of him and excited for him. We'll keep going."

The Sabres were forced to turn to Houser amid injuries to Linus Ullmark, Carter Hutton, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, as well as Dustin Tokarski's absence for personal reasons.

Before Houser made his NHL debut Monday, he hadn't played above the ECHL level since making a nine-minute AHL appearance in 2017-18. The Ohio-born netminder spent the majority of the last four seasons in the ECHL, suiting up for several squads.

Houser turned aside 34 of the 36 shots he faced Monday night.

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