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Sabres' Levi to make 1st NHL start Friday vs. Rangers

Richard T Gagnon / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Buffalo Sabres star goaltender prospect Devon Levi will make his first NHL start Friday against the New York Rangers, and the 21-year-old is ready for the challenge.

"It's exciting," Levi said, per's Heather Engel. "I've been dreaming of this moment my whole life, so for it to finally be here, it's a big deal. I'm really excited."

The Sabres signed Levi to a three-year, entry-level contract earlier this month after his collegiate career with Northeastern came to a close. Levi made a name for himself as one of the best up-and-coming netminders over two years with the Huskies. He finished the current season with a 17-12-5 record and six shutouts while leading the NCAA with a .933 save percentage.

He was among the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's top player.

Levi joins the Sabres as they seek to snap the league's longest active playoff drought. Buffalo has an outside chance to qualify for the postseason, remaining in the mix with 77 points through 73 games. The club enters Thursday's action five points back of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second wild-card spot in the East.

"It's a great situation to be in," Levi said. "I want to help the team make a playoff run. It just makes the game even more valuable, even more precious. It's just a great opportunity, and I'm just grateful that they're giving it to me."

The Sabres have used three goaltenders this season - Craig Anderson, Eric Comrie, and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen - to little success. Buffalo ranks 27th league-wide with an .888 save percentage in all situations, hampering the club's third-ranked offense.

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