Sabres goalie Noronen injures groin, leaves game

Updated: November 23, 2005, 1:14 AM ET
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Sabres goaltender Mika Noronen hurt his groin and was unable to complete Buffalo's 3-2 shootout loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.

Coach Lindy Ruff said he didn't know the immediate extent of the injury but added Noronen won't play in Buffalo's game against the Islanders at Long Island on Wednesday. Ruff said the team has already called up Michael Leighton from AHL Rochester.

Noronen was hurt with eight minutes left after his skate slid from under him after making a save.

"Hopefully, it's not bad," Noronen said.

He continued playing and finished with 25 saves before being replaced by Martin Biron after Martin Straka scored on New York's first shootout opportunity.

Ruff said Noronen told him about the injury during a television timeout.

"He felt he could finish," Ruff said. "He said, `You make the call.' He wanted to try to close it out. But when I watched the first [shootout goal], with him not wanting to go down, I could tell he was favoring it."

Noronen was making only his second start of the season and after he stopped 20 shots in a 3-2 win at Boston on Saturday.

The Sabres are already down one goalie, Ryan Miller, expected to miss a few more weeks after breaking his right thumb in practice on Nov. 2.

Buffalo acquired Leighton last month from the Chicago Blackhawks for forward Milan Bartovic. Leighton is 5-5 with a 2.81 goals-against average for Rochester.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press