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Sabres notebook: Goalie Lehner close to practicing

Robin Lehner is facing shots and moving in the crease. Dan Bylsma hopes the goaltender will soon be doing it during the Sabres’ practices.

Lehner, who has been out since suffering a high-ankle sprain during Buffalo’s season opener, took the ice before his teammates worked out Sunday.

“Robin was on the ice this morning again taking shots,” Bylsma said in First Niagara Center. “He was working on some post play and some of that pushing off and loading up on the post. We are looking at starting a schedule for him to return to practice and possibly down the road return to play.”

Bylsma said the organization will create Lehner’s rehab schedule over the next few days.

“Hopefully, we’ll see him in practice soon,” the coach said. “The next two weeks as we map it out is going to see an increased level of progression of where he’s at right now to practice to game simulation, scrimmage and possibly getting in the net in a rehab situation.”

The coach said Mark Pysyk also is progressing, though the defenseman is not yet on the ice. He’s been out since Nov. 17 with what was originally categorized as a bone bruise. Pysyk will miss his 18th straight game Monday when the Sabres host Washington.

“He’s progressing with workouts off the ice and hope to see him soon get on the ice and progress with his lower-body injury,” Bylsma said.


Evander Kane missed Sunday’s practice for personal reasons, with The Buffalo News reporting he is the subject of a sex-offense investigation. His status for Monday was unclear.

Left wing Matt Moulson missed the workout with an illness.


The line of center Johan Larsson, left wing Zemgus Girgensons and captain Brian Gionta has totaled just one shot during the past two games. The trio didn’t even attempt one during Saturday’s 6-3 victory in Boston.

They’ve been too busy keeping the opponent’s best players quiet.

“I think they were our best line even though they didn’t put the numbers on the board,” Bylsma said.

The Larsson line played extensively against Boston’s top unit that features Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. During the previous game against Chicago, they matched up against Jonathan Toews. The trio’s effectiveness has allowed Bylsma to put Ryan O’Reilly against lesser lines.

“We’re able to put out 90 to get him in more offensive-zone starts with the confidence that you’re going to play 22 behind it,” said Bylsma, referring to the uniform numbers of O’Reilly and Larsson, respectively. “I thought Girgensons and Larsson really drove our team energy-wise and played the way we need to play.”