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Sabres' Lehner feels 90 percent, won't play Thursday

Robin Lehner won’t play Thursday because of a hip injury, but the Sabres goaltender could be back as soon as Saturday.

“It feels 90 percent,” he said after taking part in the morning skate in KeyBank Center. “It’s a little stiff still, but it feels good.”

Anders Nilsson will start in goal against the New York Rangers. The backup is undecided. Buffalo may recall a goalie from Rochester.

“If it’s the best scenario for Robin not to back up, then we would make an adjustment,” coach Dan Bylsma said. “But as you can see Robin did OK, felt OK on the ice in the morning skate, and that’s a good sign.”

The Sabres’ next game is Saturday when they host Boston.

“Maybe I’ll sit this one out and focus on Saturday,” Lehner said.

The goalie suffered his injury on Ottawa’s opening goal during Buffalo’s 5-4 victory Tuesday. Lehner kicked out his left pad to make a save, then did the splits in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Mike Hoffman’s rebound shot.

Lehner left the game four minutes later after leaving the crease to play a dump-in.

“I felt it after the goal but I didn’t have anything to do until I had to play the puck,” Lehner said. “I just felt like it seized up and I lost strength in it a little bit. It feels better.”

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