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Sabres Notebook: Lehner's status uncertain

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Goaltender Robin Lehner took a beating Saturday night in Denver and the Buffalo Sabres will have to wait a couple of days to find out his status. In the short term, the Sabres didn't dress their starter here Sunday in what coach Dan Bylsma called a precautionary move.

Still, Bylsma said cryptically "too early to tell" when asked if Lehner will be available for the team's upcoming games in yet another busy week.

Anders Nilsson started in place of Lehner, a move Bylsma said was in the works anyway. But Linus Ullmark was called up from Rochester to make the long cross country flight and serve as the backup.

Lehner's biggest hit was a direct shot to the side of the head he absorbed in the second period by Colorado's Joe Colborne, who received a two-minute interference penalty.

"It's more precautionary than anything," Bylsma said. "He got bumped several times at the net, more than just the penalty. There was the one in the first two in the second and the penalty. They were related."

Of course, shots to Lehner's head bring huge red flags after the concussion that felled him in February, 2015, and ended his career in Ottawa. Still, Lehner finished the game and was not pulled by the NHL's concussion spotters in Toronto.

"I'm concerned any time a player gets injured," Bylsma said. "He didn't leave the game after the second period. He was dealing with a sore neck from the couple hits he got and it's more precautionary."

Lehner has started 12 of Buffalo's last 13 games, including all but one in February. For the season, he's 17-18-6 with a 2.57 goals-against average and .923 save percentage.

The Sabres' next three games are at home: Tuesday against Nashville, Thursday against the Coyotes and Saturday against Tampa Bay.


The Coyotes dealt centers Martin Hanzal and Ryan White to Minnesota Sunday in a trade that brought back a 2017 first-round pick, a 2018 second-round pick, a conditional 2019 fourth-round pick and a minor leaguer.

Meeting with Arizona reporters before the game, Hanzal said it was particulrly hard to say good-bye to captain Shane Doan.

"He was like a second father to me," Hanzal said. "He's been helping me since Day one. We played cards on the plane for about nine years, and nobody could beat us. That was fun."


Jack Eichel's first-period goal that opened the scoring gave the Sabres the game's first goal for the 31st time in 62 games this season. ... Aside from Nilsson, the Sabres maintained the same lineup as they had Saturday in Colorado. That means Nic Deslauriers and Justin Falk were healthy scratches. ... Buffalo's man-games lost total hit 300 for the season Saturday night as William Carrier missed his 12th game. The total is a little deceiving because it counts the retired Cody McCormick, who is still being paid after being forced off the ice due to blood clots.



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