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Okposo will miss weekend games for the Sabres

After ending their four-game losing skid on Thursday, the Sabres were back on the ice Friday morning, taking practice in HarborCenter to prepare for back-to-back weekend games.

As expected Kyle Okposo was not at practice after leaving the game against Arizona with an injury to his rib cage. The injury happened in the second period when Kevin Connauton hit Okposo hard into the boards.

Dan Bylsma said he had no update on Okposo but that the forward, who leads the Sabres in scoring with 44 points, would not play this weekend.

"He’s our leading scorer and also a big part of our team and how we play, how we want to play and and provides big leadership in that aspect and that's something we'll miss when he's not in the lineup," Bylsma said in HarborCenter.

With Okposo out of the lineup, the lines at practiced looked like this:

Evander Kane-Ryan O'Reilly-Brian Gionta
Marcus Foligno-Jack Eichel-Sam Reinhart
Matt Moulson-Evan Rodrigues-Tyler Ennis
Nic Deslauriers-Zemgus Girgensons-Justin Bailey

Kane took Okposo's spot on the first power-play unit while defenseman Jake McCabe took Kane's spot on the second.

Also missing from practice was goaltender Robin Lehner. Lehner took a hard hit from Peter Holland in Thursday's 6-3 win and had issues with a headache and neck injury last week. But Bylsma said his absence had nothing to do with injury.

"Nothing to do with the game. Just not on the ice today," Bylsma said. "Nothing to do with injury or anything that happened the previous week or that hit at all."

Bylsma also noted the absence was excused.

The Sabres host Tampa Bay at 7 p.m. Saturday in KeyBank Center then play the Penguins in Pittsburgh at 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tampa Bay, winners of its last two games, is in Pittsburgh Thursday night.

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