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Sabres' Jeff Skinner returns after injury scare against Capitals

Jeff Skinner, the Buffalo Sabres' leading scorer, made a surprising return to the KeyBank Center ice in the third period Saturday after he suffered what initially appeared to be an ugly leg injury earlier in the game.

Skinner, the 26-year-old winger who has 36 goals in his first season in Buffalo, needed to be helped to the bench in the second period after he was tripped by the Washington Capitals' Carl Hagelin.

Mike Harrington: Skinner scare should remind Sabres to live more in the present

Both players were skating toward the slot near the Capitals' goal, when Hagelin appeared to inadvertently hook the blade of his stick around Skinner's left leg, causing Skinner's ankle to buckle. Skinner clutched at his left knee after hitting the ice.

Skinner, an unrestricted free agent at season's end, assisted on Jason Pominville's first-period goal to give the Sabres a 1-0 lead over the Capitals. Skinner has 54 points in 61 games after being acquired by Buffalo in August.

His agent, Don Meehan, has been negotiating a possible long-term contract extension with the Sabres.

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