Goalie nods: Lehner makes long-awaited return to Sabres’ crease

Approximately three months after he was knocked out of his Buffalo Sabres debut, Robin Lehner will finally be in goal again.

Lehner — who suffered a high-ankle sprain all the way back on Oct. 8 — will be Buffalo’s starter at home versus Boston tonight.

It hasn’t been an easy rehab for the 24-year-old netminder.

“He spent a lot of time in the gym the best way he could but not being on his feet,” Sabres coach Dan Bylmsa told The Buffalo News. “It’s really been a process like training camp, getting back on his feet — seven full practices and he used the conditioning stint in Rochester to get some game time in the net. Three games, much like you would in preseason. We’re almost starting at the beginning of the season for Robin when he gets in net tonight.”

Lehner, who came to Buffalo through an offseason trade with Ottawa, cost the Sabres a first-round pick, which the Senators used to select Boston College star forward Colin White.

Jonas Gustavsson is expected to start for the Bruins.

Elsewhere…

Marc-Andre Fleury for the Penguins in Tampa, where the Lightning will start Andrei Vasilevskiy.

Jacob Markstrom for the Canucks in Carolina, where the Hurricanes will likely go with Cam Ward after Eddie Lack played last night in St. Louis.

— No official word on a Blackhawks starter in Toronto. Corey Crawford faced 40 shots last night in Montreal, so it may be Scott Darling‘s turn to keep Chicago’s winning streak alive. James Reimer will start for the Maple Leafs.

— No official word on a Jets starter in Minnesota. Connor Hellebuyck played last night versus Nashville, so it’s possible Michael Hutchinson could be in there. Devan Dubnyk will start for the Wild.

Kari Lehtonen is likely for the Stars in Anaheim, where Frederik Andersen is likely for the Ducks.

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