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Welcome back: Lehner (ankle) returns to Buffalo

Connor Brown,  Robin Lehner

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner


Considering his first stint as a Buffalo Sabre was over before it ever really started, you have to imagine Robin Lehner is pretty anxious for stint No. 2.

And that stint will soon be underway.

Lehner, who’s been out since suffering a high ankle sprain in his Sabres debut on Oct. 8, has been recalled from his conditioning assignment in AHL Rochester, Buffalo announced on Thursday.

Acquired from Ottawa for a first-round pick at the ’15 draft, Lehner stopped 11 of 12 shots against those same Senators in Buffalo’s first game of the season, before getting hurt midway through the second period.

He’s been out ever since, forcing the Sabres to rely on backup Chad Johnson and AHL call-up Linus Ullmark for the last three months.

Lehner’s going to be a guy to watch moving forward.

He’s never been a full-time starter at the NHL level, and his first real shot at it ended quickly with the aforementioned ankle ailment. He had a down campaign with the Sens in ’14-15 (9-12-3, .905 save percentage, 3.02 GAA) but did show good form early in his career.

It’s also worth remembering that Lehner is still only 24 years old, and boasts the kind of size most teams want in a starting netminder -- 6-foot-5, 240 pounds.