BUFFALO, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres forward Ville Leino could be ready to make his season debut as early as next week after missing the first 25 games with an injury to his right hip.
In ruling out Leino from playing at Philadelphia on Sunday, interim coach Ron Rolston called it a "strong possibility" he could play Tuesday, when Buffalo hosts the New York Rangers.
Leino practiced for a fourth straight day Friday. That's a turnaround from last month, when there were concerns he was going to require surgery.
Rolston ruled out Andrej Sekera from playing Sunday, after the defenceman was hurt in the third period of a 3-2 shootout loss at New Jersey on Thursday. Defenceman Jordan Leopold is close to returning after missing eight games with an upper body injury.
[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.
— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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