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Buffalo Sabres winger Hecht leaves practice early with sore groin @NHLdotcom

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - Buffalo Sabres forward Jochen Hecht left practice early Tuesday because of what coach Lindy Ruff said was a groin injury.

Hecht went to the locker-room about 20 minutes before practice ended for precautionary reasons. He is expected to play when Buffalo opens the Eastern Conference finals against Ottawa on Thursday.

"He'll be fine," Ruff said. "We didn't want to take any chances. The ice was getting pretty bad."

Hecht scored twice, including the winner, in the victory that clinched Buffalo's second-round series over the New York Rangers on Sunday. The win gave the Sabres a berth in the conference finals for the second straight year.

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