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Sabres' Kane to miss 4-6 weeks with knee injury

by Joe Yerdon

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will be without forward Evander Kane for the next 4-6 weeks because of an injury to medial collateral ligament in his left knee, Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said Monday. The injury will not require surgery.

Kane sustained the injury during the third period of a 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday when he was checked into the boards by Devils defenseman David Schlemko. Kane needed assistance to get to the locker room.

"I didn't see the injury happen live," Bylsma said. "I saw, obviously, it was in that corner and I saw that situation. When you see on the replay and you see how it unfolded and how it happened, it could've been a lot worse. I don't know if I sighed relief when it was 4-6 [weeks], but it's not as bad as it could've been."

Kane has one goal and two assists in eight games this season and his 28 shots on goal are on the Sabres behind Tyler Ennis.

“A lot of the speed and a lot of the tenacity and a lot of our drive, he's been that for our offense," Bylsma said of Kane. "He doesn't quite have the numbers, but he's been that for our team. Someone else gets the chance to do that now."

Nicolas Deslauriers replaced Kane on his line with Ennis and center Ryan O'Reilly at practice Monday.

"Going into the last game, actually, we went into the game with the idea and plan that we'd use [Deslauriers] more there in bits and pieces of the game," Bylsma said. "He got a few more shifts with them. He skates well, he's a big body, he's a forechecker, he's a worker. I don't want to say this too loud but he does have a little finish in his game and has so far this year."

In eight games this season Deslauriers has one goal and one assist.

"I'm really just looking for his speed and his tenacity and his forechecking and his net presence for those other two guys to feed off of and to use," Bylsma said. "I don't know if it's going to be for a total of 16 minutes in the games going forward, but we're going to see him there."

This is the second straight season Kane will have missed significant time because of an injury. Last season he played 37 games for the Winnipeg Jets because of season-ending shoulder surgery Feb. 6. He was traded to the Sabres on Feb. 11.

The Sabres also are without defenseman Zach Bogosian, who sustained a lower body injury in off-ice workouts during the preseason. On Monday, Bylsma said Bogosian is doing workouts off the ice but has not resumed skating. Bogosian has not played this season.

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