WINNIPEG - After a bout with illness that cost him three games, Robin Lehner will make his return to net for the Sabres when they play the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Sunday afternoon. The Sabres are coming off of a 3-0 win over Florida on Saturday in which Anders Nilsson earned a 33-save shutout.
"I was real pleased to see Anders come back from the Minnesota game with the strong performance that he had last game," Sabres coach Dan Bylsma said on Sunday morning. "But I didn't think for a moment that Robin wasn't going in this game. It's back-to-back games and travel, [we're] getting Robin back in there."
The Sabres will be without forward Nicolas Deslauriers, who was unable to make the trip after sustaining a lower-body injury on a hit to his knee late in the game against Florida on Saturday. Bylsma said that while there is still no official timetable for Deslauriers' return, he expects it to be more in the realm of weeks than days at this point.
In the meantime, Nicholas Baptiste has been recalled after a two-goal game for Rochester on Saturday night and will be in the lineup Sunday. Baptiste has already played two games for the Sabres this season and, thanks to an odd bounce, scored his first career goal against Vancouver despite having not yet registered a shot.
The Sabres have seen their fair share of talented young opposition lately, having been scored on by 19-year-old former first-round draft picks in recent games against Philadelphia (Travis Konecny) and Minnesota (Joel Eriksson Ek). Their challenge Sunday is Patrik Laine, the No. 2 pick in this year's draft who has scored eight points (6+2) in his first eight games.
"I am curious and eager to watch him play and see what he is and what he can do," Bylsma said. "I'll be a lot more eager to see him I think after the afternoon is over. He is dangerous, he can shoot the puck … There's some players that put their head down and shoot it and blow it through the goalie or it finds away in the net, he's picked some pretty small spots so far this year to score some goals."
Coverage of the game begins at 2:30 p.m. with Tops Sabres Gamenight on MSG-B, or you can listen live on WGR 550. Puck drop is scheduled for 3 p.m.