The Buffalo Sabres will be down a player in Saturday’s rematch with the Tampa Bay Lightning after Nikita Kucherov injured Vladimir Sobotka with a late hit.

Sobotka had fired the puck into the Lightning zone during the first period of Friday’s . Kucherov, last year’s league MVP, went down low to deliver a hip check, and Sobotka flipped over him and hit the ice.

The forward had to be helped off the ice and didn’t return. He was spotted wearing a walking boot that went above his right knee, . Sabres coach Ralph Krueger said Sobotka was out for Saturday’s game and would be re-examined on Monday.

Kucherov, who scored the opening goal in Friday’s game, led the league with 128 points last season

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