Sabres LW Hecht out two weeks with sprained MCL

BUFFALO, New York (Ticker) - The Buffalo Sabres clinched a playoff spot with a shootout win at Toronto on Monday night. But it came at a price.

The team announced on Tuesday that left wing Jochen Hecht suffered a sprained MCL in his left knee after being hit by Darcy Tucker in the third period of Monday’s game and will be sidelined for about two weeks.

The Sabres, who are in the fourth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, play their final regular-season game on April 18. Hecht is expected to return before then.

Buffalo has won just two of 11 games that Hecht has missed this season. He sprained the MCL in his right knee before the Olympic break and was unable to play for his native Germany in the Winter Games at Torino. Hecht injured the knee again in a March 16 game against Toronto.

Last August, the Sabres signed Hecht, 28, to a three-year contract. He has 18 goals and 24 assists with a plus-minus rating of plus-10 in 64 games this season.

In 2003-04, Hecht recorded 15 goals and 37 assists with a club-best rating of plus-17 in 64 games.

In 397 career games with St. Louis, Edmonton and Buffalo, Hecht has collected 238 points, including 91 goals. He scored a career-high 19 goals with St. Louis in 2000-01.

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Updated Tuesday, Apr 4, 2006