Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) and New York Rangers...

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin (26) and New York Rangers center Brett Howden (21) battle for the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018. Credit: AP/Noah K. Murray

Rookie Brett Howden left Sunday’s game with 6:41 left in the second period and didn’t return after crashing into the end boards.

He had driven to the net hard in an attempt to redirect a pass from Jimmy Vesey. The shot went wide, and Howden slid into the back boards and was hit there by Sabres forward Vladimir Sobotka. Howden’s right and left legs splayed awkwardly into the boards, and his head also appeared to hit the boards.

When play continued, he remained down on his knees on the ice. When he didn’t get up, play was stopped and he was attended to by Rangers trainer Jim Ramsay. He then was helped off the ice and went directly to the trainer’s room.

“It’s just scary when you see someone go in like that,’’ Rangers defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “You don’t know how he was hurt, because he looked like he could have been hurt four different ways, but he comes out of it and hopefully he’s going to be all right.’’

Coach David Quinn said Howden has an upper-body injury and was held out for precautionary reasons.

Spooner sits out

Ryan Spooner sat out with a sore groin after being unable to go in practice on Saturday, but Quinn said it wasn’t a really big deal. “Nothing serious, nothing long-term,’’ he said.

Spooner had been skating as a right wing on the second line with Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes.

Spooner scored his first goal of the season last week in a 4-3 loss to the Kings. He has one goal and one assist in 12 games.

McQuaid update

Defenseman Adam McQuaid missed his fourth straight game with a lower-body injury. “It’s more week-to-week now, as opposed to day-to-day,’’ Quinn said.

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