Sabres' Paetsch sustains concussion after taking an elbow from Laraque

Updated: March 12, 2008, 11:52 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Buffalo Sabres defenseman Nathan Paetsch was knocked out and sustained a concussion when leveled by an elbow thrown by Pittsburgh's Georges Laraque early in the second period Wednesday night.

As Paetsch passed the puck from along the goal line in the Sabres' zone, Laraque skated by and hit him with a raised elbow. Laraque drew a five-minute penalty for elbowing and was ejected from Pittsburgh's 7-3 victory.

Paetsch lay face first on the ice for several minutes before getting to his knees. He was assisted the short distance from the ice to a runway that leads to the locker rooms. The stretcher brought onto the ice was not used.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Paetsch will be out "for a good period of time." Buffalo has 11 games remaining.

"That's a tough one. He got him right on the button," Ruff said. "It's an easy suspension. I don't know if it was deliberate, but I don't think the video lies on that one."

The hard hit was the second for Paetsch in two games and left the already injury-depleted Sabres without another player. Paetsch was checked hard into the boards by the Rangers' Sean Avery on Monday night.

The Sabres scratched five players, including injured defensemen Jaroslav Spacek (ribs) and Dmitri Kalinin (shoulder). Both were hurt against New York on Monday and are expected to be out for several weeks.

Buffalo, trailing 1-0 when Paetsch was hurt, couldn't take advantage of the lengthy power play created by Laraque's penalty. Maxim Afinogenov's hooking penalty shortened the power play by 1 minute, 8 seconds, and Pittsburgh's Jeff Taffe scored 9 seconds after the teams began skating 4-on-4.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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