PITTSBURGH - Buffalo Sabres defenceman Nathan Paetsch lay motionless on the ice for several minutes and was helped off the ice after being levelled by an elbow thrown by Pittsburgh's Georges Laraque early in the second period Wednesday night.
Seconds after Paetsch passed the puck up the ice from along the goal line in the Sabres zone, Laraque came skating by and hit him with a raised elbow. Laraque was given a five-minute penalty for elbowing and was ejected.
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.
The hard hit was the second for Paetsch in two games and left the already injury-depleted Sabres without another player. Paetsch played despite being checked hard into the boards by the Rangers' Sean Avery in the second period Monday night.
The Sabres scratched five players for the Penguins' game, including injured defencemen Jaroslav Spacek (ribs) and Dmitri Kalinin (shoulder). Both were hurt against New York on Monday and are expected to be out for several weeks.