BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo Sabres centre Jochen Hecht was held out of Saturday’s game against the Rangers because of a pulled leg muscle, while New York lost defenceman Paul Mara to a head injury.
Mara was hurt three minutes into the game when he was leveled by Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta, just as the defenceman sent a pass from his own end. Mara, who was slow to get up, did not return, and the Rangers announced he would miss the rest of the game due to a head injury.
Following the play, Kaleta was cut above the left eye after he was knocked down by New York defenceman Marc Staal. Staal, whose helmet clipped Kaleta, received a minor penalty for roughing.
Earlier in the day, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Hecht was day-to-day. Hecht likely got hurt late in Buffalo’s 5-1 win over Toronto on Thursday night after playing more than 18 minutes.
Hecht, the Sabres’ captain for February, ranks fifth on the team with 37 points, but has been held without a point the past five games.
Centres Paul Gaustad and Derek Roy and left wing Thomas Vanek were in the lineup after missing Friday’s practice. Forward Marc-Andre Gragnani made his NHL debut after being called up from the Sabres’ AHL affiliate in Rochester.