BUFFALO, N.Y. – Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was released from the hospital Wednesday, after absorbing a hard hit late in the first period of Buffalo’s 4-3 loss to the Maple Leafs Tuesday in Toronto.
Kaleta, who has a history of head and neck problems, was boarded by Toronto’s Mike Brown, who was assessed a minor penalty for the play. Kaleta skated off awkwardly with 2:26 left in the period and did not return.
“It’s a neck injury,” Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said in the postgame press conference. “He was X-rayed here and they took a precaution. They took him for some further tests. I have no update.”
Kaleta was sent home and will not travel to Boston for the game against the Bruins Thursday.
The NHL has made hits from behind a point of emphasis in recent years, but Ruff didn’t think Brown’s hit was dirty.
“I thought he was sideways,” Ruff said. “Some of the obligation is on the player (being hit). He wasn’t defenceless. It’s a tough area. It wasn’t a blatant run a guy from behind.”
Brown, who fought Buffalo’s Mike Weber immediately after the hit, also left the game early. He played one shift in the second period before ending his night due to what Toronto coach Randy Carlyle termed an “upper-body injury.”