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Sabres Lose Drury To Possible Concussion

Sabres co-captain Chris Drury is out indefinitely with a suspected concussion from a blindside hit that sparked a brawl in Buffalo's game against Ottawa.

Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said Friday the team has not yet determined the severity of the injury, but noted that Drury was experiencing concussionlike symptoms.

Drury required more than 20 stitches to close a forehead gash. He landed headfirst after being hit by Ottawa's Chris Neil 5:07 into the second period of Buffalo's 6-5 shootout victory Thursday night. Neil was not penalized and said after the game the hit was clean and Drury should have had his head up.

"It was a predator-type of hit where Chris was vulnerable," Ruff said. "Neil went out of his way to deliver a blow to Chris' head," Ruff said. "It was a deliberate attempt to put somebody out."

Drury, who scored his team-leading 33rd goal during the game, becomes the eighth Sabres regular to be out with an injury. It's a list that includes forward Maxim Afinogenov (broken wrist), defenseman Jaroslav Spacek (broken hand) and center Tim Connolly, who's missed the entire season with a concussion. Buffalo has had at least one player injured in each of its past six games.

There are concerns the bad blood might carry over to Saturday when the Northeast Division rivals meet in Ottawa, the last game in their eight-game season series.

On Thursday night, Neil turned into Drury just after the Sabres player snapped a shot from the right circle. Neil's shoulder struck the right side of Drury's head, knocking his helmet off and sending him flying.

When the puck hit the ice on the ensuing faceoff, Buffalo's Adam Mair crosschecked _ then punched Jason Spezza _ while Andrew Peters grabbed Ottawa's Dany Heatley across the face from behind. Soon, all 12 players on the ice were involved. In the end, 100 penalty minutes were handed out _ 63 against Buffalo _ and three players ejected.

The Sabres have called up Mark Mancari from AHL Rochester, with the rookie forward expected to make his NHL debut Saturday.