Ryan O’Reilly out 3-to-4 weeks with lower body injury

According to Buffalo Hockey Beat,  Ryan O’Reilly was seen in a walking boot after Friday’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. O’Reilly went on to miss practice on Saturday. Coach Dan Bylsma was optimistic characterizing it as a maintenance day, and he would know more after O’Reilly was evaluated by doctors in the afternoon.

The news received was not good.

Following the Sabres loss to Pittsburgh on Sunday, Bylsma said O’Reilly is expected to miss three-to-four weeks with a lower body injury. From the Sabres:

“He’s a guy who plays in every situation for our team,” Bylsma said.”He plays in the offensive zone, he plays in the defensive zone, he’s playing power-play, he’s playing penalty kill. You need a big draw he’s the guy that’s stepping over the boards and that’s something we’re going to miss.”

O’Reilly leads Buffalo in points (17-32=49), power play goals (7), and power play points (19). He’s tied with Patrice Bergeron and Claude Giroux for top face-off man in the league at 57-percent.

The Sabres had to adjust to life without O’Reilly in the game against Pittsburgh. It doesn’t get any easier over the next three games as the team heads out west for matches against the California teams, starting with the surging Anaheim Ducks.