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Sabres forward O'Reilly out 3-4 weeks

Sustained lower-body injury on Friday

by Joe Yerdon / NHL.com Correspondent

BUFFALO -- The Buffalo Sabres will be without forward Ryan O'Reilly for the next 3-4 weeks because of a lower-body injury.

Sabres coach Dan Bylsma announced they would be without O'Reilly for up to a month following the Sabres 4-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday.

"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 somebody stepping over the boards, and that's something that we're going to miss and we're going to have to replace. I think you see the importance of that in our game tonight."

O'Reilly was injured during the Sabres 4-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday and did not play against the Penguins. Forward Justin Bailey was recalled from Rochester of the American Hockey League on Sunday to replace him.

"He's your No. 1 guy, and that's something you don't, you can't replace," Bylsma said. "You can't insert a Justin Bailey and replace what Ryan O'Reilly gives you. Where we're at right now in the season, we've been playing, points in eight of 10 before tonight's game and winning some hockey games. He's a huge part of that and we're going to miss that."

Sam Reinhart took O'Reilly's place on the Sabres first line with Bailey and Evander Kane.

"He's a great player, tough to replace, but guys have to come in and step up and assume more responsibility and kind of rise to the occasion," Sabres captain Brian Gionta said. "He's a big member in the leadership group in the room so myself, [Josh Gorges], [David Legwand], guys like that are going to have to step up in the room and fill in for him."

O'Reilly leads the Sabres in scoring with 49 points (17 goals, 32 assists) in 59 games. He is in his first season with Buffalo after being traded from the Colorado Avalanche last June.

"Obviously, it's a huge loss for us," Sabres goalie Robin Lehner said. "He's a world-class player and leader of this room. But it's an opportunity for other guys to step up and take over his ice time and show what they can do. Every team loses guys, it's just going to be a great opportunity for someone else." 

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