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Sabres' Beaulieu sent back to Buffalo for injury evaluation

EDMONTON, Alberta – Nathan Beaulieu's trip to western Canada was a short one.

The Sabres defenseman likely suffered a concussion just 3:11 into Monday's game in Calgary. After flying to Edmonton following the contest, he hitched a ride back to Buffalo on Tuesday for evaluation and treatment.

It's believed to be the second concussion of the season for Beaulieu, who absorbed a couple of punches and had his chin driven into the ice during a fight with the Flames' Curtis Lazar. Beaulieu challenged Lazar after the forward stuck his leg out for a knee-on-knee hit.

Beaulieu had just returned to the lineup after missing two games with an illness. He missed five games with the flu last month and sat seven games in October and November with his first head injury.

The absences have hindered the development of the 25-year-old, who was acquired from Montreal for a third-round pick and signed to a two-year deal.

"It's been a tough year for him with the expectations coming in to a new team and the start that we had as a group, and then with his struggles with injuries," coach Phil Housley said.

Beaulieu, who was placed on injured reserve, has one goal, three assists and a minus-14 rating in 33 games.

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Since the Sabres had a thin blue line once again, they recalled Matt Tennyson from Rochester to make it fuller. Josh Gorges has joined Beaulieu on the sidelines with an illness, leaving the Sabres with only six available blue-liners.

Tennyson gave them an extra seventh for Tuesday's visit to Edmonton and is an option for Thursday's game in Vancouver. The defenseman started the year in Buffalo, playing 14 games with no points and a minus-8 rating. The 27-year-old has one assist and a minus-7 in 23 games with Rochester.

"It's good to have Tenner up here as another body because being out West here on the road you never know what can happen with injuries," Housley said.

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