At a crucial time in their run for the Eastern Conference top seed, the Buffalo Sabres have been hit by several injuries to key players. The latest is Ales Kotalik, who will miss four to six weeks with a right knee injury. The right wing, who has 14 goals and 22 assists in 59 games this season, joins Maxim Afinogenov, Jiri Novotny and Tim Connolly on the injured reserved list. Afinongenov, the Sabres' second leading scorer with 57 points, is perhaps the most serious loss to the team after sustaining a wrist injury that will keep him out of the lineup for at least six weeks. The depleted lineup showed on Saturday when the Sabres were dropped by the Boston Bruins 4-3 in a shootout.