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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres

Wednesday, 01.07.2004 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres
Philadelphia Flyers vs. Buffalo Sabres
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GAME: Philadelphia Flyers (20-7-9-4) at Buffalo Sabres (16-20-4-1).

TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Philadelphia Flyers hope to have leading scorer Jeremy Roenick at full strength as they visit the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena.

Roenick, who has a team-high 35 points, was struck in the right cheekbone by an errant slap shot during a team practice Tuesday. He immediately collapsed to the ice and lay motionless for several minutes while blood poured from a severe cut.

Eventually he was able to skate off the ice with assistance.

X-rays revealed no fracture of the orbital bone, and team surgeon Dr. Guy Lanzi examined Roenick and ruled out the possibility of a concussion.

Roenick was relieved that tests showed no long-term damage to his cheekbone.

"I was really scared about that part," Roenick said. "That's the first thing you think of when you get hit like that is your cheekbone. A break in that means you're definitely going to be out.

"It was a freaky thing, a shot from the point that got away from him. It feels worse than it looks. It was right down to the bone and that's no fun."

The Flyers are already down two centers. Keith Primeau is out after taking a slap shot to the right thumb in a 2-1 victory at Florida on Friday. Claude Lapointe reportedly entered the NHL's substance abuse treatment program Friday to help him deal with depression.

Philadelphia is 2-3-1-1 on its season-high, eight-game road trip following a 6-1 defeat at Tampa Bay on Saturday.

The Sabres had their three-game unbeaten streak snapped with a 3-1 loss at Montreal on Tuesday. Buffalo lost for just the second time in eight games (4-2-2) following a seven-game losing streak.

Alexei Zhitnik scored the lone goal for the Sabres.

Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff blamed the loss on his team's lackluster effort in the first 20 minutes in which it was outshot 20-9.

"That's the worst period of hockey we've played," he said. "I don't care how good we played in the second and third, you play like that and you deserve what you get, and we deserved what we got."

2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 24 '04BUF 1 at PHI 2J. Roenick
Jan 13 '04PHI 2 at BUF 6C. Brown
Jan 07 '04PHI 1 at BUF 1 - OTA. Zhitnik
Oct 09 '03BUF 0 at PHI 2M. Recchi
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