GAME: New York Rangers (21-25-7-4) at Philadelphia Flyers (30-12-11-5).
TIME: Saturday, 3 p.m. EST.
Four straight wins has moved the Philadelphia Flyers atop the Eastern
Their latest victory could prove costly.
Philadelphia will be without star center Jeremy Roenick and could also be
missing captain Keith Primeau when it tries to complete a home-and-home sweep
of the New York Rangers.
Sean Burke's first game this season with the Flyers was a good one, as he
stopped 26 shots in a 2-1 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on
The satisfaction of a road victory, however, was overshadowed by injuries to
Roenick and Primeau - two of the team's top forwards.
Roenick broke his jaw early in the third period after he was hit by a shot
from the Rangers' Boris Mironov. Roenick, Philadelphia's second-leading scorer,
was left bloodied on the ice and briefly unconscious. He could miss the rest of
the regular season.
"He will miss significant time," Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said. "I
don't think anyone knows the exact time. It'll certainly be a lot longer than
2-3 weeks. We'll see how he feels in the next week or so."
Less than a minute after Roenick was helped off the ice, Primeau was injured
after a collision with the Rangers' Bobby Holik. It was originally believed
that Primeau sustained a mild concussion, but Hitchcock said Friday that he
felt better and could play Saturday.
Without Roenick and Primeau, the Flyers were left with Michal Handzus,
Claude Lapointe and rookie Patrick Sharp at center. Boyd Kane was recalled from
Philadelphia of the AHL to take Roenick's roster spot.
The Flyers found a way to win despite losing two of their best players. Sami
Kapanen snapped a tie midway through the third period and Burke made several
stops in the final minutes.
"Once Primeau went out, we had to play three lines and we really dug in,"
Lapointe said. "We kept forechecking and kept our momentum going, and they
couldn't seem to do anything about it."
The Rangers also lost a key player to injury Thursday. A groin injury kept
Jaromir Jagr off the ice for the final two minutes and will keep him out of the
"It wasn't right for the last few days," Jagr said. "It was sore, but I
was playing through it. I guess the muscles were tired on the second night of
back-to-back games and it gave up in the third period."
Jagr's absence is a big one for the fading Rangers. In nine games since
coming to New York, Jagr has four goals and six assists.
New York, 11th in the East, continues to struggle with consistency.
Coming off an impressive 3-1 win at New Jersey on Wednesday, the Rangers
failed to win back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 29-30.
New York has lost seven of its last eight visits to Philadelphia.