"He's not going to be available for the upcoming games," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said yesterday. "We've got to find a way to play better."
Misfortune hit the slumping Sabres just before tomorrow's trip to play Dallas, which defeated Buffalo in the Cup finals.
Hasek injured his groin during the team's 3-2 overtime win over the Florida Panthers Friday. The injury occurred on a go-ahead goal by Bret Hedican with 33 seconds left in regulation.
The 45-foot slap shot caromed in off the left post as the goaltender vainly thrust out a pad. He then slumped face-first to the ice and stayed down for several minutes.
Hasek, who plans to retire at the end of the season, watched from the bench as the Sabres rallied to win in overtime. Afterward, he said the pain was severe and sharp, unlike last season when it was more subtle at first and increased gradually.
"Dom's our superstar and we benefit with him in the lineup," defenseman Jay McKee said. "But Dom's been injured before, and we've had to prove that we're a good team even without him in the lineup."
The Sabres lost, 3-0 at Boston Saturday with Martin Biron in goal. The Sabres miss Hasek, but they also have missed their offense at crucial times.
"We're scoring goals at home, but we're not scoring many on the road," Ruff said. "We've got to play better on the road."
The Sabres will alternate between Biron (2-1), a Hasek clone in both appearance and butterfly style of play, and Dwayne Roloson. Roloson is 0-2-1.
Biron appeared shaky in the loss to Boston, often dropping to the ice too soon and sometimes being caught out of position.
In other news:
DEVILS: McKay suspended
New Jersey's Randy McKay was suspended for three games by the NHL for slashing the Flyers' Ulf Samuelsson in Saturday's game.
In another matter, the Devils acquired centers Jeff Williams and Sylvain Cloutier and a draft pick from the Atlanta Thrashers for forwards Eric Bertrand and Wes Mason on Monday.
Former Flyer Kevin Dineen was suspended for one game by the NHL for elbowing Florida's Cam Stewart in Saturday's game. Dineen sat out Sunday's game against Atlanta, pending a hearing yesterday. Because he sat out, the league considers the suspension served.
CAPITALS: GM back to work
Banned from the NHL for the month of October for fighting after a game, Washington Capitals general manager George McPhee returned to work and apologized for getting in trouble.
Commissioner Gary Bettman suspended McPhee and fined him $20,000 for a fight outside the Chicago Blackhawks locker room after an exhibition game in Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 25. Upset that the Blackhawks had used a lineup of brawlers, McPhee started his own brawl by punching Chicago coach Lorne Molleken. Players joined the melee, and McPhee's suit was ripped by the time police intervened.