Hasek sidelined for months

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Buffalo Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek will be out for months because of a groin injury instead of a few weeks, as was originally believed.

Buffalo Sabres goalie Dominik Hasek will be out for months because of a groin injury instead of a few weeks, as was originally believed.

The Czech star has a torn groin muscle, and will be sidelined for an indefinite period of time. "We're talking months, not weeks," Sabres team doctor Les Bisson said Tuesday.

Hasek was injured while trying to stop a shot by Florida defenseman Bret Hedican with 33 seconds left in regulation in Buffalo's 3-2 overtime victory on Friday night.

"It's a great challenge for us," Buffalo coach Lindy Ruff said. "We've always said that we're more than a one-dimensional team, and we have a chance to prove it now."

Hasek has only one victory in six games this season, but was showing signs recently of the play that made him a two-time North American NHL most valuable player and five-time Vezina Trophy winner as the league's top goalie.

"We have been told that he will recover from it (before the end of the season)," Buffalo general manager Darcy Regier said. "We hope we'll have him back for the most important part of the season."

The long slap shot by Hedican he ice and stayed down until help arrived.

"I saw the puck at the last moment and tried to make a big save," Hasek said Tuesday. "I felt it (the groin) pop."

Hasek, who has said he will retire after this season, had surgery in Munich, Germany, in August to repair a slight hernia.

"It was almost completely healed," Hasek said.

Hasek missed 12 games last season because of a strained groin.

The injury has demoralized Hasek, but the Olympic gold medalist said he will help any way he can.

"It's very tough," he said. "But I still feel like a part of the team."

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