PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers, crippled down the middle by recent injuries to Jeremy Roenick (broken jaw) and Keith Primeau (concussion), acquired Chicago center Alexei Zhamnov yesterday.
"We've had more serious injuries than I've seen our club have in 30 years," said general manager Bob Clarke, after he'd dealt minor league defenseman Jim Vandermeer, unsigned draft pick Colin Fraser, and a second-round choice (from Los Angeles) for Zhamnov and the Blackhawks' fourth-rounder (via Washington).
With Roenick contemplating retirement after sustaining his ninth concussion along with his jaw injury, the 33-year-old Zhamnov (who'll be a free agent after the season) represents an insurance policy in addition to providing immediate help.
"It upgrades us regardless of whether Jeremy comes back," said Clarke. "It's security in case JR doesn't come back. Our feeling is JR will come back, but we don't know that for sure."
Bruins left winger Sergei Samsonov, who had missed the last three games with bruised ribs, would have been in the lineup last night but for a new addition to his family line -- daughter Natasha, born Wednesday evening. Samsonov flew to Boston when he was notified that his wife Meghan was in labor with their first child. He's expected to join the club today in North Carolina and will suit up for tomorrow night's game against the Hurricanes. "It's important that he be home with his wife," said coach Mike Sullivan. "It'll be good for him to have a couple of [extra] days, but also good for us to have him in the lineup." Sullivan said that Samsonov likely will skate with Brian Rolston and Patrice Bergeron, whom he's been working with in practice . . . Felix Potvin, who last played in the overtime loss at Ottawa Feb. 12, got the start in goal last night as part of Sullivan's strategy of keeping both his goalies sharp for the playoff run. "We just want to make sure coming down the stretch that we have goaltenders who are fresh and are on top of their game," the coach said. While Sullivan conceded that Andrew Raycroft "has certainly emerged through his performance" as the top man, he doesn't view it as a traditional 1-2 situation. "Both goalies have seen a fair amount of time so far," Sullivan said, "and we look at it as a positive." Potvin, now 5-2-2 in his last nine games, played creditably last night (24 saves) after conceding a goal to Simon Gagne on the Flyers' second shot. "He played well enough to win for us," concluded Sullivan. "He made some big saves down the stretch."
The Bruins, who are the league's top road warriors this season (18-6-4-5), won't eclipse the club record set by the 1971-72 Stanley Cup champions (26-9-4), but they're on track to post the best away mark in a decade. The 1993-94 team was 22-15-5. Last year's road record was 13-20-6-2. After playing seven straight away from the FleetCenter, Boston will have only seven more out-of-town dates for the rest of the season once they return for Monday night's matchup with Florida . . . Forward Carl Corazzini may be back in Providence, but he impressed the Bruins' brass during his monthlong stint, which included 12 games and two goals against the Rangers. "He did a great job for us," Sullivan said of the former Boston Univrsity star. "He really showed not only to himself but to the organization that he can play in this league."