Numminen all heart

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

BUFFALO -- Teppo Numminen's ticker and Tim Connolly's blood-stained beak were the talk of the Buffalo Sabres dressing room yesterday.

The Sabres welcomed back Numminen with open arms after he missed Game 4 Friday with an irregular heartbeat.

The veteran defenceman said medication allowed him to play incident-free in a 3-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers yesterday.

"With the excitement and anticipation in the building, I just had to make sure I took my two pills before the game," Numminen said. "Everything went fine."

Numminen, who had a procedure done to alleviate the ailment in 2004, said his condition is not like that of the Detroit Red Wings' Jiri Fischer, who collapsed because of heart problems while sitting on the bench during a game late in November.

Asked if doctors gave him a guarantee on their work, Numminen laughed.

"It (has) been two years," he said. "I think the warrantee ran out a long time ago."

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Connolly was the game's second star, registering a goal and an assist. It was a commendable feat, especially since he was felled by a wrist shot right between the eyes from teammate Paul Gaustad during warmup, dropping him to his knees.

"Thankfully it wasn't someone who could shoot hard," said Connolly, playfully mocking Gaustad.

Meanwhile, the Flyers were bitter at a pair of officiating decisions.

A goalie interference penalty to Brian Savage resulted in Buffalo's second goal by J.P. Dumont. Replays clearly showed Savage was pushed into Ryan Miller by a Sabres defenceman.

Late in the third period, Gaustad appeared to attempt a knee-on-knee hit on the Flyers' Petr Nedved, who immediately dropped to the ice. No call was made.

"You've got to call that," said Nedved, who escaped with just a sore muscle.


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