Flyers dealt blow by Briere's abdominal injury

Centre Daniel Briere, who led the Philadephia Flyers with seven points entering Friday's action, will be sidelined up to a month because of a torn abdominal muscle.

NHL team will be minus No. 1 centre up to 4 weeks following surgery

News of Daniel Briere's torn abdominal muscle on Friday did little to uplift the spirits of the struggling Philadelphia Flyers.

The NHL team will be without their top centre for up to four weeks as Briere is scheduled for surgery on Saturday at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.

"It's definitely tough to take, but what can you do," said Briere, who has three goals and team-leading seven points in six games. "I'm not going to sit around and sulk or pout about it. I have to focus on getting better and picking up where I left off."

Briere, who signed with the Flyers as a free agent last year, felt something amiss in his groin during a game Wednesday against San Jose. He scored the tying goal late in the third period.

The Sharks won 7-6 in a shootout, handing Philadelphia (0-3-3) its sixth straight loss to open the season.

"I had an MRI done, and the person looking at it said it was fine," Briere said. "I had it checked again today, and they found a little tear."

Briere said he had the same surgery done a few years ago when he was in Buffalo. It hasn't caused him a problem until now.

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren said that Briere will be sidelined three to four weeks.

"It doesn't help when you lose a guy like Briere," Holmgren said. "We're at a time where everybody needs to play their best. I didn't see the last game, so I can't comment on that. Obviously, six games in, we haven't played our best hockey where we've had everybody going for the entire game. We need that at this time.

The 31-year-old Briere had 31 goals and 41 assists in helping the Flyers reach the Eastern Conference finals last season.

"I am surprised by the turn of events that happened today," Briere said. "I hate missing time, but by being aggressive, I will be back soon."

With files from the Associated Press