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May 9, 2000 - Primeau hurt in opening minute of game

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Primeau hurt in opening minute of game
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Philadelphia Flyers center
Keith Primeau spent the night in a hospital after being leveled at mid-ice by Pittsburgh's Bob Boughner in the first minute of the Flyers-Penguins playoff game Tuesday.

Primeau lay motionless for several minutes and appeared to be momentarily unconscious before being removed on the stretcher.

Keith Primeau
Philadelphia's Keith Primeau is wheeled off the ice after taking a hit from Bob Boughner 48 seconds into the game.

He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian University Hospital, where X-rays proved negative. He was released Wednesday morning after remaning overnight for observation.

"He winked at one of the guys as he left the ice, so we knew he was going to be OK," forward Keith Jones said following the Flyers' 2-1, series-clinching victory Tuesday night.

"Between periods, we were assured he was going to be OK, and that was a big relief," John LeClair said.

The collision occurred with 48 seconds gone and followed an incident in Game 5 Sunday at Philadelphia in which Flyers defenseman Luke Richardson teed up a slap shot and hit Boughner directly in the chest.

Richardson was not suspended by the NHL despite the Penguins' argument that Richardson intentionally shot the puck at Boughner. On Monday, Boughner promised to get back at Richardson, even if it didn't occur during Game 6.

"There are ways to come back, and ways to take care of what needs to be taken care of," Boughner said. "It may not be the next game ... it may be next year."

Seconds after a faceoff at midice, Boughner skated across the neutral zone from along the right wing boards and leveled Primeau, who was skating up ice with his head down.

After the game, Boughner said, "He had his head down going up the middle and he was looking for a pass. We wanted to come out and hit them hard ... but you hate to see anybody on a stretcher."

Primeau scored the game-winning goal in the fifth overtime of the Flyers' 2-1 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday.

Richardson said the Flyers were determined not to let the Primeau incident distract them from winning the game.

"We didn't want to get caught up in any of that," Richardson said. "We said to ourselves that the best thing we could do was play hard and win the game. Everybody did a good job of refocusing and keeping our minds on what we had to do."

The Flyers traded for Primeau earlier this season after star Eric Lindros was sidelined with a concussion.