PITTSBURGH (AP) -Penguins forward Gary Roberts broke his left leg while tangling awkwardly with Buffalo's Tim Connolly midway through the second period of Pittsburgh's 2-0 win Saturday night.
As Connolly fell in the left circle in Buffalo's end, the 41-year-old Roberts went down with him and struck his left leg hard on the ice, breaking his fibula.
A stretcher was brought out but Roberts did not use it, limping off the ice with assistance.
``I don't know who got a piece of me but I fell,'' Connolly said. ``I'm not sure exactly what happened but I was surprised to see him down. It's a freak accident, and I wish something like that doesn't happen.''
Roberts, who re-signed with Pittsburgh after playing a key role in the Penguins' playoff drive last season, was honored before the game for recently scoring his 900th career point. Roberts has three goals and 12 assists in 37 games this season, the oldest player on one of the league's youngest teams.
Roberts, a left wing who broke into the NHL with Calgary during the 1986-87 season, has 434 goals and 469 assists for 903 points in 1,192 career games.
``There's no doubt, Gary was doing a great job as a true leader for a lot of guys,'' coach Michel Therrien said. ``The young players on the team will have to compensate for the leadership that we won't have from Gary Roberts and we don't know for how long.''
Roberts is the second veteran Penguins player to be seriously hurt in less than a week. Defenseman Mark Eaton is out indefinitely after tearing a knee ligament Sunday against Boston.
The Penguins also are without goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (sprained ankle), who hasn't played since Dec. 5 and may not return until February.
``It's been tough, seeing guys like that, real key guys, go down,'' forward Colby Armstrong said. ``When you see a guy like that laying on the ice, for sure, it's tough.''
Despite the injuries, the Penguins have won seven of 11 and are four games above .500 (20-16-20 for the first time this season after beating Buffalo 2-0.

Top NHL Public Bets

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Blackhawks vs. Panthers Prediction Are the Blackhawks a good bet to beat the Panthers tonight when the two clash at 7:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Stars vs. Sharks Prediction Will the Dallas Stars pull off the upset tonight as a home underdog versus the San Jose Sharks at 8:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Hosts still pushing for playoff spot   Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews snapped a seven-game goalless drought when he potted his 32nd marker of the season Saturday. Can Ontario’s darling carry that...
Thumbnail Laine, visitors aim to extend Minny's skid   A season that started so promisingly for the Wild is spinning out of control down the stretch. Can Bruce Boudreau’s troops find a way to right themselves...
Thumbnail Defending champs overcoming health issues Washington’s recent slide has provided a glimmer of hope for Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division race. But can the Pens avoid a letdown tonight against...

NHL Team Pages