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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Zednik's neck slashed

   Feb. 10, 2008 -- Once was supposed to be enough when Clint Malarchuk suffered a severe injury when his throat was slashed during a game in Memorial Auditorium.

   However, history repeated itself when Richard Zednik of the Florida Panthers suffered a similar injury almost two decades later. John Vogl of The News wrote about that night:

   The trail of blood -- more than 100 feet long and in frightening contrast to the glimmering white ice -- is what will long haunt the crowd in HSBC Arena. But it was Richard Zednik's terrified look and ashen face that will be the unforgettable moment for teammate Stephen Weiss.

    The scariest injury in hockey happened again in Buffalo, as a player had his jugular vein severed Sunday during the Sabres' 5-3 win over Florida. The Panthers' Richard Zednik was struck in the throat by the skate of a falling teammate, and a wide path of crimson followed Zednik half the length of the ice as he skated to his bench.

    It was there where Weiss realized how dire the situation was.

    "The worst that went through my mind is, 'Somebody better get him help, or else . . .'  I don't even want to say it," said Weiss, still ashen and blank-gazed himself nearly 45 minutes after the incident. "Just his face coming off was something you don't want to see.I don't know how to explain it, but it was a scary look. It looked like he was very scared."

    While the Sabres and Panthers were reliving the horrifying moment, Zednik was in surgery at Buffalo General Hospital. It was a success, and the Panthers said he was resting comfortably.

--- Budd Bailey

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