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And on the fourth day the Flyers finally play

Three days off without games is enough. So, after 3 days of drills and talking about playing, the Flyers are ready to get to work.

Three days off without games is enough.

So, after 3 days of drills and talking about playing, the Flyers are ready to get to work.

"It's a lot nicer when you have a game, then a day off, then a game," Scott Hartnell said. "These 3 days off in a row, I wouldn't say they are frustrating, but it is a lot more fun playing games than it is being out there practicing."

The Flyers hope they feel the same way tonight after playing the Sabres. Buffalo is not like Ottawa, which defeated the Flyers last week; the Sabres are a team with something to play for, so maybe the Flyers will be ready for them at the start.

Last week after the same kind of break, the visiting Senators, a team out of the playoffs with nothing to lose, beat the Flyers.

The Sabres are just three points behind the Flyers in the Eastern Conference standings and will be looking to cut that cushion. The Flyers, meanwhile, need to keep piling up points as they chase New Jersey, whom they trail by eight points.

"It's going to be huge," Hartnell said. "You show up to play this time of year and have a good game. If you take a night off you're going to get destroyed. There are a lot of teams in the fight of their lives to make the playoffs.

"We've haven't played in a little while and points are huge this time of year, especially against a team that is chomping at our heels."

Buffalo does not have the services of winger Thomas Vanek, who is out with a fractured jaw, but is coming off a victory in Toronto and a shootout win over San Jose.

Marty Biron will be back in net after weekend wins over the New York Islanders and Rangers. Biron always keeps an eye on his former team and is expecting a challenge.

"I've had longer times between games myself before," Biron said. "I think this was good. We came off of a very strong weekend, a little bit like last week, but now we know what we did on Thursday night last week and what we can't do [tonight].

"We know we need to get the same effort that we did this weekend and that's the difference between this week and last week. The practices have been real upbeat and the video sessions have been great, and that's what we want.

"Look at how tight it is. After [Tuesday] night there are two teams tied for the last spot, everybody is tight from fifth to eighth and that's the way it is. Those are teams we are going to battle and we want to keep staying ahead . . . and I'm sure they're looking at it the opposite and trying to get closer.

"They go in and beat San Jose and they beat Toronto and those are some big games, emotional games for them, and it's up to us to come out skating."

Forsberg hurting

Reports coming out of Sweden are not good for Peter Forsberg. After trying yet another comeback, this time with his Swedish Elite team, Modo, his foot problems have once again flared up and he is talking about retiring for good.

The Denver Post reported yesterday that Forsberg wasn't able to play Tuesday night because of the injury and afterward said he was taking a few days to consider his next move.

"I will think for a couple of days before I make a decision, but it doesn't look good," Forsberg told reporters in Sweden. "I don't know what to do.

"I can't play if I don't feel 100 percent. I don't know what happens now. I have to check if there is some last thing we can do to fix the problem. I am not that surprised.

"It has happened before and I was prepared for it this time as well. It seems impossible to fix the problem. I have tried it all." *