Rangers lose starting goalie, too

Updated: January 23, 2004, 1:11 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Eric Lindros sat out against his former Philadelphia Flyers teammates Thursday night because of the flu.

The New York Rangers center has been playing his best hockey in years, but he was forced to miss his 12th game this season. The announcement that Lindros wouldn't play wasn't made until the teams took their pregame skate about 30 minutes before the opening faceoff.

"Eric was sick all day," Rangers coach Glen Sather said. "He got to the rink, tried to dress and got sick. So we sent him home."

The Flyers beat the Rangers 4-2.

Lindros has regained his scoring touch and his physical play in his third season with the Rangers. He has 10 goals and 20 assists in 36 games this season. He was out for seven games because of a sprained muscle in his chest, then missed four more with an eye injury.

Lindros was traded to New York by Philadelphia after sitting out a season because of a bitter feud with Flyers general manager Bob Clarke and while recovering from his seventh career concussion.

He spent his first eight NHL seasons with Philadelphia, winning the MVP award in the 1994-95 campaign. In 11 career games against the Flyers, Lindros has six goals and two assists.

The Rangers then lost starting goalie Mike Dunham after he was run into by Philadelphia forward John LeClair in the second period.

"I didn't think anything of it," LeClair said. "I had a pretty good scoring opportunity, actually, and I was just going to the net. I got pushed a little bit from behind. The contact didn't feel like it was that much, but maybe Dunny's head hit the post or something."

Dunham finished out the period after being struck with 3:43 left, but he was replaced by Jussi Markkanen to start the third. He was diagnosed with a mild concussion and is not expected to travel to Ottawa for New York's game on Saturday.

"It's a long shot," Sather said of Dunham's availability against the Senators. "I'll talk to the doctors [Friday]."

Dunham stopped 17 of 20 shots but allowed Simon Gagne to score the go-ahead goal about a minute after he was injured.

Sather declined comment on swirling rumors that the Rangers were close to obtaining Jaromir Jagr from the Washington Capitals. He said for the second straight day that he trying to find defensive replacements to help offset several recent injuries.

"We're working on it," Sather said. "There are a lot of guys looking for defensemen in this league today."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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