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Flyers prepared if Johnsson can't play

VOORHEES, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Kim Johnsson hopes to play in the team's second-round playoff series
despite breaking a bone in his right hand.

"Right now it's better than yesterday, so I'm still looking
forward for Game 1 on Thursday," Johnsson said Monday.

Johnsson, the Flyers' best defenseman, was injured late in
Saturday's 3-1 series-clinching victory over the defending Stanley
Cup champion New Jersey Devils. He was hit with the puck, and has a
hairline fracture of the fourth metacarpal -- the bone connecting
the ring finger and the wrist.

"Kim has a chance to start this series," Flyers general
manager Bob Clarke said. "If he did and the fracture became
displaced, we would have to put a couple of pins in his hand and he
would be out at least two weeks."

Johnsson will wear extra padding to soften any blows to his
hand. He had one goal and five assists in five games against New
Jersey, and had 13 goals and 29 assists for 42 points in the
regular season.

"If he can't shoot the puck with any velocity or snap the puck,
we'll bite the bullet for a game or two without him," Flyers coach
Ken Hitchcock said.

Hitchcock said Johnsson wouldn't have been able to play if the
Flyers had a game Monday because of the amount of swelling in his
hand.

"I don't want him tentative. It's going to be his call,"
Hitchcock said.

The Flyers already are without defenseman Eric Desjardins for
the playoffs because of a forearm injury.

If Johnsson doesn't play, Hitchcock said he'll move Sami Kapanen
from forward to play defense. Kapanen played defense twice during
the regular season, and welcomes the switch.

"It's a totally different game," Kapanen said. "In order to
play defense in the playoffs, you have to go out and compete and
make those simple plays, stay out of the trouble."

Hitchcock said Kapanen has bugged the coaches about playing
defense since getting a taste of it earlier in the season.

"Sami loves it back there," Hitchcock said. "He feels he
creates more on the rush. He feels he's more of an impact on the
offense from back there."

The Flyers will play the winner of the Toronto-Ottawa series, which concludes Tuesday night in Game 7.