Ragnarsson does not return

Updated: May 13, 2004, 11:11 PM ET
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers lost defenseman Marcus Ragnarsson to a hand injury Thursday night in the first period of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

 Marcus Ragnarsson
Ragnarsson

Ragnarsson played just three shifts in Philadelphia's 4-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning that put the Flyers behind 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.

The Flyers didn't disclose any specifics of the injury but said they would give an update on Friday. His status for Game 4 on Saturday was unknown.

With Ragnarsson out, the Flyers were left with only four true defenseman and converted forward Sami Kapanen on the blue line.

"It's always a little harder once you go down to five and one of the first five is a forward," Kapanen said.

Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock likes Kapanen's speed on defense against the quick Lightning forwards. It was Kapanen's second straight game as a defenseman in place of struggling rookie Joni Pitkanen.

Kapanen's relative inexperience as a defenseman wasn't his only problem Thursday night. He was also battling a stomach illness that further complicated a defensive unit that hasn't had injured Eric Desjardins in the postseason.

"We were really scrambling on the back end," Hitchcock said. "We had to make a lot of changes. You're going to get situations like this. It isn't going to be clean through the playoffs."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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