Stajan unlikely to play in Philly

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:03 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- After a brief skate at the tail end of practice, Matt Stajan admitted he can't foresee himself playing Friday's matinee clash with the Philadelphia Flyers.

That would mean the hit Stajan took in New York will cause him to miss two games and maybe even three if the Calgary Flames centre can't lace up for Saturday's tilt in Pittsburgh.

Still, Stajan said he believes it was the right call by the league not to suspend Rangers defenceman Marc Staal for the blind-side check just inside the blueline after Stajan completed a pass.

"He came across, and obviously, I didn't see it because it was from the blind side, but after seeing the hit, it's hockey," Stajan said.

"You get caught with your head down or looking a certain way and the guy catches you, that's part of the game.

"The part you have to be careful with is the guy making contact with your head. He made a little bit of contact with my head, but I don't think that was what he was going for."

Stajan, who missed the first two games of the season due to a shoulder injury suffered during the exhibition schedule, said he didn't suffer a concussion but is experiencing stiffness in the neck.

Obviously, there has been some improvement in the past couple of days, but how long it will take him to feel well enough to play remains up in the air for the centre who's netted one goal and 14 points in 18 games.

"It felt pretty good," he reported after hitting the ice Thursday.

"Hopefully, I'll get into games this weekend."

In other injury news, centre Craig Conroy (shoulder) and right winger Ales Kotalik (knee) practised fully with the team.


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