Flyers shoulder heavy burden

DAVID W. UNKLE -- For SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 6:20 AM ET

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers extended their winning streak against the Atlanta Thrashers to six games with a 3-2 win on Thursday night, but lost hot-handed Scottie Upshall with an injury to his right shoulder.

According to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren Upshall suffered a Grade I separation of his right sternoclavicular (SC) joint following a hit by Atlanta forward Ilya Kovalchuk in the second period.

The SC joint is formed by the union of the inner end of the clavicle (collarbone) and the sternum (breastbone). Separation of the SC joint most commonly occurs when there is a direct blow to the sternum or shoulder that imparts force along the clavicle. /p>

With a Grade I separation, there is a microscopic tear in the ligament, although the SC joint remains intact. Treatment consists of ice, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory agents, and immobilization with a sling.

Upshall is expected to be out of the Flyers' lineup for 10-14 days.

In 14 games with the Flyers since arriving from the Nashville Predators on Feb. 15 in the Peter Forsberg trade, Upshall tallied six goals and 10 points.

The Flyers received some good news regarding forwards Mike Knuble and Simon Gagne.

Knuble, out since Feb. 17 after sustaining fractures to his maxillary and orbital bones, logged almost 21 minutes of ice time and Holmgren stated that Gagne, out since Mar. 10 with an injury to his left groin, is expected to be back in the Flyers lineup on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers.

LAMP-LIGHTER

Defenceman Derian Hatcher snapped his streak of 125 games without a goal, scoring at 19:17 of the first period to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Hatcher last scored on Dec. 3, 2005 against the Predators.

David Unkle can be reached at: topcatsports@canoemail.com


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