Flyers Watch

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:21 PM ET


 HITCH'S HUNCH ON KAPANEN PAYS OFF

 All accounts Sami Kapanen should have been a turnover waiting to happen.

 With defenceman Kim Johnsson unable to answer the bell because of an injured right hand, Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock opted to move the diminutive forward back to defence. Obviously Kapanen must have cut his teeth as a defenceman while he was growing up in Finland.

 "A little bit, but not a whole lot," he said.

 Okay then, he must have played the position relatively frequently earlier in the season. "Nope."

 Give credit to Hitchcock, who said he put Kapanen back there on a hunch. It worked.

 "Between watching my dad's team growing up and watching games on TV, I learned a lot about the position," said Kapanen, who played 21 minutes, five seconds and finished as a plus-one in the Flyers' 3-1 victory. "It wasn't bad. I was a little nervous early and just tried to keep it simple.

 "I'm one of the smaller guys out there so I had to use my speed."

 Johnsson tested his injured right hand during the morning skate, but did not play last night. There are questions as to whether he will be able to lace up the blades for Game 2 on Sunday at the Wachovia Center.

 The Flyers are keeping their eyes on defenceman Dennis Seidenberg, who played a rehab game for the American Hockey League's Philadelphia Phantoms. Seidenberg, who is coming back from a broken leg, could be an option for Game 2.

 GOING, GOING, GONE

 Jacques Martin, who was fired yesterday by the Ottawa Senators, experienced the odd run-in with Hitchcock this season.

 But that has not altered Hitchcock's view of Martin.

 "He's a good coach," said Hitchcock, who worked with Martin on the staff of the 2002 Canadian Olympic team.

 "What happens when there is disappointment, the coach gets heat, players get heat, the owner gets heat. This is where hard decisions are made as to whether you are going down the right path. I've been in that position -- losing a series you thought you could win -- and there is bitter disappointment."

 FLYERS INJURIES

 ERIC DESJARDINS

 Arm, out for season

 KIM JOHNSSON

 Right hand


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