Banged-up blueline battles injury bug

IAN BUSBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

The battle scars from the war of attrition are all over Adam Pardy's face.

A broken nose, courtesy of a fight with Ben Eager, was the reward the Flames defenceman received for trying to give his team a spark in Game 5.

Give Pardy credit for not backing away from the hulking enforcer.

But the tilt was a good example of what's happening in this series.

When the Flames do battle the Chicago Blackhawks, they seem to get the worst of it.

Another example came in the third period, when defenceman Dion Phaneuf left the game after taking a hit from Troy Brouwer.

Just hours earlier on the other side of the country, Maxim Talbot engaged in a fight to spark the Pittsburgh Penguins to a three-goal comeback victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

It didn't work for Pardy and the Flames, but that doesn't mean he will stop trying.

"I just jumped in to do what I could," Pardy said yesterday. "Maybe it sent a little message I will do whatever I can to help out.

"It's not like it is one game, we lose 5-1 and we move on to another team. We have to play the same team again.

"You have to be as physical as you can to let them know we aren't just going to roll over and die. We had to let them know we're going to fight until the end."

Officially, Phaneuf is listed as "day-to-day" as the Flames continue to be secretive about their injuries.

He took an open-ice hit from Brouwer around the head area and looked wobbly as he headed off the ice.

In the past three games, the Flames have suffered a slew of injuries. Winger Rene Bourque took a late crosscheck from Adam Burish and also tweaked a high-ankle sprain in Game 3 that caused him to miss Game 4.

Craig Conroy left that outing with an undisclosed injury, while Daymond Langkow went off with a hand injury.

All three players were in the lineup for Game 5, but none of them is functioning at 100%.

If Phaneuf can't play tonight, it will be up to the likes of rookie Pardy to stick his busted nose out there for more minutes.

"We've had guys go down all year and had guys step up in place of them," Pardy said.

"It's going to be the same thing. If somebody goes down, we need somebody to step in. We have the personnel to be able to do it."


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