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Ankle injury to sideline Leighton 8-10 weeks

NHL.com @NHL
Philadelphia Flyers goalie Michael Leighton will miss the next 8-to-10 weeks with a severe high-ankle sprain suffered in Nashville on March 16, Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren announced Thursday.

Brian Boucher will be the Flyers' top goalie in his absence.

Leighton was injured while playing the puck 9:45 into the first period.
 
"I went out to get the puck and it got away from me and I just went back on my leg and felt my (ankle) pop," he said. "It was just the way I fell backwards. I felt something pop, and it didn't feel good."

Leighton said it doesn't hurt when he stands straight, but he feels the pain when he crouches forward in a goalie stance. He said he will know more after an MRI is done.

Leighton, 28, left the game after allowing two goals on five shots to the Predators. Nashville was leading, 2-1, when Boucher replaced Leighton and gave up a goal within his first minute of play to Jerred Smithson.

The Flyers scored twice in the third period to send the game to overtime and then a shootout. Nashville's Martin Erat had the only score in the shootout.

Boucher likely will start Thursday in Dallas. His last start was Dec. 21 against the Florida Panthers, a 4-1 loss. He has replaced Leighton in four games.

Ray Emery started the season as the Flyers' No. 1 goalie, but the team went into a tailspin in late November when he developed abdominal problems. He had surgery Dec. 8 and returned Jan. 17. Emery then played in eight games before suffering a season-ending hip injury. He was 16-11-1 with a 2.64 GAA and .905 save percentage.

The Flyers acquired Leighton on waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 15. Leighton was 1-4 with a 4.28 goals-against average with Carolina, but is 16-5-2 with the Flyers, with a 2.48 GAA and .918 save percentage.

Boucher went 4-10-1 with the Flyers prior to Leighton replacing him Dec. 21. Since then, he's 0-2-1. On the season, he has a 2.77 GAA and a .899 save percentage.

The Flyers recalled Jeremy Duchesne on an emergency basis from the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL. Duchesne will be available to play Thursday.
 
Duchesne, 23, has appeared in two games with Adirondack this season, going 1-1-0 with a 1.02 GAA and .981 save percentage. His win was a 28-save 4-0 shutout of the Providence Bruins on March 13.

In addition to his time with the Phantoms, Duchesne has appeared in 19 games with the Flyers' ECHL affiliate, the Kalamazoo Wings, going 9-4-3-2 record with one shutout, a 3.20 GAA and .904 save percentage.

Duchesne is the son of a former NHL player, the late Gaetan Duchesne, who played 15 seasons for Washington, Quebec, Minnesota, San Jose and Florida.


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